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Karna Darlene Bruton

April 12, 1941 - January 2, 2021

Karna Darlene Bruton went home to be with God on January 2nd, 2021 surrounded by her loving family.
Karna was born April 12, 1941 in Kellogg, ID to Fern and Alvis Gasaway. While her father was in the army during World War II, she and her mother and older brother lived with her grandparents in Dayton, WA.
After the war, her family spent time in Black Eagle, Montana where she attended grade school for 3 years. After that, the family moved back to Dayton, WA before settling in Hermiston, OR where she graduated from Hermiston High School. Most of her summers were spent with her grandparents on their wheat ranch in Dayton, WA. While there, she learned to drive on a stick-shift, two-ton wheat truck at age 14.
After high school she attended Northwest Christian College and the University of Oregon. There she met her future husband of 58 years, Orin Bruton, MD. Life then took her and her growing family to St. Louis, MO, Washington DC, San Diego, CA, Corpus Christi, TX and Oakland, CA. After Orin spent ten years in the US Navy, the family moved to Salem, where Orin established his medical practice. Karna went back to school, finishing her Bachelor of Arts in education at Western Oregon University in 1982. She taught in the Salem-Keizer school district for several years and at the YMCA kindergarten program following that. After teaching, she worked for the Department of Education at Western Oregon University for 10 years. She and Orin had four children and Karna loved attending her children's athletic events and musical performances. She carried on the tradition of attending as many of her grandchildren's events as possible. She loved going to the University of Oregon football and basketball games when she was able.
Karna was highly active in her church that she loved, Salem First Christian Church, volunteering for many jobs and leadership positions. She taught young people in Sunday school and volunteered to help with other activities. She was the wedding coordinator for the church for 15 years.
God was her first love followed by her family. She was known for her beautiful smile and kindness. She leaves behind her husband, Orin, son, Scott (Wendy), daughters, Audrey Hirsch (Brad), Linda Pokorny and Teresa McLaughlin, 12 beloved grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.  She also leaves two brothers, Gary (Kaye) and David Gasaway (Karen)
We wish to thank Doctor Bud Pierce and Willamette Valley Hospice for their wonderful care. In lieu of flowers she would love to see gifts to her Memorial Fund at Salem First Christian Church.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm, Saturday, February 6th at Salem First Christian Church. Note: The church’s current Covid-19 restrictions apply and the service will also be live-streamed.  Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

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Guest Book Entries

I am really grateful to know more about Karna's life story.  I think her life was a well lived life.  She was kind to me when I lived in Oregon.  I remember visiting her home and feeling welcome there.  It seemed like there were always people and animals around the house and Karna.  She loved having her kids and grandkids around her, and they gave her great joy.  I saw her love for her church and her commitment to her church community.  She was committed to her faith and lived out her beliefs. I met her through her wonderful daughter, Audrey, who is a strong, compassionate person like her mother.  I send my condolences to her family in their grief.          

Our thoughts and prayers are with Orin and family. Karna and her family have always been a part of our lives through Salem First Christian Church. In our younger years: youth groups and Silver Falls family camps, then through CWF, church leadership and hosting many weddings with Mark. Our parents were friends, we were friends with their children and our children with the Hirsch family. Thank you for sharing and making a difference in the lives of so many, Karna! Shari & Mark Ridings and Jull family

Our Love & prayers during this difficult time. We shall all miss sweet Karna ♥
Richard & Carole Adams

So sorry to hear of the loss of your beautiful mom! I pray your memories of her bring you peace!

Beautiful< beautiful service..... for a beautiful woman.and sister-in-law... Miss you, Karna.

Audrey, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I haven’t seen her in a few years, but I remember that every time I did see her she had a big smile. It’s so hard to lose our moms. Take care of yourself. 

My first memories of Orin and Karna were as a kid - when Christmas came around and half of the presents were from OK-SALT (who in the heck was OKSALT?) when I finally figured it out I was forever grateful for a loving aunt and uncle that cared enough to make Christmas nice for a couple kids.

Karna and Orin helped me serve as a missionary for my church for two years. Neither of them would ever say anything, but I owe a huge gratitude to them for helping my family, and allowing me to do that for others .

Karnas laugh and smile were contagious, I loved her positive attitude and man she could cook as as well as grandma. 

Karna and Orin took my wedding photos and waited outside the Portland Temple till we could join them. Orin captured everything perfectly. I loved that they have ALWAYS MADE ME feel LOVED and special to them. They have been involved in sporting events and even my graduation. They always made an effort to be involved and part of my life. I don’t think they make two better people on this earth. I love you two more than I ever have told you. I’m sorry you’re alone Orin. I can only imagine the loneliness and heartache you must be feeling. Karna -What an amazing woman you will forever be one of my most favorite people in the world. I love you guys. 

I just hope she can be an advocate for me in heaven when it’s my turn. I’ve never met a more charitable woman. I’m gonna miss you Karna, thank you for all you did for me growing up, thank you for making me feel loved.