Karina Yasmin Serna passed away peacefully in her home on San Juan Island on Dec. 23, 2017. Born Feb. 28, 1964 in Hollywood, Florida to Spasoje and Margaret Dimitrijevic, Karina will be remembered as a loving mother, wife, and daughter.
Accepted to Boston University out of high school, Karina made the selfless decision to stay home to care for her father after the passing of her mother in 1981, rather than pursue a degree in zoology. Following in her father’s footsteps, she channeled her love of animals and trained thoroughbred racehorses in New York and Florida. Through this profession she met her husband, Anthony Serna, in New York and they soon moved to Florida to start a family.
To say Karina was a devoted mother would be an understatement. She loved her children, AJ (Anthony Jr.), Rhiannon, and Teagan, fiercely. Caring for them was always her first priority. The desire to raise her children in the best possible environment prompted the move to Friday Harbor in 1998. Here she was able to indulge her passions of cooking and gardening. Karina brought a world of color and life to the gardens she tended, as she did to every aspect of this world that she touched. With an eye for design and a warm love that would exude every part of her being, her ability to turn a house into a home was unparalleled. Despite her decision to not pursue a higher education, her children will remember the intelligent, self educated woman that raised them and inspired their own desires for knowledge (although they will now have to reluctantly turn to Google to answer everything from what temperature to roast a chicken to the history of any part of the world, rather than rely on her endless wealth of knowledge.)
Karina cherished the genuine friendships she found in Friday Harbor, as well as those that withstood distance and time throughout her life since childhood – all of whom were considered nothing short of family.
After beating her first fight five years earlier, Karina lost her second battle with breast cancer peacefully while at home surrounded by love with her family beside her. Preceded in death by her mother Margaret, father Spasoje (Joe), and brother Freddie. Survived by her loving husband Anthony Sr, and children, Anthony Jr, Rhiannon, and Teagan. Karina will be forever remembered for her beauty, unwavering strength to fight for her beliefs, her heart of gold and overwhelming love for her family. May she rest in well-earned peace.
There will be a private garden ceremony as the weather warms and we ask those who loved her to either make a donation to the animal shelter in her name, or to join us this spring to plant a flower in her garden in memory of the beautiful soul we all miss. A day will be confirmed at a later date.