April 28, 1958 – February 10, 2021
In Loving Memory Of ~ Karin passed away peacefully at her family home at 6am, Wednesday Feb 10th after a short, but valiant battle with brain cancer.
Karin (she changed the spelling to the Swedish version), was born in Prince Rupert and lived there until 1963, when she and the family moved to Terrace. She began playing music at a very young age, growing up in the Ljungh musical household. Her mother, Rosaline, a Toronto Conservatory trained pianist and her Father, Bert, a talented improvisational jazz guitarist, helped honed her performance skills.
She attended grade school in Terrace and would go to Prince Rupert for her teenage summer holidays to work at the Fisherman’s Co-op Cannery. She competed in the Pacific Northwest Music Festival for many years and studied vocal training in Terrace with Mrs. Spencer.
Karin had aspirations of becoming a graphic designer but settled for a semester at Capilano Music College, excelling within the program and the Vancouver music scene. She played professionally as soon as she turned 19, entertaining in the various lounges in the north west, on guitar or piano to accompany her vocal talents.
Her big musical contribution to Terrace was, of course, ‘Concerts in the Park’, which she organized and ran for the first two seasons. It became so successful, that she passed the torch to Sight and Sound, who still bring an epic day of great local and out of town music to the stage during the River Boat Days celebrations each year.
Karin pursued a variety of careers over the years that had her constantly moving between Terrace, Prince Rupert, and the lower mainland. In 1993, Karin was about to relocate to Maui for an opportunity to perform in a cabaret show band, when a chance meeting with an old acquaintance, Mark Ciccone, set in motion a relationship that would remain for the rest of her life.
Moving back to Prince Rupert, she finally set down roots and was able to showcase her amazing talents in the various venues available to working musicians. She had a powerful but sultry voice and great chops on the piano and keyboards.
Whether playing as a ‘single’, in a ‘duo’, or with the multitude of bands she was in over the years, she remained a focal point of the northwest music scene. Her greatest joy may have been in sharing her musical knowledge by teaching and mentoring others, both young and old, over the last three decades.
She was known to be an independent woman. She had a boat in Prince Rupert and would go out on her own or with her dogs, always looking for a sandy spot, wandering the beach and collecting the seashells she loved. She loved Haida Gwaii for that reason and it was a very special place for her. Karin’s talents were many. Unknown to some, she was a great artist, crafter, and even owned and operated a kiln. She had RVs and would drive out to park at a nice spot, sometimes on her own, sometimes with her beloved nieces and nephews.
She was generous with her time, focusing so much of it on family and friends. Her relationship with each relative, whether cousin, niece or nephew was unique and precious to her.
She loved to travel, having visited Hawaii and New Zealand before meeting her soul mate, Mark. Their union took them to Mexico many times, Hawaii, the Caribbean, the USA, and various cruises. But she would also go on adventures with girlfriends and her sister, Lisa. It was in her blood to seek the next great adventure, whether career, travel, or artistic pursuit.
Karins music endeavors would sometimes include her brother Jim, her partner Mark and sometimes a bassist, usually Mitch Adams. Over the years the lineups changed a bit, but Karin was always the voice at the helm. She has recorded 2 CDs of the music she loves and some originals.
She also had a blues trio called L’il Kiki, Jimmy and the Wolf, performing blues standards with Jim on drums and the legendary Ulf (the Wolf ) Christiansen on harmonica. Her pinnacle with that act was opening for Vancouver Blues/ Funk stars Brickhouse, in Prince Rupert.
She played all the festivals around the Northwest with the 2 bands. Two days before her passing, she got her ‘moment’ and 100.5 CO-OP Radio in Vancouver, gave her a tip of the hat and played 3 of her songs, as loved ones gathered and listened.
Karin was a planner, loved to laugh, create’funky’ stuff, make music, enjoy the outdoors and had a lot of friends, as was evident by the hundreds of messages of condolences on her Facebook page.
She loved her Mom and Dad, moving back to Terrace to help out when her Dad began to get sick. Karin and her Mom, Rusty, had a great relationship, spending the last few years of her life at the family homestead. Her aunt Kathy was also a very close friend and she visited her a lot over the years, being the little sister Kathy never had.
Karin is predeceased by her father Bert and aunt Mavis Haugan. She is survived by her mother Rusty Ljungh, brother’s Mark and Jim (Maxine), and sister Lisa Kirkaldy (Chris). She is also survived by her 10 nieces and nephews: Garrett, Nastassia, Adam, Sam, Kara, Mariah, Morgan, Saydee, Sophee and Emilee and great nephew Orest and great niece Clayah.
Dad and Karin had a wonderful and special relationship between them, Karin being the eldest and Dad’s first child that he could nurture to enjoy the love of music. They shared a lot of great jazz and blues music together and many hours were spent in the family living room, discovering albums they would forever cherish as classics.
They also had a love for horses and Dad taught Karin a lot about riding and care. They would have many rewarding days in the riding arena as well, Dad being the announcer at gymkhanas, while Karin competed riding her half Arab Kai.
The family would like thank all of those who sent condolences, flowers and support throughout this very difficult time.
A memorial will be held for Bert and Karin when restrictions allow. Also, a wonderful surprise has been initiated by a local music lover, and with the help of one of the city’s counsellors, look for an honourary bench to be placed in George Little park (with a view of the stage), for Bert and Karin, this spring.