Karen Sell passed away on April 7, 2021, at the age of 79 in Poulsbo, WA. She was born on February 5, 1942, in Tacoma, WA to Lloyd and Irma Sell. When Karen was 12 she began to play the viola in the school orchestra and would carry it with her to school each day. Later she was invited to play in the Tacoma Symphony, where she played until she was 27. Karen began volunteering at the Titlow Beach Pool when she was 14. She couldn’t be hired until she was 16, so she volunteered until then, teaching water ballet and swimming lessons for deaf and blind children.
Karen graduated from Wilson High School in 1960 and from the University of Puget Sound with a Bachelor’s degree in Education in 1964. Most of her career was spent at North Kitsap High School teaching Special Education. She had a great passion for education and passed a love of learning on to her students. Many former students and coworkers remained close friends with Karen throughout retirement, and she was often asked to return to substitute in the classroom. Karen was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She highly regarded Native American tribes in Washington State and formed close relationships with many members.
Some of Karen’s favorite memories included traveling with friends and family. Her travels took her to places such as Costa Rica, Guatemala, Tanzania, and Kenya where she made lifelong friends with those she met. Throughout her life Karen enjoyed raising all kinds of animals. She owned dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, peacocks, birds, sheep, goats, turtles, fish, and several others. Karen spent many hours in her yard gardening and planting flowers. She also enjoyed making crafts such as wreaths, floral arrangements, and jewelry.
Her final years of life were spent at Liberty Shores in Poulsbo, where she enjoyed playing games and participating in activities with friends. Karen is survived by her daughters Julie (Tom) Veatch White, Mindy (Rich) Veatch Mark, and Lisa (Richard) Hambly Kirkpatrick, along with 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She is preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Kathy Bafetti.
A celebration of life will be planned at a later date this summer.