Kari Maja Zipf

1935 - 2012

Kari Maja (Knudson) Zipf, 76, of Walla Walla and Sierra Vista, Ariz., died Sept. 28, 2012, in Walla Walla. Born Dec. 18, 1935, in Minneapolis, Minn., to Russell and Marjorie (Morrison) Knudson, she married Tom Zipf on Jan. 1, 1954, in Mound, Minn. A graduate of Mound High School, Kari returned to school while her younger children were in grade school and went on to fulfill dual aspirations of becoming a court reporter and moving to Washington state.

In 1974 the family moved to Walla Walla, where she was a Superior Court reporter for Judges Bradford, Mitchell and Reser. After retirement Kari and Tom fulfilled another dream, becoming full-time RVers. Although Tom died in 2002, Kari continued to travel and drive the RV solo. Having made many friends in the Sierra Vista area, in 2005 she bought property near there, sold the RV and settled down with her little dog, Butch, to some quality quilting time. Kari was raised by and learned to sew from her grandmother, Frieda Morrison, and for her entire life she loved the sound of a sewing machine and adored her grandmother. When her children were young, she sewed most of their clothing and her own, but quilting became her primary sewing obsession, and her prizewinning quilts were known and valued for their meticulous craftsmanship and beautiful design. Her knitting abilities were similarly legendary, and there were few, if any, styles of knitting that she did not master. Her children would often come home from school to find her simultaneously reading an Isaac Asimov novel, knitting a sweater, drinking a cup of coffee, and smoking a cigarette. (Having mastered this, she eventually quit smoking — and Asimov.) She never left home without a pair of in-progress socks in her purse and completed ones on her feet. She enjoyed crossword and other puzzles. A lifelong birding enthusiast, she enjoyed feeding and observing the many species in Southeastern Arizona. She also loved to tell stories, share her knowledge and abilities, and spend time with her family and friends. Before knee surgery, Kari volunteered at Fairbank School House in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, Ramsey Canyon Preserve and craft events in Cochise and Santa Cruz counties.

At the time of her death, Kari was a member of the Red Hat Society, the Hummingbird Stitchers Quilt Guild of Sierra Vista, the Crossroads Quilters of Sonoita and the Elgin Supper Club. She especially valued the friendships she made at the Crossroad Quilters and the Elgin Supper Club.

Kari is survived by her children, Teri Zipf, Dale Zipf, Beverly Loiacono (Rob), and Sarah Zipf Stone (Mark); her grandchildren, Mara Palumbo, Thomas Palumbo, Suzette Zipf, Chase Loiacono, Vernita Stone Lord, Emily Stone, Kate Stone and Sam Dantje; and her great-grandchildren, Annika Palumbo, Kaelyn Conant, Landon Conant, Jacob Lord and Marcus Lord. She was preceded in death by her husband; her daughter, Rebecca Danje; and her grandson, Ian Loiacono.

At her request, there will be no memorial service. Interment in the Dixie Cemetery will be at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Oasis Bird Sanctuary in Benson, Ariz., or the National Audubon Society.

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