Karen Larsen, RPR
The court reporting community has lost a friend, mentor, and a tireless champion for our profession. Karen Louise Larsen, RPR, passed away November 19, 2011, at the age of 74.A warm and gentle soul, Karen will be sorely missed not only for her contributions to the profession, but for her kind and giving nature.
Karen was born January 27, 1937, in Palmer, Alaska.After graduating from Anchorage High School in 1955, Karen attended the University of Washington "on and off," as she put it, from 1955 through 1962.Karen then went on to the fabled Auerswald's Business School from 1971-73, where she began her journey toward becoming a court reporter.She finished up at the Northwest Institute of Stenographic Arts in October of 1973.
Karen began her career in October of 1973 with Donna Davis & Associates. She went on to form her own freelance agency, Larsen & Smith, Inc., with her dear friend, Sharon Smith.The firm grew to approximately 10 reporters; in June of 1996, Seattle Deposition Reporters and Larsen & Smith joined forces and enjoyed a remarkable merger of talent that continues to this very day.
Not one to sit around and let someone else steer the boat, Karen joined and volunteered for NCRA in 1974, the WCRA in 1976, the Freelance Shorthand Reporters of Washington in 1977, and STAR in 1983.She spent countless hours in service to these various organizations up to her very last days.Just last September, Karen presented an ethics class to WCRA members at the Spokane convention.In 1993, WCRA presented Karen with its Distinguished Service Award.Still full of vim and vigor, Karen was the 1998 spring seminar chair, and the chair for the court reporters task force regarding contracting.
If you thought Karen only spent her time on WCRA matters, you would be amazed at the amount of work Karen did for NCRA.She was the local convention chairwoman,a NCSA delegate and officer, Nominations committee member, COPEcommittee member and chair. She was an NCRA director from 1995-98 and worked with CASE from 1997-2000.
Along the way, Karen wrote several articles for our profession's magazine, the Journal of Court Reporting.She also wrote numerous articles for WCRA.Karen participated in many presentations to court reporting classes and to the University ofWashington Law School, and she presented CLE classes on how lawyers can best work with court reporters and the use of realtime.
Believe it or not, while undertaking all of the above, she actually spent a lot of time on many hobbies.Karen was an accomplished pianist, and loved the symphony and ballet.She was a voracious recipe hoarder and also loved to knit.Her greatest joy, of course, was her family, son Hans and his wife, Sara, and their daughters Jordan (7) and Megan (4), and son Mark and his wife, Karen, and their daughters, Caitlin (23), and Sarah (21).Karen's sons built a stream and pond in her beloved garden, and just two weeks ago, her new deck was completed.Karen's family feels comforted by the fact that she passed away surrounded by all of the beauty of her Brier home and garden.
Karen's passing will also leave a great void with her Seattle Deposition Reporters family.Her warmth, humor, and passion for her profession will be greatly missed.