Born in: Rock Island, Illinois
Resided in: Morrison, Colorado

Karen was born in Rock Island, Illinois and graduated high school from Battle Creek Academy in Battle Creek, Michigan. She graduated from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan where she met her husband Roy, “Perry”. She attended medical school at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana and received additional medical certifications from the University of Colorado in Denver, Colorado for Internal Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation through the School of Medicine; and Epidemiology, Statistics, and Research through the School of Public Health. She completed a residency at Saint Joseph Hospital and a fellowship program in neurotrauma at Craig Hospital. She was board certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1986 and through the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 1990.

She started her private practice in 1993 focusing on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, while she concurrently worked as Medical Director for the Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facility at the Rocky Mountain MS Center at Swedish Medical Center from 1993 – 1999. She was Associate Medical Director and Medical Director at Spalding West Rehab Center from 1990 – 2002, Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation from 1999-2013, Rehabilitation Director for the Multi-trauma Unit at Swedish Hospital from 2006-2011, as well as Medical Director for Learning Services Neuro-Behavioral Institute West from 2008-2011. She worked on the forefront of Multiple Sclerosis care, treatment and research as the Medical Programs Coordinator at the Jimmie Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis from 1991 – 2010. Also in 1991, she began working at the Colorado Neurological Institute, where she helped to develop programs for treatment of Acquired Brain Injury, including stroke, and Spasticity Clinic, MS Clinic, ALS clinic, as well as other clinics to coordinate assessment for durable medical equipment and neurological patient populations. She was published in multiple medical journals and gave lectures at various medical conferences over the years based on her expertise. She was experienced in alternative methods for pain management and received additional certifications for acupuncture as well as other novel methods for treating pain in patients with brain tumors, stroke, and neuro-traumatic disorders.

Karen was an excellent cook, enjoyed running and training for the Bolder Boulder, gardening and tending to her beautiful rose garden in the foothills. Her hospitality was unmatched, welcoming many family and friends into her meticulously kept home over the years. She was incredibly devoted to her family, and always put her children first no matter how distant the geographical separation. She was an amazing grandmother, filling up her free moments spending time with her granddaughter Avalyn.

Karen is survived by her husband Roy Theriot, her daughter Alison See, husband Scott See, their daughter Avalyn, and her daughter Lyndsey Theriot, husband Aaron Cleveland. She is also survived by her mother Delphine Overfield, brother Michael Overfield, and sister Suzan Page. She is preceded in death by her father David Overfield and sister Tami Szafranowski.

Should you desire to make an expression of sympathy in honor of Karen’s amazing legacy and values, memorial contributions may be made to the Craig Hospital Foundation, Rocky Mountain MS Society or to her granddaughter’s college education fund.

Charities

The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in Karen Dawn Theriot's name.

Craig Hospital Foundation


,

Visit the website

Rocky Mountain MS Society


,

Visit the website

Theriot College Education Fund


,

Visit the website

Memories Timeline

Photo Gallery

Guestbook

  1. Sending our deepest sympathies to Karen’s family and friends. She was an amazing soul. I worked with her at the Jimmie Heuga Center early on. We served on a program planning committee while we were both pregnant without first child. My son was born on March 18, 1990 which I believe is Alison’s Birthday.
    Karen was instrumental in the structure and basis of the CAN DO MS program that is actually providing a virtual 4 day clinic right now. May 13-16.
    We have many PTs, MDs,OTs, SLPs,Exercise Physiologists, CRNPs,Physcologists,Social Workers, Dieticians and past and present in house staff grieving the loss of Karen. She was a dynamo. We all learned so much from her and appreciate all that she gave personally and professionally!
    We treasure the time that we were fortunate to share with her!
    May her beautiful soul Rest In Peace.May God Bless and Keep your family forever in His Care!

    Reply
  2. I sure Love my cousin Karen! So much respect on what She was able to accomplish in her life to reach out only to put other people first. Surely appointed by GOD. What a wonderful lady! I can see Jesus saying “Well done good and faithful servant” I love you and look forward to seeing you again someday.

    Reply
  3. I was lucky to have worked with Karen for many years. She was a superb physician with remarkable problem solving skills. Always thinking about patients first, she was firm but loving, direct but caring, strong and giving. She will be missed by many. May the memories of her and many accomplishments be celebrated by all!

    Reply
  4. Deepest sympathies to Karen’s entire family. She was a strong, gifted and caring woman, an amazing physician, and a highly respected colleague among neurologists and physiatrists all over the metro area. She will be missed so much. She touched many lives and made the world a better place.

    Reply
  5. I was very sad to hear of her passing. She was a wonderful person and great physician. My condolences to her family and friends.

    Reply
  6. Karen gave so much to our participants in CAN DO M.S. Her calm, thoughtful and analytical approach helped many find new hope in the solutions she offered. Prayers to her family.

    Reply
  7. Deepest sympathies to Karen’s family. I had the pleasure of working with Karen and have the utmost respect for her . She will be missed greatly but never forgotten.

