Beloved mother, grandmother and sister, Karna Loraine Broadbent Petuskey passed away in the late afternoon of April 3, 2021, at the age of 94. She was born March 23, 1927 in Snowflake, Arizona, to Hyrum and Lorana Smith Broadbent.
She grew up in that small Northern Arizona community, and went through all levels of public school there. After attending Brigham Young University for one year, she transferred to Utah State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics education and also met her future husband, William “Bill” George Petuskey from Elizabeth, New Jersey. They wed on June 4, 1949 in Logan, Utah, just prior to moving to Madison, Wisconsin, where Bill trained as a physical therapist. Their first child, William Thomas, was born in 1951 in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The family subsequently moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where their second child, Pamela Claire, was born in March 1953. A few months later, they moved permanently to the Salt Lake Valley, settling first in the community of Kearns and later in east Salt Lake City.
As the children grew into school age, Karna trained and became a librarian at the Salt Lake County libraries (Midvale and Kearns), at West Kearns Elementary School and later at West Lake Junior High School. She served on several professionally-related panels and organizations, namely, the Graduate Education Association Executive Board (faculty representative, vice-president and then president), the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the first Utah Professional Practices Commission (one year as chairwoman) and the national group of Professional Practices Commissions (chairwoman). She was very active in lobbying the Utah Legislature to increase funding of public schools, for the benefit of all children. Widowed in 1982, she continued all of these activities until she formally retired in 1987 to begin a very active life of post-professional activities and personal exploration.
She travelled the world for personal enrichment, going to many places within the U.S., most countries of Europe, Russia (USSR), Japan, Thailand, Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Australia/New Zealand, India, and several South American countries – sometimes going to places twice. Among her most memorable trips included an African safari (“In the middle of the night, I heard a lion through the wall of my tent…”) and ten days in the Galapagos Islands. She maintained a life-long love of reading, always happy to describe books she had read or listened to. She particularly appreciated female characters who displayed courage and ingenuity. An accomplished vegetable gardener, she specialized in tomatoes, (giant) zucchini, and cucumbers.
She reveled in the warmth and friendships of many interest groups, some for more than four decades. She was active in several book clubs, the Alpha Delta Kappa retired teachers’ organization, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, a golfing club, a neighborhood social group, and Relief Society.
One of her great loves was weaving. Having been introduced to ‘rough’ weaving of rag-rugs by her maternal grandmother in rural Arizona, she later revived that interest in retirement and purchased several looms. She proceeded to produce exquisite handwoven and handsewn items with highly sophisticated weave patterns. She was very active in the Handweavers’ Guild of America, the Intermountain Weavers’ Guild, and the Complex Cloth Group, from which she enjoyed many long-term friendships.
Karna is survived by her sister Emma B. Dexter, her son and daughter-in-law, William T. Petuskey and Karen B. Ouzts, her grandson, Alexander Kent Petuskey, and her “four-legged” companion, Jasper. She is preceded in death by her husband Bill, her daughter Pamela, her parents and three brothers, Smith, Francis and Jesse Broadbent.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, May 8, 2021, at 11:00 am MST in two formats: in-person and online. The family will also host an informal ‘open microphone’ Zoom session later that day.
The in-person service will occur at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ Monument Park Ward chapel (1005 South 2000 East, Salt Lake City), followed by interment at the Larkin Sunset Lawn Cemetery (2350 E 1300 S; Salt Lake City, UT 84108). Immediately preceding these, a viewing for family and close friends will be held Saturday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 am in the Relief Society Room of the Ward building.
The family requests that attendees adhere to the CDC’s COVID mitigation guidelines for interior settings, i.e., wear a mask and practice social distancing.
The online services will consist of two parts: a livestream of the 11 am service at the church and also an informal ‘open mic’ session hosted by the family at 3:30 pm for those who would like to share condolences and recollections of Karna. Please visit Larkin Mortuary’s website (https://www.larkinmortuary.com/obituary/view/karna-loraine-broadbent-petuskey-37) for further information regarding online attendance.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Utah Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, or to LDS Humanitarian Services.