Animals Pets 07

Karyn Hawthorne

May 27, 1960 ~ September 10, 2021 (age 61)


WASHINGTON – Karyn S. Hawthorne, 61, of Washington, formerly of Morton, passed away Friday, September 10, 2021.

Karyn was born on May 27, 1960, in Peoria, Ill., to Kenneth G. and Sharon T. (Pattison) Hawthorne-Paulsen. She was a devoted and loving daughter, niece, sister and friend to everyone she encountered on her life’s path.

She is survived by her sister, Kimberly Hawthorne of Washington, Ill.; her brother, K.C. (Alice) Hawthorne of Tacoma, Wash.; step-sister, Rosanne Wells of Bloomington, Ill.; three step-brothers, Mark Paulsen of Calif., Brian Paulsen of Minn., and Randy Paulsen of Iowa; one aunt, Charlene (Ed) Gott of Morton, Ill.; and cousins, Cindy (Dwight) Swift of Colorado Springs, Colo. and Chris (Julie) Bontjes of Danville, Ill.; Ed (Stephanie) Gott, Wisc.; and Christine (Scott) Young, Pekin, Ill.. She is also survived by several nephews, nieces and second cousins.

Karyn was preceded in death by her parents and by her step-father, Louis J. Paulsen, and one step-sister.

She grew up in Peoria, where she graduated from Richwoods High School in 1978 and Illinois Central College in 1982 with a degree in Dental Hygiene, and in 2010 with a degree in Cisco Networking. During this time, she was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society.

Upon graduation from ICC, she worked for Dr. Ron Flanigan’s dental practice in Morton, until her illness prevented her from continuing to work. During her career, she also worked for Dr. Floyd Rashid in Peoria. In a part-time capacity, she worked for Underwood’s Furniture Galleries and for NuTech Antifreeze, both in Peoria, Ill.

Karyn battled stage 4 metastatic breast cancer for more than 8 years, following an initial prognosis of only 3 months. Due to her faith and an amazing team at Illinois Cancer Care, we were given the gift of eight additional years with her. She has now gone on to be with the Lord and is no longer in pain.

Karyn had a strong faith in God, which carried her through her life. She shared her faith with everyone with whom she ever came in contact along her journey. She worshiped as a member of both Northwoods and Riverside communities in Peoria, where she loved working with the parishioners and youth. Her faith carried her through her illness to the end.

She had a great love of travel, especially to the Disney parks. She loved flamingos and would stop anyone to tell them about the little pink birds.

Volunteering was instilled in her by her family from a very young age. For her, it was less about what couldn’t be done and more about what could be done. Over the years, she supported and volunteered for a number of organizations including a legacy of service to Illinois Central College SkillsUSA, SkillsUSA Illinois, SkillsUSA, Peoria-Arthritis Foundation, MDA, Easter Seals, American Cancer Society and the Susan G Komen Foundation.

During her time at Illinois Central College, she was a state and national medalist for SkillsUSA and a local chapter and state officer. Upon graduation, she became a SkillsUSA National Education Team member for the National Quiz Bowl competition in addition to continuing to volunteer for both the state and local chapter.

In 2010, Karyn was awarded her SkillsUSA International Degree (level 6 in the Professional Development Program) at the National SkillsUSA Leadership Conference in Kansas City, MO. Fewer than 100 people have been honored with this degree since the organization began in 1965. That same year, Karyn was also awarded one of the “25 Women in Leadership” awards in Peoria.

The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, September 20, 2021, at Riverside Community Church, with Pastor Michael Ritchason officiating. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, September 19, 2021, at Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton, and also from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Monday, September 20, 2021, at the Riverside Community Church, prior to the funeral service. Burial will be at Hirstein Cemetery in Morton.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to any of the above-listed organizations, or to your favorite charity.

Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton is handling arrangements.

To leave an online condolence for Karyn’s family, visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Karyn Hawthorne, please visit our floral store.


September 19, 2021

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Knapp - Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center
140 S. Detroit Ave.
Morton, IL

September 20, 2021

9:00 AM to 9:45 AM
Riverside Community Church
714 Hamilton Blvd.
Peoria, IL

Funeral Service
September 20, 2021

10:00 AM
Riverside Community Church
714 Hamilton Blvd.
Peoria, IL
Guaranteed delivery before the Funeral Service begins

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