Dorothy “Dot” Karns, of Missoula, passed away on Friday, May 31, 2019 at Community Medical Center.
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She was born in Rahway, New Jersey on November 1, 1936 to Dudley and Pauline Tompkins. She attended Rahway Public Schools and met her future husband at Sunday School. After graduating high school, Dot married William “Bill” Karns on September 15, 1956. The couple lived with their four children in Rahway until 1972 when they packed their family into a converted painted school bus and moved to Montana. They lived in Trout Creek and Missoula, before settling down to call the community of Florence home. Dot, along with her husband Bill, hosted weekly softball games, and neighborhood events that brought friends and neighbors together, creating lifelong friendships in the process.
After her husband Bill’s death in 1988, she moved to Missoula where she became a non-traditional student at the University of Montana, worked at the Book Exchange, and became very involved in her church, especially with the ministry of the Walk to Emmaus. Dot became known as the “Pie Lady” because each summer she baked 175 pies for the church to sell at the Western Montana Fair as a fundraiser.
Dot was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She is survived by her four children, Christine Patton of Lolo, Karin (Garth) Flint of Missoula, Shirley “Charli” (Conley) Crawford of Carrollton, Texas and Alan (Tami) Karns of Havre, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, and a very special sister-in-law and life-long friend, Carolyn Tompkins of Missoula. Dot will be greatly missed by her family, brothers in law, sisters in law, nieces, nephews and her many friends.
A celebration of Dot’s life will be held Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at Garden City Church on Higgins Avenue in Missoula at 11:00 AM.