Karen Louise Beck

March 14, 1960 - July 24, 2023

Karen Louise Beck

March 14, 1960 - July 24, 2023


Karen Louise Beck died on July 24, 2023, at the age of 63 after a short battle with metastatic breast cancer.  She was born to Myrl E. Beck, Jr and Virginia H. Beck (Geringer) in Redwood City, California on March 14, 1960.  Her sister Linda was born exactly one year later, and sister Kristen almost 4 years later.

Karen’s family moved to Bellingham, Washington in 1968, when her father was hired as a Geology professor at Western Washington University.  Karen attended Geneva Grade School, Lowell Elementary School, Fairhaven Middle School, and Sehome High School, graduating in 1978.  After high school she completed a bachelor’s degree, and then studied Medical Geography at the University of Washington for several years.

Karen spent most of her working years at Hall Health, the University of Washington’s student health center, where she worked for 25 years.  She held a variety of jobs there, with her final job being Clinic Manager.  In 2018 she moved back to Bellingham to help care for her parents, and worked briefly at Sehome HS and the student health center at WWU.  She retired in 2022.

In March 2023, Karen married Kelly Hatch and moved to Ferndale, Washington.  Karen found great joy in her last years with her new husband and two stepdaughters, Kelsie and Makenzie Hatch, whom she loved fiercely.  Their wonderful dog Pawla and 3 cats rounded out the family.

Karen loved adventure and travel, and in recent years took several trips to Europe, England, and Canada, including a solo trip to Italy a few years ago.  She was planning a cruise to Alaska and a trip with her friend Kimber for later this year.

She was well-known as a crow lover.  When she lived in Seattle and worked at UW, she had a following of crows that would wait for her to arrive with some tasty snack.  She also loved Canuck, the famous Vancouver B.C. crow, and went to visit him several times.  She was an animal-lover in general and had many cats and a few dogs over the years.

Karen was also a tireless supporter of the LGBTQ community and everyone’s right to be who they are, without apology, even if it is different from societal expectations.

Karen was preceded in death by her father Myrl Beck, and stepmother Linda Joyce Beck. She is survived by her mother Virginia Foster, husband Kelly Hatch, stepdaughters Kelsie Opal Hatch and Makenzie Pearl Hatch, sisters Linda (Paul) Kelly, and Kristen Beck (Joe Mortimer); and her nieces Amanda (James) Wiese, Olivia (Chris) Moreno, and Angie Kelly, and 6 great nieces and nephews.  Also important to her were lifelong friends Kimber Langton and Cheryl Keller.

Donations may be made in her honor to charities supporting animals, the LGBTQ community, or the ACLU.  Some examples are: ASPCA (aspca.org), Wildlife Rescue Association (wildliferescue.ca), Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary (greyhavenbirds.com), Whatcom Humane Society (whatcomhumane.org), ACLU (aclu.org), The Trevor Project (thetrevorproject.org), Pride Foundation (pridefoundation.org), or the National Center for Trans Equality (transequality.org)

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, August 6th at 1:30 pm at the Ferndale Library in Ferndale, Washington

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