It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Karen Duff. She leaves behind her life partner and best friend David, her beloved stepchildren Sean (Sue), Robin (Jessie), Michael and her brother David (Carmen) plus the many nieces, nephews and grandchildren, all of whom were near and dear to her heart. She was predeceased by her father Walter, her mother Elizabeth (Lib) and her brother Timothy.

Karen was born in DeLand, Florida on October 1948. Her early childhood was spent in DeLand and Ormond Beach, Florida and two years in the Panama Canal Zone. On her return to Ormond Beach from Panama, she entered Seabreeze High School and graduated in 1966.  In 1974, she obtained her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Florida State University and in 1975, emigrated to Calgary, Alberta where she worked at the Alberta Children’s Hospital for 26 years. While in Calgary, Karen met and married the love of her life, David Nixon. During the mid-1990’s she, Leslie Carpenter and a few other close women colleagues started the Cause and Effect Child Therapy program in Alberta until 2006 when she and David moved to Victoria. She continued her practice with the Vancouver Island Community Health for another 7 years, making numerous friendships as she had done in Alberta. She started her fight with cancer in 2009 and overcame three different types. In the spring of 2017, cancer struck again, taking her life on February 22, 2018. Karen’s interests included dressage, cattle drives in the Turner Valley area in Alberta and playing the piano. She had a great love of gardening and cherished the help she received from her neighbors Jack and Elsie. She entered numerous flowers and vegetables at the Saanichton Fair and won many ribbons. She also loved yoga, her knitting club, playing Scrabble and doing the crossword puzzle, all with family and friends. She lived a very full life and was taken from us all too early.

We would like to thank all those in the medical profession who helped her through the tough times and in particular the Saan Pen Hospital Palliative Care Unit for their compassion and excellent treatment of Karen at the end of her earthly journey.

There will be a future notification of her Memorial Service planned in the springtime.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens




  • Christine Ballantine
    April 1, 2018

    David, my heartfelt love and sympathy go to you and all of your family.

    I first met Karen at a Swiftsure Yacht Race gathering in Victoria in the early 1980’s. Both being Librans, we hit it off instantly with so many things in common.
    Subsequently, we went sailing in the British Virgin Islands in 1985 – a trip never to be forgotten!

    Karen fought the most incredibly brave fight with the evil cancer – I had nothing but admiration for her struggle and fortitude.

    I’m so terribly saddened by Karen’s too early departure. Friends like her are so very few and far between.

    Rest in peace my dear friend – I’ll always miss you.

  • The Johnson's from Bellevue
    March 8, 2018

    With love and sympathy. Karen will be greatly missed by all who knew her and her big heart.

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