Karen Finell
Karen Finell

Obituary of Karen Finell

Karin was born in Liegnitz, Silesia, Germany (now Legnica in Poland) and lived through the third Reich years and the post-war period in Germany before emigrating to the U.S. in 1952. She wrote a memoir about her life in Germany during WWII and afterwards, titled “Good-bye to the Mermaids: A Childhood Lost in Hitler’s Berlin”.  

In 1961 she married an attorney, Marvin Finell, and lived in Beverly Hills, raising two children, before divorcing and moving to Santa Barbara in 1985.

Karin’s daughter Stephanie contracted viral encephalitis at age seven, and Karin devoted much of the following years to looking after her. Stephanie died from a seizure in 1995, aged 31. Karin wrote another book, “Broken Butterfly: My Daughter’s Struggle with Brain Injury” about those years.

In Santa Barbara Karin finally had the time and freedom to write. She met Martin Dent, a British wanderer, and married him. They lived together until her death.

Karin is also survived by son Steven and family in Kansas. She has three half-brothers in Germany.

An interment will be held at the S.B. Cemetery on Friday, June 30th at 1 pm.

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