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WARD, KAREN (NEE PYRCZ)

January 18, 1950 – February 12, 2014

Karen’s lively voice, colorful smile and generosity of spirit will be cherished and remembered forever by her family. She passed away relatively suddenly from complications in connection with her treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Karen was born and raised in Edmonton. Upon graduation from the University of Alberta with a B.A. in Recreation Administration, she attended the University of Oregon where she obtained her post graduate degree. After a brief teaching stint at the University of Alberta, Karen moved to Calgary in 1975 to commence a 32 year career working in various management positions with the City of Calgary. Upon her retirement from the City, Karen became a travel consultant which permitted a perfect melding of her love of travel, working with people and her entrepreneurial spirit.

Karen always nurtured warm and loving relationships with her family and numerous life-long friends. She was the maypole around which both the Ward and Pyrcz families revolved. She will be forever missed by John, her husband of 37 years; her mother, Elsie Pyrcz; her brother, Orville Pyrcz (Caenie) and John’s brothers, Jim (Lynda), Barry (Nicky) and Roland (Frances) and her nephews and nieces, Kia Pyrcz (Glen Hawkins), Shanne (Jeff) Thomson, Dave (Andrea) Ward, Amanda (Jonny) Hehr, Raleigh (Grant) Thomas, Daniel Ward (Sara Howie), and Amy Ward (Ken Mercredi), as well as eight great nephews and nieces, all of whom Karen loved as if they were her own.

A special thank you is extended to all the doctors, nurses, and staff members at the Intensive Care Unit of the Foothills Hospital for their professional, compassionate and valiant efforts to save Karen’s life.

Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on February 19, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. Those who wish to make a donation in honour of Karen are asked to contribute to the Alberta Cancer Foundation, Provincial Office, Sun Life Place, 710, 10123 – 99th Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 3H1 Telephone: 1(866) 412-4222.

In living memory of Karen Ward, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Mike & Deb Gavan :

    Dear John & Family
    The sunlight in this world has become dimmer as a result of Karen leaving us so early. She was a dear friend and colleague to both of us. We are going to miss her greatly. We are currently in Phoenix AZ, but we will do our best to arrive in time to say good bye on Feb 19.
    Love, Mike & Deb Gavan

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  2. Dear John & Family, I was in shock when Jan Poon told me about Karen and your other family members. My heart goes out to all of you. Karen, was an amazing woman and will be missed but never forgotten by many. *Hugs to all* Sincerely, Angela Welsh (TPI).

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  3. Carolyn O'Reilly :

    Karen was one of the friendly faces when I started my travel career with TPI. She was quick to offer any assistance to me and offer any knowledge she had. Whenever we saw each other she was always welcoming and happy to see you, interested in whatever you were doing. I will miss her smiling face. My heartfelt condolences to her family.

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  4. Nersi Naghshineh :

    Hi John,
    I can’t imagine the sadness you must be feeling from your loss, please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your loved one.
    Regards, Nersi

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  5. John;
    On behalf of the Piping Group and Engineering Managment here at AMEC, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to you and your family on the tragic loss of your wife. You have our utmost sympathy as well as our support and prayers. May you find strength to sustain you in this time of grief and loss.

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  6. John:
    I want to wish you my sincere condolence on the loss of your lovely wife Karen. I had heard she was enduring a battle with cancer and my thoughts were with you both recently. There may only be few words that will help you with how you are feeling at this time. As a friend who understands feel free to contact me any time.

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  7. Terry Kruger and Paige Milner :

    We are so sad to hear of Karen’s passing. Working with Karen at the City was a great experience. She always made things happen and we all counted on her expertise and dedication to excellence. When she retired, we were so happy to hear she ran a thriving travel business. Most of all we will miss her wonderful warm friendship and our hearts ache for your loss John and all the family.
    Love Terry and Paige

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  8. My sincere sympathies to John and the family on your devastating loss. I have known Karen for many years through our mutual friend Dodi. Her cheerful smile and caring ways were awesome to all.

