Karen Turner Marion
Founder and Executive Director
Board of Directors
Karen is a California native who grew up in San Jose and then lived in San Diego for nearly 17 years, She moved to the Phoenix area with her husband and young son in February of 2005. It was an exciting time for her family but sadly, her husband died suddenly in August of 2007 of an aortic dissection when their son was just 4 1/2 years old.
After a brief time with the US Customs Service and US Internal Revenue Service, Karen spent 8 years as an Investigative Assistant with the US Secret Service. Deciding to follow a dream, she resigned from the US Secret Service and started Elegant Expressions, San Diego’s premier calligraphy and event planning studio which she owned for 9 years. For the last 13 years, she has worked as an Executive Assistant, supporting senior level executives at Leap Wireless/Cricket Communications and Banner Health. She is currently an Executive Assistant supporting the CEO of a nationally recognized Phoenix-based company.
In 2009, Karen was awarded a “Hope” award from Stepping Stones of Hope on behalf of her work and fundraising with the Steven M. Turner Memorial Scholarship Fund, named in honor of her late husband. The Scholarship Fund provides for families grieving the loss of a loved one to attend grief camp.
Being the Founder of Acts of Simple Kindness is among the proudest of her personal and professional accomplishments. Widowed at 38 years old, she knows first-hand the trials and tribulations of not only widowhood but being a single parent to a child grieving the loss of a parent.
In November of 2014, Karen married Dennis Marion, a wonderful man she’d met a few years before. Their blended family of 5 includes his two sons from a previous marriage, Casey and Matthew. He is a wonderful father figure to Allen and his “Dad on earth” while always remembering and honoring Steve, his Daddy in Heaven.
Laurie was born and raised in San Diego, California and married her high school sweetheart in 1986. Their one and only daughter, Katie was born in 1992. Laurie worked in a variety of office settings, from talent agent to law firm, until 1994 when she decided she was tired of paying someone else to raise her daughter and decided to become a stay-at-home Mom. A few years ago, she returned to working in the “outside world” and is currently in Admin Services for Qualcomm, Inc. in San Diego.
She is fortunate to still have her husband with her, but she has seen the harrowing effects of the loss of a parent and a spouse on a family. While it’s not first-hand knowledge, she has seen how grief, fear and mind-numbing exhaustion threaten to take over the lives of those who find themselves suddenly alone. She is looking forward to helping Acts of Simple Kindness lighten the load for parents and keep kids involved with the things they love, that help them heal and make life seem just a little bit more like “normal.”
Sadly, Laurie lost her beloved father after a short illness in May of 2012, bringing her even closer to appreciating the mission of Acts of Simple Kindness. It’s hard to lose your father, regardless of how old you are.
Board of Directors