Karen Margaret (Kleveland) May

Karen Margaret (Kleveland) May passed away on April 8, 2021 in the comfort of her home from the cancer she so bravely lived with for over 27 years.

Karen was born in 1941 in Hemet, California, to Thomas Laverne Kleveland and Margaret Louise (Vettel) Kleveland. They soon moved to Santa Barbara, where Karen spent the entirety of her childhood and most of her adult life.

During her childhood Karen spent as much time as she could at the Museum of Natural History down the street from her home, and at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, where she developed her deep, everlasting love of nature, and made some life-long friendships.

During her adult life she spent 18 years working as a legal secretary and built more long-term friendships.

Karen enjoyed spending her free time birding, gardening, taking walks near her mountain top home on West Camino Cielo, exploring her artistic and crafty talents, and creating the “Tom and Margaret Kleveland Family History Album.”

Later in life she studied watercolor painting through adult education for several years and became quite an accomplished artist. She had some wonderful adventures traveling with her painting group friends to Italy (twice), Greece and Maine. She also traveled to Japan (three times), Costa Rica and the Yucatán.

Her journals and artwork from these trips will be cherished by those who survive her.

Karen is survived by her husband Dean May; brother Christopher Kleveland, his wife Patty Aoyama and her daughter Lauren; children Jan Birdsell and Lisa Grimm.

Stepchildren Deborah (Grimm) Werner and husband Tom Werner, and their children Katherine, Nicolas and Madeline; Marina May; Colin May, his wife Mandy, and their son Winston. Grandchildren Jesse Crotty; Hannah (Crotty) Kidd and husband Ian Kidd and their son Sawyer.

Nieces Margaret Kleveland; Katherine Kleveland and her husband Colin Nash; grandnieces and nephews Wilder, Shepard and Prairie Nash; Julian Ramey and Georgina Demitrevic.

A potluck picnic Celebration of Life for Karen will be held noon-4 p.m. Sunday, June 27, at Skofield Park Area C. Please bring a dish of your choice to share.

Also, we are creating a book of memories to honor Karen. If you have a special memory to contribute, please bring it in paper form (8-inch-x-11-inch or smaller) to be added to the loose leaf/page protector binder-style book.

Funny stories, poems, letters, artwork, photos, or anything else that reminds you of Karen for the memory book will be deeply appreciated by her family.