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  9. Bob and Elaine Mjolsness :

    John, there are no words to express our shock and sadness at the news of Karen’s passing. She was such a fun, upbeat person with a great sense of humour and infectious laugh. If not for Marty and the golf trips, we may never have had the pleasure to meet you both. Yes she loved her wine, but she loved to go shopping equally as well and to show us the bargains she had found. We have great memories of spending time with both of you in Temecula. What fun we had. Karen will be sadly missed by many. As you know we cannot be there next week but will be thinking of you John and the family. Sending hugs your way. Keep in touch. Bob and Elaine

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  10. Dear John and family
    Words are so inadequate at a time like this as we are reminded so often that Life & Health is so precious and never taken for granted. I will dearly miss Karen at our meetings and travel presentations. She was always a pleasure to be with and loved by all. John, may the comfort of friends and family be your strength now and in the days ahead. Please count on me if you need my help at TPI.

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  11. Langis Sharon & Sebastian Bernier :

    Dear John,

    We’re so so sorry about the passing of Karen. We, like others, were shocked to hear about her illness. We want you to know that we loved her friendly, down to earth and genuine personalit y- not to forget her great sense of humor. We, like so many friends and family, will miss her dearly. Take good care of yourself in these difficult times.
    Sincerely with love, Sharon, Langis & Sebastian Bernier.

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  12. I knew Karen from junior high school at MacDougall Jr High through high school at Victoria Composite.
    I was Karens’ escort to our Junior High Grad at MacDougall.
    I will remember her as a fun loving, gentle person.
    My condolences to her family and friends.
    Gary Harrison

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  13. I worked with Karen during the inception of 3-1-1. She was lovely person to know and work with. My condolences to you and your family.

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  14. I’m so sorry to hear of Karen’s passing. She was a lovely lady, always lively, and fun to be with. I only knew her a short time through TPI, but I will always remember how kind she was to me and others. I know you will keep many happy memories of her in your hearts.

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  15. I knew Karen through work and met her at a couple of TPI events/conferences.
    I found Karen a very warm and genuine woman, always with a positive word and great sense of humour.
    She will be missed by her colleagues and my thoughts and prayers go to you at this very difficult time.
    Yours,
    Kirsten Oakes (TPI Consultant, Vancouver BC)

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  16. Barbara Tompkins :

    To John, Pyrcz & Ward family,
    I was shaken to hear of Karens illness and sudden passing.I send you my deepest condolences to you and her many friends in this sad time.I will remember the times at University-studying and socializing- the kick line we did for engineering week.Karen was a great athlete and games player and her energy and zest in developing recreation and leisure opportunities are part of her legacy for the next generation.She was the ultimate hostess-getting food and spirits ready for the crowds.We know she has lived a very full life, work, play and travel with family friends.Tho unable to be there in person I will be in mind as you celebrate her life.

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  17. Karen was part of our initial project team to set up Calgary’s 3-1-1 centre. She was such a pleasure to work with – meticulous and thorough, and could always see the bright side of any situation (gotta love those Reccies!). Will miss her laugh, her professionalism, her bright red lipstick and her passion for people. Deepest condolences to the Ward and Pyrcz families.
    Noreen Rude (Customer Service & Communications, The City of Calgary)

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  18. I am so sorry to hear of Karen’s passing. I worked with her in the early days of developing 311 in Calgary. I loved her drive and determination. She always had such passion for everything she worked on. And when we weren’t busy with work stuff, she was providing great travel tips, or swapping delicious recipes (I still rave about her Baked Chicken dish that I make often)!
    She’ll be missed but won’t be forgotten.
    Lana

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  19. John

    We were shocked and saddened to read of Karen’s sudden passing. Please accept our sincerest condolences and know that our thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

    Bill and Robin Phillips

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  20. Glenna Bara (Sharko) :

    John & Pyrcz family

    We were saddened and shocked to hear about Karen`s illness and sudden passing. We will always remember her smile and kindness. I will always remember her phone call after the loss of my Dad, genuine and caring. She will be missed. Our sincere condolences to you and your family, Aunt Elsie and Orville and family.

    Brian and Glenna Bara
    Murray Sharko

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