Redford woman with a zest for life and memorable laugh died of COVID-19 complications

Redford woman with a zest for life and memorable laugh died of COVID-19 complications

This obituary is part of “We Will Remember,” a series about those we’ve lost to the coronavirus.

Her joy for life was immense. She was hilarious. She always knew how to make your day, and the way she laughed could crack you up. That’s what loved ones remember about Judith Gay Karinen.

Karinen, 77, of Redford died of COVID-19 complications on July 12, 2020, at Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills.

Born in Detroit, Karinen grew up in northwest Detroit and Farmington Hills. She attended Christ the King School in Detroit, Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School in Farmington and Farmington Public Schools. As a teen, she relocated with her family to Sarasota, Florida, but later returned to Livonia to raise her own family.

Judith Karinen celebrating her birthday while she was under treatment for cancer. Her daughter Connie is behind her and granddaughter Rachel on the right.

Karinen enjoyed attending St. Valentine Church during Lent for fish fries, visiting cider mills, gardening, dancing and going on road trips, including recent visits to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, and Cross in the Woods. Her favorite singers were Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra, Edith Piaf and Adele.

She often visited Sandy’s by the Beech in Redford, where she laughed with friends over beer, coneys and an occasional Rob Roy, a cocktail containing whiskey and vermouth, according to her son-in-law Bill Mullan.

Known as Mimi to loved ones, Karinen loved animals as well as her grandchildren and family. She went out of her way to make holidays like Christmas and Easter special with meals, games and great conversation.

Karinen was in remission from back cancer, and because of that and her age, the family took precautions to protect her from COVID-19, according to Mullan, who said that Karinen left the house only for doctor appointments.

Karinen started having mild respiratory difficulty on a Sunday. The next day, she went to the emergency room at Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills, where she was diagnosed with COVID-19. Her symptoms were mild, and she was sent home. The next day, her symptoms worsened, and she was admitted to the hospital.

Later that week, family members were informed that Karinen wasn’t expected to live through the night, and a conference call was arranged for them to say their goodbyes over the phone. Karinen made it through the night, however, and the hospital approved her to receive remdesivir, an antiviral medication, which gave the family some hope. The following day, the family arranged a second conference call with Karinen.

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