Karen Blythe Steward
Karen was born in Newmarket, Ontario, October 6, 1953 to Douglas and Isabel Fisher. Karen attended South Secondary School in London and then The University of Western Ontario Nursing School. After she graduated with a BScN, Karen started working at a hospital in Moose Factory on James Bay. There seemed to be something about the north that attracted her even then. Eventually, she ended up in Hazelton and Smithers where she was offered that “northern hospitality” in a slightly milder climate than Moose Factory. During her career Karen worked as a public health nurse, a head nurse, an OR nurse and she worked with the College of Registered Nurses of BC. She freqently talked about her experiences in the OR. She liked the challenges of being an OR nurse.
Karen loved animals and raised Shelties for many years. She trained them, entered them in many dog shows and enjoyed their numerous litters. She won many awards with her dogs over the years. Karen’s eye’s would sparkle and her voice would get excited when she talked about her dogs. Jian, Kiri, Roch, Arwen, and Fleur were her love and joy. This Steward family included two cats Fiona and Sumi that Karen doted on.
Karen met John Steward in 1984 when she entered his hardware store looking for bicycle parts. They were married a year later and settled down in Smithers. Ian, soon-to-be her step-son, remembers this nice young lady coming in for very minor bicycle repairs and his Dad scrambling to help her out all the way to the car.
Smithers United Church enjoyed having Karen as a very active member. She served on the board for several years, led worship, served on various committees, was on the pastoral care team, and preached once in a while. Karen loved to sing and was a member of a number of choirs with the most recent being Sweet Harmony.
Having fun was important to her and she loved to explore. Living in Smithers allowed Karen to explore to her heart’s content.
Karen is predeceased by her husband John Steward. She will be greatly missed by her parents Douglas and Isabel Fisher. Her brothers Glenn (Christine) and Kevin (Geri) and her sister Pamela Potts are already missing her smile and her love. Her bubbly personality will be missed by her step-son, Ian Steward (Telma) and her step-daughter Lori Nixon (Islamuddin). She enjoyed spending time with their children Erica, Jessica, Rebecca, and Elaina. Karen was faithful in keeping in touch with her nieces Seanna Schmidt (Jonathan), Colleen Fisher, Rebecca Fidler (Devin), Stephanie Fisher, Kayla Potts, Kelsey Fisher, and Meghan Fisher. She was a caring, supportive aunt.
Karen recently retired and friends and family recall a real sense of calm that Karen was embracing in the last month. Karen is now home with her Lord experiencing his bountiful love and care. And Jian has joined her there.
A Celebration of Life for Karen was held on Sept. 21st in the Smithers United Church. Memorial donations in Karen’s name can be made to the Northwest Animal Shelter, PO Box 3064, Smithers, BC V0J 2N0 or the Smithers United Church, PO Box 725, Smithers, BC V0J 2N0.
R.A. Schrader Funeral Services