April 25, 1921 - Feb. 25, 2018

Margaret Ann (McClymonds) Karl, aka Maggie Karl, was born April 25, 1921, in Fort Collins, Colo. She was the oldest of three children born to Arthur Erskine and Isla Bruce McClymonds. She had two siblings, Fay and Neal. Because her father worked for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture the family moved a lot while she was growing up. Shortly after her birth they moved to Aberdeen, Idaho, where they resided for 10 years and then went to Tulelake, Calif., where they homesteaded. It was in Tulelake, in a three room school house that Maggie reported she became interested in art after winning a poster contest. From Tulelake the family went on to Santa Paula, Calif., then Colorado Springs, Colo., where she attended junior high and the first two years of high school. In 1939, she graduated high school in Rapid City, S.D., and went on to Kansas State University where she pledged the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority & graduated in 1943 with a Bachalors in Journalism and Art.

Following college Maggie worked in the advertising department of the Ottawa Herald Newspaper, in Ottawa, Kansas, for 3 years. From there she went to Lincoln, Neb., and worked briefly in the advertising department of Hovland and Swanson doing brochures and layouts before marrying Emil William Karl in 1946. As newly weds she and Emil moved to Corvallis, where she started taking art lessons from the professors at the then Oregon State College. They had their first son, Marc, in Corvallis then moved to Eugene, where their daughter, Kay and second son, Kurt were born.

Maggie continued to take art lessons at the University of Oregon until they moved to North Bend, in 1958. It was there that she started teaching in the local community college, Southern Oregon Community College. She taught drawing, watercolor, oils, experimental painting, and Chinese brush painting for 15 years. From there she went on to become the Director of the Coos Art Museum for ten years, where she was able to use all of her talents in advertising, journalism, and art. She served with the Federal Arts & Humanities and Art in Public Places in the State of Oregon and was instrumental in helping to secure the empty Federal Postal Building in Coos Bay as the new home for the Coos Art Museum, where she has a gallery named in her honor. She had exhibits at the University of Oregon, Coos Art Museum, and the Master Watercolor Society of Oregon, to name a few.

In January 1981 she divorced and moved to Santa Fe, N.M., where she lived happily for 17 years and was the first to exclaim “…it was the longest running party of my life, I loved it there!” She returned to Oregon in 1998 to live out her life in Bandon by the sea.

She died peacefully in her home, Sunday, February 25, 2018, with family by her side.

She is survived by her three children, Marc Karl; Kay Payne (Dale), Kurt Karl; her three granddaughters, Kristin Leah Karl, Zoe Karl Waithaka (Ngetha) and Julia Karl; as well as her great-grandson, Kai Karl Waithaka.

The family would like to personally thank Maggie’s niece, Kathy Hornstuen (Bill); long time friend, Mary Hedges; neighbor, Gail Ringo; care assistant extraordinaire, Janiene Bruce; and healing touch massage therapists, Jackie Day, Pat Bodner, and Corrie Johnson for their love and support of Maggie during her final years. These individuals, along with the entire community of Bandon made our mother’s last years very rich and full.

Finally, because Maggie was celebrated so often throughout her life for all her accomplishments and contributions in the art world, it was her wish that there be no end of life memorial. Donations can be made in her memory to the Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay.

Obituary can be viewed online.

Published as submitted

To plant a tree in memory of Margaret Karl as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.


From now through March 31, receive home delivery of The World plus Full Access to all online content +E-editions for 50% off our monthly auto-pay rate! $14.99 for 30 days (available for 60 days total).

Call 541-266-6047 to sign up!

Email Newsletters

Load comments