Kara Beth (Carter) Harris (46) died June 30, 2021 at home in Sumner, Washington, surrounded by her family.
Born in Seattle, the youngest of H. Leland “Lee” and Margaret “Mardi” Carter’s six daughters, she was creative, vibrant, and artistic. To many who crossed her path, she was a pastor, partner, colleague, mentor, friend, and guide.
Her early years were spent in the Eastside of the Seattle area where she attended elementary through high school. As a participant in the Redmond Police Department Explorers program, she met the love of her life, Brandon Harris. Their courtship continued after high school while she attended the University of Montana in Missoula and Western Washington University (Bellingham, Washington) and he served his country in the US Navy. In 1997 they married in Woodinville, Washington.
Brandon and Kara soon welcomed Mahkiya, Brishum, then Kenyan and moved their family to Orting then Sumner, Washington. They became active members in Faith Covenant Church, Sumner.
Kara, as Director of Student Ministries, served as a vital ministry team member on staff at Faith Covenant Church for seventeen years. In that time, she greatly impacted the mission and ministry of the entire faith community. Her creative and artistic perspective always challenged the community to see things in a new light. People were her passion. She encouraged those around her to see people as a priority, to see people for who they really are, and to develop an understanding that actually seeing people is, itself, an act of love. Her commitment to healthy relationships was an inspiration to all who continue the hard work of healing and reconciliation. Kara was a person of depth and integrity.
As part of her service to the Orting/Sumner community, Kara, with her family, excitedly welcomed a number of foreign exchange high school students: Rokal (Germany), Leo (Japan), Hideo (Japan), and Nils (Italy). These students were welcomed into the love and chaos that is their active family. She planned to host an exchange student every year and was able to carry that through even when life threw the unexpected at her. To host one student, she committed to drive the student to a school outside of the district they lived in. She wanted to continue to have kids around and enjoyed them as much as she could.
Kara loved having deep philosophical conversations with young people, getting them to open up, and figure out how to connect with each one. Whether a foreign exchange student or a local teen, Kara impacted the lives of youth in the Sumner area. Wednesday’s at Starbucks for coffee and talk was one of her favorite activities.
Kara loved life, art, and nature. She was an avid photographer; the one always behind the camera instead of in front of it. Her unique way of looking at life shone through her photographs identifying the tiniest detail and the distinctiveness of each individual captured.
A backpacker from the beginning, she shared her love of nature and the outdoors by participating in and leading many hikes, and camping and backpacking trips with her family, coworkers, and the young people she mentored.
Kara is survived by her husband, Brandon, children, Mahkiya (Bruce), Brishum, and Kenyan; her parents Lee and Mardi Carter; sisters Elli Molstad, Merry (Brian) Dooley, Kristi (Joe) Huber, Nancy (Herbert) Kwan, and Sarah (Lee) Mattson; nieces and nephews, Sean, Paul, Ryan (Anna), Kyle, Shannon, Leyna (Stephen), Joel, Karoline (Kyle), Carlton, Evan (Keela), and Justin; great-nephew Jaxon; parents-in-law, Ralph and Judy Harris; siblings-in-law, Brett and Karie Harris; and nephews Cayden and Asher.
She is preceded in death by her grandparents Horace L. and Eleonore Carter, and Dale and Jean Bauer; and brother-in-law Wayne Molstad.
A Celebration of Life service will be hosted by Faith Covenant Church on August 21, 2021, at a time and place to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations in Kara’s memory be made to the General Fund, noted “Student Ministries,” of Faith Covenant Church, 1915 Washington St, Sumner, WA 98390 or https://pushpay.com/g/faithcovsumner?src=hpp.
Kara’s family would like to thank all those who cared for Kara, Brandon, Mahkiya, Brishum, and Kenyan during Kara’s illness, and Pastor Kurt Notehelfer and Jennifer Anderson for their thoughtful contributions to this brief attempt to capture the essence of a person who will live on in our hearts and memories.
“‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Matthew 25:23).