The Karen E. Richards Memorial Scholarship was created to honor her contribution as an occupational therapist for the Snohomish School District where she worked with students with special needs. The intent is to financially support students who are interested in pursuing a career in occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT) or nursing with a preference for occupational therapy or physical therapy.
Karen graduated from Michigan State University in 1971 where she was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and majored in psychology. She worked in human resources for Allstate Insurance Company for a number of years in California. In 1982, she moved to Snohomish where she lived for 34 years. After moving to Snohomish, she decided to pursue a degree in occupational therapy at the University of Washington. Upon graduation, she worked as an occupational therapist in the Snohomish School District for 10 years and then 3 other school districts over the next 5 years completing a 15 year career before she retired in 2010. She was a dedicated professional serving the students with special needs and always put their needs first.
She was a dedicated mother and an active volunteer in the Snohomish Community. Her volunteer commitments included work in her children’s classrooms, teaching Sunday School and working at the Snohomish Community Kitchen. She was also a member of the Busy Bee Quilt Guild and a member of the Project Linus organization which made quilts for children. She felt that one should try to give back to the communities in which they live and she did that with her own time and commitments. She lived her life as a reflection of her values and the things that were important to her even as she endured a 19 month struggle with ovarian cancer.
She would be proud to know that students were following in her foot steps and pursuing a career in occupational therapy, physical therapy or nursing. The scholarship created to honor her contribution to the Snohomish School District will provide financial support to a selected student as they begin their college career.