It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Karen has begun her journey into the spirit world. She passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends at the Health Sciences North Hospital in Sudbury, Ontario on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at the age of 61. Beloved wife, partner, best friend and soul mate to Vern Cheechoo and loving mother of Colin Cheechoo(Andrea), Amanda Huskins, and Kris Turner(Natasha). She was also a special grandmother (Kookum) to Anna, Nicholas, Keaston, Zayne, Skyla, Gage, Neela, Layla and Ishkotaow.
Karen grew up in Garden River First Nation Ontario. Her work brought her many places including Saskatoon and Prince Albert Saskatchewan, Cochrane, Timmins and Moose Factory, Ontario. Anyone who was blessed to know Karen knew that she was kind and compassionate. She had a warm smile for everyone and her laughter was contagious. Karen was a leader in both her community and her family. Throughout Karen’s professional career, no matter where she worked, she dedicated herself fully. She was an advocate who gave a voice to those who did not have one. Her service to her community and her selfless dedication to her job made her someone to admire. Karen loved music, singing and dancing. You would often see her on-stage with her husband Vern singing backup vocals, jamming with her close friends. Karen was part of the Otterhead Drum Group. Karen was an inspiration to all that crossed her path, and the impact of her passing has been felt by many.
She is survived by her brothers Doug (Wanda) Ron and Sean (Tracy) and sisters Bonnie, Marlene, Marie (Tony), and Sylvia. Sister-in-law to Roseanne, Barb (Lawrence), Thelma (Leslie), Linda and Marilyn.
Pre-deceased by her beloved daughter Jessica Carolyn Cheechoo, her parents Smitty and Lillian Pine of Garden River, Ontario, her father and mother in-law Sinclair & Janie Cheechoo of Moose Factory, Ontario, her brothers Vince (Jennifer) and Gerry and her brothers-in-law Arnold, Archie and Russell.
She will be fondly remembered by my many nieces and nephews and friends. She was also a very, very special friend of the Whiskeychan family.
A celebration of Karen’s life will take place on Thursday, February 7, 2019 beginning at 3:00 p.m. at the Garden River Community Center (6 Shingwauk St.) until time of service on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Lana Grawbarger officiating. Friends and family are invited to a feast at the Community Centre following the service.
In honor of her memory, donations can be made to the H.E.R Women’s Shelter in Timmins, Ontario. https://www.tawc.ca/project/h-e-r-place/?v=3e8d115eb4b3 (Arrangement entrusted to Arthur Funeral Home - Barton & Kiteley Chapel - 492 Wellington St. E. - 705-759-2522).