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Karen Christensen

11/09/1947 - 07/07/2021
Service Date: 07/13/2021
Service Time: 11 AM
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Mesa 25th Ward, 848 N. Westwood, Mesa, AZ 85201
Visitation Date: 07/12/2021
Visitation Time: 5-7 PM
Visitation Location: Bunker's Garden Chapel, 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, Arizona

Karen Christensen passed away Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at the age of 73, in Mesa, Arizona. She was born November 9, 1947, to Grant and Aenone (Woolf) Christensen in Provo, Utah. Without the conveniences of modern  day technology, her birth took everyone by surprise because she was the second of unexpected twins. She was born 14 minutes after her older sister Kathryn (Kathy). Kathy would become her closest friend, and they were devoted sisters to one another her entire life. Soon after her birth, Karen, her two sisters, and mother moved to San Francisco, CA, to join her father who was beginning Dental School. After her father completed dental school, the family spent one snowy year back in Provo, UT, before she would arrive with her family on January 1, 1953, to the city she’d call home the remainder of her life – Mesa, AZ.

In Mesa, she graduated with Westwood High School’s inaugural class of 1965. Shortly thereafter, she left home to attend Brigham Young University where she graduated in May of 1969, with her degree in Elementary Education. Education was a guiding value within the Christensen home, and she would continue on to receive a Masters Degree in Education from Arizona State University and another in Library Science from Brigham Young University. Karen loved to learn and help others learn. She was a devoted educator spending more than 3 decades in the classroom or as a librarian.  Her career began at Hawthorne Elementary, however, most of her years were spent at Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary in Mesa, AZ, teaching many of the same children that lived in her neighborhood. Education also served as a blessing in Karen’s life because of the many friendships that were forged with teachers and parents.

Karen was a devoted daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. Karen was a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ who believed that serving others was to serve the Lord. She lived to serve those around her. She would take one of her nephews to and from work during his high school years. She took her nieces and nephews to dinner, ice cream, and often bought or sent them gifts. She provided rides to neighbors without transportation to doctor appointments. She loved to laugh with her friends and attend cultural events with them such as concerts and plays. Her most notable service in life, however, was to her beloved parents. After her mother broke her hip in May 2003, she would retire and almost never leave their side unless it was to sleep or run an errand – usually for them. She lived to take her mother wherever she wanted or needed to go such as countless hair appointments, mani-pedis, to get frozen custard, or go see their dear husband/father. Often while her parents were in assisted living, she would drop off treats for the entire assisted living home. At her mother’s assisted living home, she would deliver dinner for the entire home every Thursday to help the caretakers. After her mother passed away, she and her twin Kathy turned their attention to taking care of each other, and together they have served the people of their neighborhood and LDS ward.

Karen is survived by her sisters Kathy Christensen, Janice (Larry) Metcalf, Marilyn (Dennis) Ellsworth, 13 nieces and nephews, and 52 great nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sister Berit (Frank) Purcell. There will be a viewing Monday evening, July 12th from 5-7 at Bunker Family Funerals, 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa. Services will be Tuesday, July 13th at the Mesa 25th Ward, 848 N. Westwood, 11:00 a.m., with a viewing from 10:00 – 10:45. Bunker Family Funerals is handling arrangements.



  • I had the privilege of knowing and working with Karen for many years. She was always so much fun to be around. She enjoyed being with and serving others. I know she is happy to be reunited with her beloved parents.

  • Kaye Andersen

    The more I got to know Karen, the more I loved her and appreciated her Heavenly goodness. She showed and lived such a selfless life which I personally witnessed so many times, but none stood out to me more than the caring she did for her Mom and Dad. My mother lived in the same beautiful caring home as her Father, and often I would see her there visiting her Dad and picking him up to take him places. I knew first hand at the time how hard that time of your life is when you see your loving parents become as children, needing so much help. Karen took care of her parents with such grace, respect and love that only a child has for two people who were her everything. I watched her example and tried to follow her Christlike ways. She will be so missed, but her example of service will never be forgotten.

  • Shirley Binns

    To my friend Kathy . . . . .I am so very very sorry. Praying for your comfort in this time of sorrow. Shirley

  • Jed & Nedra Shumway

    We were very sorry to learn of Karen’s passing. She was always so kind and helpful. A special Angel.

  • Growing up together in 14th ward and in school from Alma, Emerson, West Junior to Westwood, Karen was always sweet and kind. That special spirit has continued and will grow in heaven as she progresses forward. My best to Kathy and their family.

  • im so sorry to hear about our beoved sister she will be missed we love you nancy white

  • Stephen and Carolei Phelps

    I did not know Karen personally, but I knew her parents, Grant and Aenone… so I can say with certainty that Karen “came from good stock.” If Karen was anything like her parents (and she obviously was, as I read her obituary and the other tributes), she was a jewel ! My love to her sisters, nieces and nephews!

  • Sheryl Allred

    Karen was a dear friend many years ago as we served in the 14th Ward. I knew her as the school librarian as well. I knew her to be so kind to myself, never spoke an unkind word of others. I was so happy to read of the service she provided to those at her parents care facility. I can see her doing that. I know she loved her mom and dad dearly as she loved her twin sister, Kathy. I will always remember you with love Karen, a bright star.

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