Karen Toreson, an integral part of Shoreline Community College and higher education in Washington for more than 25 years, passed away Sunday, March 30, 2014, following an ongoing battle with cancer.
“Karen was a unique and special woman, devoted to her family, our college and especially to her students,” Interim President Daryl Campbell said. “She was among the first faculty members that I met when I started at Shoreline; I loved her smile, her laugh, her grit and her tenacity. I will miss her very much.”
Karen was a Professor of Business Technology and served as President of Shoreline’s faculty union for a decade. She also served for a time as Treasurer for AFT Washington.
Current Shoreline faculty union President Amy Kinsel said Toreson was tireless in her service to the college.
“For many of us who came to Shoreline during Karen’s tenure as Federation President, she was one of the first friendly faculty faces that greeted us,” Kinsel said. “She worked tirelessly for her students and for her fellow faculty, seeming to know everyone in every division and department.”
Friend and co-worker Karen Kreutzer said she came to know Toreson through their union service. “I was Federation President when Karen became active,” Kreutzer said. “When she said she wanted to run, I became Treasurer. We had a lot of Shoreline history together.”
Toreson was well-respected as an educator by peers and her students, receiving the exceptional faculty award. Toreson’s classes often supported students in other programs on campus, such as CNC Machining. “Karen was fantastic,” CNC graduate Fred Austin said in 2011. “She always had time to help me.”
Toreson received her academic degrees are from Eastern Washington University.
Toreson’s health was such that her son and daughter, who live out of the area, were able to come and be with her. Toreson’s husband passed away several years ago, according to friends.