Karen Tomsky

Karen Tomsky

Karen Tomsky, age 68, died peacefully on April 1, 2014, with her loving family at her side. She fought a courageous and determined eight-month battle against cancer with all the grace, dignity, patience, and selflessness that helped define her life. Her love for her family was boundless and unconditional, and she was a fierce advocate for her children. She was a cherished wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She was preceded in death by her mother, Jeanette Swenson, and father, Clifford Swenson.
Karen was born in Minneapolis on Valentines Day, 1946, grew up in Elk River, MN, and graduated from St. Cloud State College in 1968, beginning a teaching career that spanned parts of six decades. She appeared in Whos Who Among Americas Teachers and was a favorite among her many students at North Elementary in Princeton. She was known and respected for her compassion, sense of humor, integrity, her patience and wisdom, her ability to love and embrace all her students, particularly those with special needs, and her special gift of getting along with everybody. She was a loyal and trusted friend and colleague who spoke ill of no one.
Karen was a founding member of Princetons Friends of the Library and also of the Princeton Area Library Society, or PALS, a small group of tenacious and dedicated members of the community who tirelessly spent nine years raising $1.2 million dollars to build the new library in 1995.
After retiring in 2006, Karen spent the next seven years, until 2013, subbing and called herself YFNST: Your Friendly Neighborhood Substitute Teacher. She loved to explore, and she and Jim travelled to China and twice to Europe with good friends Mark and Susan Larson. She also loved spending time at the small cabin at Crosslake, enjoyed gardening, hiking the trails on her beloved 30 acres, taking long drives in the country and exploring new roads, always wanting to go over the next hill to see what was there, much to the consternation of her husband. She was known to be an avid sweepstakes devotee on the internet, and wound up winning many prizes, money, and trips, which constantly mystified and impressed her friends.
Karen is, and will be, profoundly missed by Jim, her loving husband of 46 years, their sons Aaron and fiance Allison Olson, Nick (Ashley), grandchildren Aubri and Jaelynn, sister Judy Derr (Mike) and niece Pam of Phoenix, and many loving friends, relatives, and colleagues. For those wishing to donate to a scholarship endowment set up in Karens name, memorial checks may be written to PSF in memory of Karen and sent to Princeton Scholarship Foundation, Box 462, Princeton, MN 55371. According to Karens wishes, a celebration of friendship will be held in June. Details to follow.

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