By HDN Editorial Board
Karen Paronto passed away at home Wednesday. Karen, like too many others, lost a battle with cancer. We at the newspaper join her family and countless friends mourning her passing. Karen the sister, daughter, and friend will be missed and remembered fondly. Our community will miss and remember Karen in as many ways as the people she touched.
Karen, the loyal employee who retired from Buttery's after 25 years. The entrepreneur who had the courage to follow her dream and start a small business in an economic climate that presented many challenges. We admired her store, Northern Casuals, and Karen's customer-oriented approach to the business, and the leadership role she took in the Downtown Merchants Association.
Karen Paronto the citizen, who cared about Havre and could be counted on to take an active part in issues relating to our city. Karen sought what was best for the community, and attended a wide array of meetings and forums to learn about issues and offer her insight and common sense advice.
Karen Paronto the volunteer who, despite the many hours necessary to run a small business, did more than her share. Karen served on the United Way board and was instrumental in establishing the American Cancer Society Havre Relay for Life. Those at last year's Relay for Life won't forget Karen fighting the wind until 2 in the morning to light luminaries, after everyone else had given up. The luminaries honored those battling cancer and paid tribute to those who succumbed to the disease.
On July 13 the Havre Relay for Life will raise money for research to eradicate cancer, and will honor those fighting and remember the ones who have lost their battle to cancer. Each year too many good people like Karen Paronto are added to both lists.