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Obituary - Karen Colleen Scalese Sloan


November 29, 2017

Courtesy photo

Karen Sloan

Karen Colleen Scalese Sloan was born Dec. 19, 1941, in Chester, MT. She was the eldest of three children born to Hales Scalese and Ambjorg Jeppesen Scalese. She grew up on the family ranch in the Sweetgrass Hills and graduated from Oilmont High School in 1959.

Karen attended nurses training through Montana State College in Havre and Great Falls and became a registered nurse. She worked in Chester for several years before moving to Hawaii to work at the Queen's Hospital in Honolulu. During her 18 months in Hawaii she cared for Billy Graham, Richard Boone, and Dr. Sigmund Rhee, the first president of South Korea. She came home to Chester and met her husband, Duaine R. Sloan.

Karen and Dewey were married June 30, 1968, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lothair. The couple moved to Havre, and she vowed to move back to Chester as soon as possible, but ended up making Havre her beloved community for over 45 years.

Karen worked in Havre as the obstetrics supervisor and was proudly present at the birth of many Hi-Line babies in the 1960s and '70s. She helped usher in the new age of letting fathers in the delivery room and helped raise money to build the current Northern Montana Hospital. She was the Nurses Association's first "Nurse of the Year" in 1972, and briefly served as Director of Nursing. In 1980, she made a career change and went to work at Hill County Family Planning and fought to provide access to women's and reproductive health on the Hi-Line for 28 more years. With the love and support of her parents and husband, she traveled to Milwaukee, WI, to become a Nurse Practitioner in 1988. She reluctantly retired in 2008. She cared for so many women and men over the years, and saved lives and helped so many people.

Karen and Dewey enjoyed bowling and pinochle club together. They enjoyed visiting with everyone and dancing. She said Duaine made all her dreams come true including their beautiful home in Havre full of love and joy and treasured belongings.

Karen loved being a mom to Michael and K'Lynn and participated in and supported their many school activities like Boy Scouts, football, theater, confirmation, speech, music and Key Club. Although she "thought she was going to die of old age before she became a grandma" she had five blessed years being a grandma to William and then Katherine, three years later. According to William, grandma made "the best pancakes in the universe."

She had a remarkable faith and was a member of First Lutheran Church. She was especially honored to serve as their council president. She joyfully taught Sunday school and confirmation to many, and was so happy to share her faith with everyone in her daily life. She was also proud of her work on the Mosquito Control Board, United Way and the Governor's Priorities for People Council and with the Democratic Party, running for Legislature in 2012. In recent years, she enjoyed politics even more and was an active and engaged citizen in Montana and Havre, and enjoyed giving all of herself to her community.

Karen's health had been declining over the past few years, and she was angry to find out she had ovarian cancer in August. She spent the next two-and-a-half months receiving treatment in Helena surrounded by her children and grandchildren. She died early Sunday morning, after spending a special weekend surrounded by her family, friends and godchildren, and reaching out to many she loved to let us know that she found peace and was excited to meet up with Dewey in heaven. She was 75 years old.

Karen was a unique and special lady whose life mission was to care for others. She did everything she could for everyone she could help, guide, counsel, assist, listen and love, sometimes to her own detriment. She enjoyed her friends and coffee and Bible study groups and was most happy when she was visiting with others. The world was blessed to have this woman in it.

She is survived by her father, Hales A. Scalese of Galata; her son, Michael H. Sloan of Havre; daughter, K'Lynn Sloan and Zach Harris of Helena; grandchildren, William and Katherine Harris; brothers Harold "Sonny" and Karen Scalese of Sunburst, and Steven Scalese and Diane Claxton of Chester; special in-laws Curtis and Mary Sloan of Great Falls and Thomas Ward of Raleigh, NC .; nephews Duaine Sloan and Harlan Sloan of Missoula, and Larry Scalese and Beth Heron of Sunburst; niece Linda and Rod Keller of Great Falls; great-nephews Jordan (Chelsea) Keller and Cody (Kelsey) Keller, Tyler (Jane) Scalese of CO, Allison Scalese and Montana Heron; and  great-great-nephews, Trevon, Kaiden, Dylan, Ryker, Brayden and baby boy Keller arriving in 2018; cousins Pam Seidlitz and Ken Jeppesen of Great Falls and Connie (Ted) Mathis of Belgrade; and cousins Shirley, Dorothy Rennick, Rita Ward, John Ward, Margo Hendrix, Caroline Forseth, Kathy Hammer, Pete Ward, Judy Deaver, Marge Schwede, Joy Mariska and Jeanne Larson. She was the proud godmother to Linda Keller, David McGuire, Collin Anderson, Stefanie Wanken, Lynette Stortz and baby boy Stratton, and numerous other cousins and friends, everyone was like family around Karen.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Duaine; mother Amby Scalese; sister-in-law Linda Ward, and by several cousins including Wallace Meissner and Karen Forseth.

A viewing will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, at Holland & Bonine Funeral Chapel. Her funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. second at First Lutheran Church in Havre. Her burial will be held at the Chester Cemetery at 2:45 p.m.

Memorials in Karen's honor may be made to the First Lutheran Church in Havre or Planned Parenthood of Montana. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.

Please visit Karen's online memorial and leave a message of condolence for her family at http://www.hollandbonine.com.


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