Karen Svensson Panelli
September 20, 1951 – August 20, 2018
Karen was born and raised in Carson City, Nevada. She attended Carson City schools and graduated from Carson High School.
After high school, Karen traveled to her father’s birthplace, Sweden. She worked on the southern coast during the day and attended school at night to learn the language. She moved to south central Sweden later and lived with her aunt and uncle and perfected speaking the local dialect. Karen worked for a few years in Osby, Sweden, but was forced to move back to Nevada due to
illness. Upon her return to Nevada, the illness was soon diagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis. MS consumed her life and was with her until she died. It slowly crippled her, for over 50 years,
until she became paralyzed. She never wavered, never complained about her MS and always spoke kindly to everyone she met. She and her husband, Rick Panelli, owned a coffee cart business near St. Mary’s Hospital in Reno. Doctors, office personnel, patients and visitors all stopped to talk with them and share stories. Everyone she met loved her and she will be dearly missed by so many people.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Sture and Bette Svensson; sister, Bette Lou Towne; brother, Stuart Svensson.
Karen is survived by her husband, Rick; daughter, Shannon Smith; son, Ryan Cain; stepsons, Rich and Jon Panelli; 6 grandchildren; brother, Bruce Svensson; sister, Sonja Kellogg.
A memorial service will be planned at a later date.