Cover photo for Karen Eleanor (Nee Smith) Jurek's Obituary
Karen Eleanor (Nee Smith) Jurek Profile Photo

Karen Eleanor (Nee Smith) Jurek

February 16, 1945 — January 1, 2023

February 16, 1945 – January 1, 2023

With sadness and much love, we announce the passing of Karen Jurek on Sunday January 1


, 2023 at the Dulcina Hospice in Calgary. Karen’s journey with cancer began in 2014, and with Alzheimer’s in 2019. In early December 2022, the burden of cancer in her body became too heavy, requiring hospitalization and then transfer to hospice care.

Karen will be deeply missed by her devoted husband Charles, married 55 years, her loving daughters Carolyn and Marla; siblings Marlene, Harley and Dennis; grandchildren Cooper, Fiona and Manus; ‘outlaws’ Vern, Lois, Don, and Jeff; her nieces and nephew; and all her friends.

Karen was born in Peterborough, ON and raised in Calgary, AB. She attended nursing college in Edmonton, where she met Charlie at a military ball in 1965.

Charlie and Karen moved every few years on military postings to various parts of Canada, also to Germany and the USA. Karen’s varied nursing career was shaped by the many locations she lived as an army wife, including a British Military Hospital, many private practices, and the Canadian Red Cross.

Karen and Charlie travelled Europe extensively during postings in Germany, including many camping trips with their young daughters. More recently they enjoyed travelling all over the world via cruise ships.

When they retired in 1987, Karen and Charlie built their own dream home from the ground up in Manotick, ON (near Ottawa). Karen learned new carpentry, plumbing and electrical skills – highly praised by building inspectors – and she greatly enjoyed the year they spent on this amazing project where they lived for the next 11 years.

Karen found her greatest joys in crafting and quilting. After moving to Cochrane, AB in 1998 her love of quilting grew to become a wonderful and consuming hobby. She was a championship quilter, and some of her award-winning quilts have travelled for display across Canada, the US, and even Japan. Karen also became a certified quilt judge, and she spent many years on the judging panel of the annual quilting competition at the famous Calgary Stampede and also CQA events.

On arrival at the Dulcina Hospice a few weeks ago, Karen was thrilled to see dozens of quilts hanging on the walls everywhere and you can imagine the excitement when she and her family discovered that several of the quilts were HERS (donated by Karen to the hospice many years ago).

A private memorial service was held January 6


to celebrate Karen, and her family will honour her this spring and summer by scattering her ashes in the gardens of her daughters in Alberta and Ontario. A photo collection of favourite memories is available online:


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Cochrane Country Funeral Home –

Arrangements entrusted to Emily Champ, Funeral Director To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Karen Eleanor (Nee Smith) Jurek, please visit our flower store.


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