Karen Harwood

Karen Lee Harwood

1935 - 2023

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Obituary of Karen Lee Harwood


Obituary of Karen Lee Harwood

January 13, 1935 – December 23, 2023

Life is like reading a good book. Karen Lee Harwood’s life began January 13, 1935, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She grew up in the Highland area of St. Paul and Edina with her father, Chester Harwood and mother, Dorothy (nee Marshall). She began her stellar academic career when she graduated from Derham Hall High School in 1953. She earned a B.A. degree from the College of St. Catherine (now University) with a major in history in 1957 and a M.A. degree in Library Science from the University of Minnesota in 1958. Her first library job was as a cataloger for the University of Minnesota, and she worked with the United States Special Services in Germany in 1961. Later positions included: Assistant Supervisor of School Libraries for the Minnesota Department of Education; Senior High School Librarian in Brainerd, Minnesota; Faculty member of the College of St. Catherine’s Library Science Department; and Faculty member and Head of the Department of Technical Services in the St. Catherine University Libraries and Media Services. She retired in May 2008 and awarded Professor Emerita rank by the University. During these busy and rewarding years, Karen was an intrepid traveler with a love of road trips that took her from coast to coast throughout the United States and Canada. She pursued course programs with Elderhostel, now the Road Scholar program. Archival research was a true labor of love for Karen and after retiring, she volunteered for the Sisters of St. Joseph Archives, the Carondelet Village Library, and in a small bookshop, Corner Books, using her talents to research books for sale and providing proofreading and editorial assistance. The shop dog, Tessie, loved to see Karen coming as she always brought treats. Karen was a good conversationalist and a good listener. She had a particular aura of peace and calm felt by all who knew her and there was more to her than work or academics. As an only child, she was a devoted daughter to her parents. She loved animals, especially dogs, cats, horses and owls, and like many librarians, she was an avid reader of mysteries. Karen died on December 23, 2023, after a short illness. Her legacy will continue with her wide circle of friends, co-workers, and former students, who remember her as a kind friend and a dedicated co-worker with a keen intellect and love of research. She will be missed by all.

A Memorial Service will be held at Carondelet Village on January 31, 2024, at 2 pm. (Carondelet Village, 525 Fairview Ave. S., St. Paul, MN 55116.)



A Memorial Tree was planted for Karen
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society of Minnesota