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Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 13:58:47 :

Marin Independent Journal
Sunday, February 17, 2002

Karen Eileen Malone

Memorial Services are pending for Gualala resident Karen Eileen Malone, 49, who died February 11, 2002 in Santa Rosa after a long battle with liver disease.

Karen was born in San Francisco on December 13, 1952 to John and Joan Malone. Karen spent her childhood in the Strawberry Point area of Mill Valley, attending local schools and exploring the then untouched hills. After one year in Hawaii, her family returned to Marin County where they lived in San Rafael and San Anselmo before settling in Kent Woodlands.

She was a 1971 graduate of Sir Francis Drake High School. She excelled in athletics, especially tennis and track, breaking many Marin County Athletic League records. She was also a gifted figure skater, appearing in several amateur ice shows at the old Raydines Ice Arena in San Anselmo. She was a member of the Rafael Racquet Club, where she faced many of the top-ranked female players of the era. She was an accomplished skier and sailor, spending many happy days sailing the Bay on her family's sailboat. As a dedicated environmentalist, she was one of the first to answer the call for help during the devastating San Francisco Bay oil spill of 1971.

After high school she entered the College of Marin where she majored in art, with a minor in psychology. She often made jewelry and sketches, which she passed on to her many friends. During and after college, Karen played women's amateur softball for several Marin teams, one of which won the state championship. On whatever team she played, Karen was always named the MVP.

During her time in Marin, Karen held several jobs, including one at the San Francisco Chronicle printing plant. She also worked at the Marin Tennis Club, and for E.J. Walters Insurance Company.

In 1993, Karen moved to Gualala in Mendocino County, where she went to work for the Independent Coast Observer. Until her liver disease forced her to retire, Karen was second in command in the ICO print shop, printing the paper as well as other printing jobs and darkroom work.

She loved hiking along the Gualala River, almost always taking a trash bag so she could pick up liter and keep "her" river pristine. She also enjoyed watching the sunset from the bluff next to Surf Super and attending exhibits as Gualala Arts.

Karen recently attended the 30th reunion of the Drake Class of '71. A loyal friend, she made it a point to keep in touch with her classmates over the years. Always sending them cards on birthdays and other occasions.

Karen is survived by her mother, Joan, and her husband, Doug Kramm of Novato; her brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Pam Malone of San Rafael, niece and nephew, Laura and Dan Malone; Uncle and his wife, John and Vickie Baumann of San Francisco; companion Debbie Mason of Gualala; and lifelong best friend Lisa Walters of Gualala. It was Karen's wish that her ashes be scattered in a special place. Donations in her memory may be made to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, 1165 Montgomery Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95402. The personnel of this hospital were unbelievably kind and helpful to Karen, her mother, and her immediate family. Arrangements by Adobe Creek Funderal Home Petaluma, California

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