Karin Johnson Heffernan (Johnson)
Karin Heffernan died peacefully on the morning of New Year’s
Day, 2016. She was 69 years old. Early in her fight against
cancer, she told one of her sons that she could calmly face death
because she had finished the three tasks she had set for herself
in life: to build a marriage, raise a family, and forge a career.
She surely would have wanted us to add a fourth here: to make
These were Karin’s life’s great works, and her magnificent
character shone through all of them. To all-young and old,
stranger and companion-she was unfailingly warm, welcoming,
considerate, generous, and gentle. She was ever optimistic, not
out of innocence but from a determination to find the good in all that life presented to her. She
delighted in conversation, and in the quiet hours that she preserved for herself for
contemplation, she strengthened her faith in God and man. From childhood the miraculous
works of nature brought her deep joy, as did the inspired works of artists and poets. The love
of all three was passed to her from her parents.
As a teacher, a mother, a spouse, and a friend, Karin threw herself completely into a thousand
duties, and those around her reaped the many rewards: good, simple food; wise, comforting
words; an education; a happy home; for three of us, life itself. She was utterly humble about it
all. She leaves behind a strong family, grateful friends, and a generation of students who still
remember their lessons. We all were her loved ones.
The Christian Funeral Mass for Karin will be celebrated at St. Francis De Sales Catholic
Church on Saturday, January 9th, at 11:00am. All who attend the service are invited to a
reception organized by her friends at the home of Jim and Janet Dobrowolski, 324 Marigold
Lane in Weems, VA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the
Lancaster Community Library, P. O. Box 850, Kilmarnock, VA 22482 or the Rappahannock
Art League, 19 North Main St.,Kilmarnock, VA 22482.