Cherished and much-loved daughter of the late Doreen (Wright) and Robert Montgomery, Karen Wright Montgomery-Jones was born on July 13, 1947 in Sault Ste. Marie. She grew into the beautiful and intelligent woman we all came to love. In her teens, Karen developed a passion for the performing arts which continued throughout her career in teaching and lifelong participation in supporting cultural themes in her beloved community. Karen was tremendously supportive of family and always could be counted on to help organize and participate in family events. Ever the adventurer, she learned to fish and hunt and travelled extensively, notably with the love of her life, Donald Jones, whom she married in 1979.
Family was extremely important to Karen. She loved and was loved by her sister and friend, Cheryl Montgomery, to whose sons, Jackson (Julie) and Brice (father Michael DeVoni) she was a second mother. She adored her great-nephews, James and Joseph. She was especially close to her paternal aunts, deceased – Ina (Eli) Fallu, Mabel (Burns) Beharriell and Ruth (Mansel) Currie as well as her late uncle, Stanley Montgomery. She will be missed by Trivers and Montgomery relatives in Kynoch, Parkinson and other areas. She enjoyed travelling to visit maternal relatives, including aunts, uncles and cousins in Northern Ireland, Wales and Canada and had hoped to soon visit with surviving aunt and uncle, Ann and John Wright, who reside in Toronto. Karen made family celebrations really special through her good taste, hard work and generosity. A gracious hostess, her sincere hospitality was also enjoyed by good friends. Her loyalty to those she loved remains remarkable and appreciated.
Karen was part of a loving extended family through Don. She cared deeply for her sisters and brothers-in-law and their families. These include John (Audrey) Jones, Elda (late George) Roberts, late Elgin (late Marilyn) Jones, late Velvie (Bud) Willis, late Bessie Ambeault (late Charles, late Rusty Gibbs, late Tom (Marg) Jones and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. As with her own family, she was an amazing and constant giver in thought and in deeds, generous with her time.
After attending elementary (Queen Elizabeth) and secondary (Sir James Dunn) schools, Karen completed one year of studies at Lake Superior State College and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Lakehead University and a Bachelor of Education Degree at the Faculty of Education, University of Toronto in 1970. She began her career at Thessalon High School, teaching HIstory and English, and continued teaching at Central Algoma Secondary School (CASS) in Desbarats, where she worked for the remainder of her career. She became qualified in various educational specializations and earned a Masters of Education Degree through the University of Western Ontario. Though qualified for principalship, she enjoyed classroom teaching and her role as Co-ordinator of the Language Arts and Creative Expression (LACE) at CASS. A compassionate leader, she was admired, respected and loved by virtually all students and staff, making lasting friendships.
Karen also had what one could term another career in community involvement. A selfless volunteer, she demonstrated her intelligence, organizational skills, diplomacy and dedication in numerous organizations including Westminster Presbyterian Church, the Ontario Finnish Rest Home Association (OFRA), the Sault Theatre Workshop, the Algoma Fall Festival, the Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre (KCTC) and the Sault Ste. Marie Oral History Project. As with her formal career, she developed friendships with many people with whom she worked.
Karen passed peacefully at the Sault Area Hospital on May 23, surrounded by loving family. An exceptional woman such as Karen is not common and we are glad that she was a part of our lives. She will forever remain in our hearts.
A gathering in Karen’s memory will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church (134 Brock Street) on Thursday, May 30 at 11:00 a.m.
Donations may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church or to The Ontario Finnish Resthome Association (OFRA).
Arrangements entrusted to Arthur Funeral Home – Barton & Kiteley Chapel (492 Wellington St. E. 705-759-2522).
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
By William Butler Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.