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Missoula, MT 59808
Phone: (406) 543-4190
Fax: (406) 543-2966

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Obituary for Dorothy Karkanen

Dorothy Karkanen
Dorothy I. Gilman Karkanen
September 10, 1931 - February 7, 2018

Dorothy Karkanen passed away peacefully from natural causes Wednesday, February 7, in her residence at Bee Hive Homes.

Born in her grandmother Heckathorn’s home in Ekalaka, MT, Dorothy was raised on the family ranch in eastern MT and later near Alberton, MT.

Dorothy graduated from Alberton High School in 1947, attended Kinman Business College in Spokane, WA 1948-49, then worked as a teller at the First National Bank in Missoula 1951-57.

She met her future husband Dale Karkanen on a blind date in 1953. They married in 1955 and raised 4 children in the home they built in the west Rattlesnake.

Dorothy’s family was her pride. They enjoyed memorable vacations to many Oregon, Washington and Vancouver Island beaches as well as fishing and camping trips in the Blackfoot and Seeley/Swan valleys during the sixties and seventies.

Dorothy loved to travel. After Dale retired in 1984, they RV traveled the west until a stroke in 2000 limited Dorothy’s mobility. She also loved to fish, cook, can, garden, cross-country ski and volunteer for her church, Meals on Wheels and the Missoula County Elections Office.

Dale and Dorothy also built a comfortable cabin on Flathead Lake which became a place of many getaways for family and friends through the years. They celebrated 60 years of marriage during their last visit to “The Lake” in September 2015, an overnight visit that turned into a week.

Survivors include daughter Linda Labrosse (partner Rafael Garcia), Auburn, WA; son’s Steve Karkanen (Beth Lemire), Missoula; David Karkanen (Jennifer), Portland, OR; Douglas Karkanen (Dianna), Camas, WA; brother Richard Gilman (Carol), Clarkston, WA; numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was pleased to hear that her first great grandson was born in early January.

Husband Dale, brother Lloyd, son in law Michael LaBrosse precede her passing.

A memorial service and luncheon is planned for 11am, Friday, June 1, 2018 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Missoula, MT. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the St. Paul Lutheran Church Building Fund or a charity of choice.

There’s a special place in our hearts for Dorothy’s many caregivers. Our deepest thanks to all the Home Instead and Bee Hive Homes caregivers and especially the Partners Home Care Hospice staff who kept Dorothy comfortable in her last months. Also many thanks to the Missoula Fire Department, Missoula Emergency Services, Dr. Peter Szekely, RN Tammy Hall at Providence and the many others who attended to Dorothy in recent years.

Condolences can be submitted and viewed online at gardencityfh.com.

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