Obituary for Karla Harris (Nimphius)
Karla Nimphius Harris, 62, passed away on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Loving wife of Clarence for 31 wonderful years, and cherished mother to Casey (Jacob Wood), and Claren. Beloved sister of Kris (John) Richardson-Smith, and Kurt (Krista) Nimphius. Treasured niece of Betty Nimphius. Second mother to Vittoria, Asako, Nicole and Tony. Confidant, mentor, and friend to countless nieces, nephews, cousins, AFS and theater students and Lions. She was preceded in death by her father (Karl) and mother (Esther).
Karla began her lifelong dedication to the community and helping others in South Milwaukee where she lived for most of her life. She served as member and president of various community groups, most proudly serving as president of the Fire and Police Commission. She was passionate about mentoring young people and women by helping establish the SM Community Center and through her work with AFS, SMHS theater program, and the United Nations.
Following in the footsteps of her father and husband, Karla joined the Lions Club and found her true calling, a chance to make a difference by helping people locally and also internationally. Starting as the first woman President of her club, Karla rapidly progressed to International Director; eventually serving on the Lions Clubs International Executive Committee in 2016 and as the first female chair of the Lions Clubs International District Governor School for 2017. In 2012, Karla was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change. She has received multiple international awards, including Lions’ highest honor, Ambassador of Goodwill.
Karla was tireless in her efforts to make the world a better place. A truly amazing woman, Karla’s legacy lives on in the indelible mark she left on everyone she touched and continues to serve through organ donation.
It was Karla’s wish that in lieu of flower or other memorials, you celebrate her life and service by making a donation to the Lions Clubs International Foundation Disaster Relief Fund in memory of PID Karla Harris and/or through a random act of kindness.
There will be a celebration party of Karla’s life at Salvatore’s, 1919 12th Avenue, South Milwaukee, from 5pm-9pm. We invite you to share a picture or your favorite Karla story. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Lions Club International.