Kari S. Douglas, 84

Jun 4, 2024

Kari S. Douglas passed away peacefully, with love all around her, on June 1, 2024 at the age of 84. 

She was the beloved wife of Donald S. Douglas.  They shared 60 years of marriage, full of love and friendship, laughter and affection. 

She was mother of Kate Douglas Ouellette and her husband Paul Ouellette of Dartmouth, MA, and of Heather Douglas and her husband Ted Richards of East Lansing, MI.  

She was Mormor (Swedish for Mother’s Mother) to Alyssa Breault and her husband John Breault, of Dartmouth, MA and Christopher Ouellette, also of Dartmouth, and Kari Richards of East Lansing, MI.   

Kari was born in Oslo, Norway April 3, 1940, to Tore Patrick Störtebecker and Barbro Gunnarsdotter Lind.  She grew up in Sweden with 7 brothers and 3 sisters, from multiple parental marriages.  She leaves brothers, sisters, in-laws, nieces & nephews in Sweden & Norway.  In the US, she also leaves her dear brother in law, a niece and nephew and their families, and a cousin.  She adored them all and cherished the opportunities she had to spend time with her family. 

When Kari finished high school she left Sweden to become a nanny in Belgium, and at the age of 21 became a flight attendant for PanAm International, living in Queens, New York, flying out of LaGuardia, jetting around the world for several years.  She was fluent in 6 languages and loved the stimulation of travel.   

On a weekend break from PanAm, she went to visit her uncle Knut Schmidt-Neilson, a professor at Duke University in Durham NC.  When she learned that one of Knut’s graduate students had just come back from Antarctica and had received a few frozen penguins, she exclaimed that she wanted to see the penguins!  That was her chance encounter with Don, and the penguins were neat, but it was really love at first sight with Don!  About a year and a half later they were married, and Kari left Pan Am, as at that time flight attendants were not allowed to be married. 

Kari continued her thirst for language, the arts, and learning over the course of her life.  She earned a BA in French, and at one point worked as a travel agent.  

She and Don were long time theater and symphony subscribers. They enjoyed visiting local and regional museums, and spending time hiking, camping and bird watching with friends and family. 

She was also affectionately called “Mudpie”.  She always had her hands in something: creating ceramics, painting, calligraphy, basket weaving, sewing, crocheting, knitting, and always sharing her passion for plants and gardening. She could be found out in her gardens with her “Compost Happens” baseball hat with brim light until well after dark most summer evenings. 

Kari love sharing her Scandinavian heritage, and favorite times with her grandchildren were spent making large gingerbread houses and lots of cookies, baking holiday pies, and also sharing her large and bountiful raspberry crops and picking blueberries.  

Kari had a generous, kind and loving spirit, with sparkle that lit up a room.  She will be missed by all who knew her. 

Her family is very grateful for the loving and attentive care she and Don have received while living at Autumn Glen in Dartmouth for the past 20 months. 

As a strong advocate for education, science, and medical research, Kari has donated her body to Brown University Medical School, and a private memorial service will be held at a later time.  

Memorial donations in lieu of flowers can be made to:

~Community Nurse Home Care, 62 Center Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719 in appreciation of their rehabilitation therapy programs, and incredible support during Kari’s hospice journey over the final months of her battle with Alzheimer’s disease

~Kari and Donald Douglas Scholarship Endowment for a student in the College of Visual & Performing Arts at UMass Dartmouth 
checks made out to UMass Dartmouth and mailed to:
UMass Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Road
Dartmouth, MA  02747
Attention:  Advancement Department