Karen Jean Marjala (Zimm), 85, passed away peacefully on April 19, 2023.
A proud, life-long resident of Duluth, Karen was born March 27, 1938, to Lilly and Julius Zimm. Karen grew up in the Lakeside neighborhood, graduated from Duluth Central High School in 1957, and went right on to nursing school. Karen was a “miracle baby” who spent the first two months of her life at St. Luke’s Hospital after being born prematurely at 2 lb., 12 oz. As an adult she then spent her 40-year nursing career in the exact same hospital taking care of other people. After retirement, Karen continued caring for family members for the rest of her life. She would always say, “nurses never die, they just lose their patients!” Since, 1958 Karen was also a member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority.
Karen met Marcus Leroy Marjala (Mark) in 1961. They married in 1969 and were “til death do us part” together until he passed in 2019. They had one son, Marcus Lee Marjala (also Mark) who they raised in the Duluth neighborhood of Congdon Park.
Karen was a loving wife and an amazing, proud mother. She was also very devoted to her two sisters, traveling frequently to see them for one local adventure or another. She loved spending time with family and friends at the cabin on Pequaywan Lake. Shopping was a favorite pastime for Karen, and she was known for going a little overboard to make sure she bought something for all the people in her life. Karen was also curious about whatever was the “latest and greatest” including the latest diet, the latest health fad, and the latest dish to cook; she was always willing to try something new. She had a great sense of humor, a hearty laugh, and could always tell the best stories.
Preceded in death by her husband Mark and parents Lilly and Julius, Karen is survived by her son Mark of Minneapolis, MN; sisters Jan (Dennis) Lehman of Marine on St Croix, MN, and Joan (Bill) Vann of Venice, FL; many nieces and nephews; and her son Mark’s life-long friends, who she always considered part of her family.
The family would like to especially thank the team at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, who have provided exceptional care and have been wonderful to Karen and her family.
Visitation will be at 10:00 a.m. on May 6, 2023, at The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 1325 N 45th Ave. E, Duluth, MN. Funeral services will begin at 11:00 a.m. with interment at Forest Hill Cemetery. A luncheon reception will be held at Northland Country Club immediately following the services. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 600 E. 2nd St. Duluth, MN 55805. 218-727-3555.