Karen Wakefield Obituary (1941 – 2022) – Sacramento, CA

Karen and Dean Wakefield
May 24, 2022
Sacramento, California – Karen(Dean)Wakefield, 80, passed away peacefully at her home Tuesday, May 24th, 2022, surrounded by her two daughters.
Karen was born on September 29th, 1941 in Kentfield, Marin County, California, the daughter of David and Maryanne Dean. She graduated from Sonoma Union High School in 1959 where she held, appropriately, the title of “most popular” in her class. Karen graduated from Santa Rosa Junior College and lived in the Bay Area until moving to Hong Kong with her young family in 1973, followed by London in 1977, before returning to the States with her 3 children to marry the love of her life, Dean M Wakefield in 1981. After residing in Sonoma, CA, Midland, MI and Washington DC, Karen and Dean moved to Sacramento to return to her Northern California roots in 2001, where she resided until her passing.
Dean Matthews Wakefield, 89, passed away at his home January 26th, 2021. He was with his beloved wife, Karen, until the very end.
Dean was born August 26th, 1931, in St. Johns, Michigan, the son of Paul and Cressie Wakefield. Dean graduated high school in 1949 and earned a BA degree in journalism from Michigan State University. Dean worked as a sports editor at the Bowling Green (Ohio) Sentinel-Tribune and the Associated Press in Dublin, Ohio. In 1959, Dean accepted a job with The Dow Chemical Company in Midland, MI where he spent the remainder of his career in public relations and public affairs, working around the world. He met the love of his life, Karen, in Hong Kong and they wed in 1981. In the late 1980’s, Dean joined the American Podiatric Medical Association near Washington DC as the Director of Public Affairs. In 2001 Dean and Karen moved to Sacramento, California to be closer to Karen’s family. Dean enjoyed the latter years of his life being a wonderful grandfather to his two grandchildren and being actively involved with the Pioneer Congregational Church.
Dean and Karen are preceded in death by brothers David Wakefield and John Dean, and survived by sister Kathy Tremblay (Terry Tremblay) of Healdsburg, son Tony Espinosa (Sharon Murotsune) of Petaluma, daughter Sarah Jalving (Eric St.Louis) of Silverton, daughter Kate Ruelas (Tom Ruelas) of Sacramento, and their grandchildren Andrew and Zoe.
Dean and Karen shared a beautiful love story that connected them inextricably for over 40 years. They both shared a love for travel, books, cats, theatre, the musical stylings of Ella Fitzgerald, and enjoying a strong cup of coffee while leisurely reading the Sunday Paper. We will forever miss our mother’s quick smile, thoughtfulness, and tuna salad sandwiches. Not to be left unsaid, we will miss Dean’s quick wit, intelligent repertoire, and famous Boxing Day mulled wine. We are assumed in the knowledge that their souls have been reunited. Rest in peace.
A family memorial service will be held on August 6th at their home.

Published by The Sacramento Bee on Jul. 17, 2022.

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