Marilyn Karnopp

Jan. 31, 1944 - Jan. 29, 2023

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Marilyn Karnopp (Masters) was raised in the small farming community of Arcadia, Nebraska. Her parents were cattle ranchers and this upbringing instilled a tireless work ethic in Marilyn, evidenced by her constant gardening. She loved having her hands in the soil. Marilyn Masters left the farm to attend the University of Nebraska where she earned her BA in English, was named “Miss Cornhusker” and met the love of her life, Dennis. She and Dennis married and relocated to the quaint mountain town of Bend, Oregon. Mrs. Karnopp taught English in the rural community until she became pregnant with their first child, Lisa. As their family grew, adding Megan and Justin, Marilyn and Dennis bought one of the first homes on the newly developed, Awbrey Butte and used this as a base to launch forays into their Oregon playground. Along with an intrepid group of Bend families, they navigated whitewater rivers, skied mountain peaks, and hosted pancake breakfasts in remote river canyons throughout the West. During their formative years, the Karnopp kids shared their home on Vicksburg Avenue with exchange students from France, New Zealand, and Slovenia. The Karnopps embarked on several high risk adventures, exploring the Princess Louisa Inlet in rented cabin cruisers, camping in the former Yugoslavia days before the war, and sailing around the Middle East. Despite all this seeming chaos, Marilyn was active in PEO, hosted numerous parties, ran a mean kitchen and rarely missed a ski race or track meet. As the Karnopp kid’s interest in ski racing grew, Marilyn applied her organizational and literary skills to the local ski organization, then known as The Skyliners (now MBSEF). As chief fundraiser, her focus turned to the ski team’s premiere fundraising event, the legendary Pole, Pedal, Paddle race. Marilyn served as race organizer while the event blossomed from a local spectacle to a nationally recognized athletic competition, drawing Olympic athletes to Bend and putting the small mountain town on the map. Pole, Pedal Paddle mugs served as beverage vessels in the Karnopp household for many years. Education was important to Marilyn and she would go on to serve as the Fundraising Coordinator for the Central Oregon Community College Foundation, writing grants to advance the efforts of higher education within her community. A voracious reader, Marilyn constantly had a book in hand or by her bedside and would go on to explore her own literary talents, attending numerous writing symposiums and penning her own collection of short stories titled “Plains Women”. Marilyn Karnopp passed away peacefully on January 29th, 2023. Marilyn is survived by Lisa Nye (Brad), Megan (Will Warne), and Justin (Lauren) and her six grandchildren, Merle, Olive, Harper, Gracie, Sawyer, and Odessa. Marilyn’s husband of (50-some? years), Dennis Karnopp, preceded her in death in 2020. A memorial in celebration of Marilyn and Dennis Karnopp will be held at Aspen Hall on April 23rd, 2023.


Leave the earth with beauty

Earth specializes in soil transformation, an environmentally-friendly alternative to burial and cremation. Over a 45-day process, we gently transform a body into nutrient-rich soil. We then send this soil to our local conservation land where it’s used for restoration projects such as reforestation and nourishing challenged ecosystems.

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