Family plan to hold a memorial service for Karen Kuznek-Reese, 60, from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, at the John Wayne Marina. The City of Sequim hosts a gallery dedication in her honor at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, in the Sequim Civic Center, too. Photo courtesy of City of Sequim

Family plan to hold a memorial service for Karen Kuznek-Reese, 60, from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, at the John Wayne Marina. The City of Sequim hosts a gallery dedication in her honor at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, in the Sequim Civic Center, too. Photo courtesy of City of Sequim

Former city clerk dies at 60 from breast cancer

Memorial service set for Dec. 1, gallery dedication Dec. 6

Long time Sequim city clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese, 60, died peacefully on Nov. 14, a few weeks after being honored for her service.

Robb Reese, Karen’s husband, said she was home with family after recently returning from the University of Washington for treatment through the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for complications with Metastatic breast cancer.

Assistant City Manager Charisse Deschenes said on Nov. 18 that Kuznek-Reese had “a unique ability to connect with everyone.”

“She was the heart of the organization,” Deschenes said.

“She had a positive attitude and took time to talk to everyone. She genuinely cared about people.”

Kuznek-Reese served as Sequim city clerk from May 6, 1998 to Sept. 3, 2019.

Sequim city councilors agreed to rename the Sequim Civic Center entrance/gallery the Karen Kuznek-Reese Gallery on Oct. 28 for her contributions to the city and Sequim’s art community.

Memorial/dedication

A memorial service for Kuznek-Reese goes 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, at the John Wayne Marina, 2577 W. Sequim Bay Road.

Reese said he and Karen married there 15 years ago.

In lieu of flowers, family asks donations be made in her name to the Sequim Boys & Girls Club, and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

City staff and members of the City Arts Advisory Commission host a dedication and ribbon cutting in the Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St., to honor the new name of the gallery after Kuznek-Reese.

The ceremony begins at 5:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, followed by a lighting of the city’s tree at 6 p.m.

More on Karen

Family say Kuznek-Reese was born in Tacoma and raised in Port Orchard before relocating to Sequim with her daughter Alicia in 1988. Ten years later, she was chosen to work with the city.

In her career, she helped pioneer the City Arts Advisory Commission, coordinate Music in the Park and Sequim’s Centennial Celebration, coordinate city council meetings, manage records, lead the volunteer program and much more.

Friends say she was incredibly friendly and loved all kinds of art, and family said she loved to travel, garden, make jewelry, and cook.

“She leaves a big hole in the heart of the city,” Deschenes said.

Kuznek-Reese is survived by her husband Robb Reese, mother Helen Kuznek, brother Martin Kuznek, sister-in-law Terri Peterson, daughter Alicia Neal, step-children Dustin and (Siobhan) Reese, Derek and (Lindsay) Reese, Brittany and (Rusty) Terry, Tiffany Reese and 15 grandchildren.

For more information about the ribbon cutting/dedication, contact Arts Coordinator Cyndi Hueth at 360-582-2477 or chueth@sequimwa.gov.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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