    Reply
  8. Dr. Theriot was an amazing physician with a huge heart. She was so humble, admired, and loved by many. She had a unique gift that she shared with the world. May she Rest In Peace and her legacy of compassion and knowledge live on.

    Reply
  9. Karen has been a great mentor and friend. We worked together at The Heuga Center for MS. I was an appreciative guest in her home back in the 90’s during an ACSM meeting in Denver. I still remember her garden, and standing in the kitchen with her being set up with cereal for breakfast. She wouldn’t hear of me leaving for the meeting without something to eat in the mornings. She and Perry had built an accessible guestroom in their home, with every detail flawless in the event Jimmie Heuga was their guest. I was made a guest in that room and I still remember my awe at how well it was designed. I can still hear her voice, discussing an issue with a participant or staff in her frank, gentle way. I see her smile and hear her laugh and remember so many staff dinners and conversations. I will miss her energy in the world. My gratitude runs deep that my path in life has run parallel with Karen’s for the years she was with now CanDo MS. She wove threads in the fabric of my life. Thank you, Karen, much love and rest well.

    Reply
  10. Debra Bandstra SLP
    I’ve had the honor and pleasure of working with and learning from Dr. Theriot since 1990. Our professional working paths crossed at Spalding, Swedish, MS center, ALS clinic, and CNI to name a few locations. A remarkably brilliant woman who shared what she knew with others without a second thought. She shared my interest in gardening and the beauty of Colorado, I will miss her and
    always think of her fondly.
    To her family and friends, Karen was loved and appreciated. My deepest condolences.
    Debra B

    Reply
  11. Jen and I were devastated to her about Karen and our hearts go out to Perry, Alison and Lyndsey. We both had the tremendous pleasure to work with Karen and ‘soak up’ her amazing knowledge, but what we most enjoyed was getting to know her as a friend. Karen had a great passion for her patients and coworkers. She also had a wonderful sense of humor, dry and sharp. She would always light up when talking about her family and provided wonderful stories about balancing motherhood with being a physician. Family was always her priority, but she always amazed me with how she balanced everything on her calendar. She touched so many people with her knowledge, kindness and energy. Karen was one of a kind. I feel so fortunate to have known her and the Theriot family. Karen, we will miss you.

    Reply
  12. Karen was a very strong, compassionate and highly intelligent woman. She loved her family and fought to stay on this earth as long as possible. She helped so many people in her life for the knowledge she strived for and achieved. I never remember her not preparing for a challenge with all possible tools for success and achieving it. She was loved by family, friends and many of the patients she helped through her life. She will be missed and life will not be the same for many. Prayers go out to Karen’s family.
    May Christ comfort them in this sad and heart breaking time.

    Reply
  13. We send all of you our deepest sympathy and love on such a sad occasion. May the Lord comfort and bless all of you in your time of sorrow. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  14. I worked with Karen for over 30 years, both at Swedish/Spalding rehab as well as at CNI. I remember her as smart and caring, always striving to provide the best care for her patients. As a physical therapist, I often worked closely with her trying to find the best way to care for some of our most complex patients. Her intelligence and heart were always evident.

    I feel priveleged to have worked with her. My heartfelt condolences to her family whom she loved so very much. She always brightened when talking about you, especially Ava. I know her absence will leave a gaping hole in your hearts.

    Reply
  15. As a patient with MS I always admired and respected Dr. Theriot’s analytical ability to formulate practical solutions to help me deal with the continuous debilitating symptoms of the disease.
    Karen was caring giving and committed to her patients. Thank you family for sharing Karen with her patients. May you find the peace and love of our Lord as you grieve the loss of Karen’s life here.

    Reply
  16. I had the pleasure of working closely with Karen for more than 20 years. She was a wonderful, one-of-a-kind person and clinician. In her clinical work, she combined a broad knowledge base and extensive experience with insight, practicality, and kindness. She created and then filled a much-needed niche for specific types of rehabilitation care in the Rocky Mountain region. She had great passion for her work—over the past several years, she and I had multiple conversations about whether she would continue her work—in all of these conversations she said very clearly and directly that she enjoyed her work and that it gave her life meaning. That attitude and passion were very apparent in her day-to-day work. Even just a few days before she passed away, she was seeing patients in our office and, due to severe fatigue, took naps on her exam table between appointments. I’m not sure this even struck her as being extraordinary. She will be deeply missed by many.

    Reply
  17. We had the unique opportunity to meet Karen when our son, Aaron, began dating Lyndsey. We were immediately struck by her warmth, charisma and love for her family. Karen was a brilliant woman with a gentleness and an unwavering commitment to her family and patients. She had an amazing ability to balance life’s many priorities with poise. When our families had the opportunity to spend more time together last summer at Lyndsey and Aaron’s wedding, we were again reminded of how fortunate we are to be forever linked with the Theriot family.

    We will always remember Karen’s smile, kindness and dedication to her family. Karen was loved by many and will be missed. We are so pleased and honored that we had the opportunity to know her.

    Reply
  18. I worked at Colorado Neurological Institute and worked with this wonderful physician on some studies. She was wonderful with her patients and such a great person. I am sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  19. I miss Dr. Theriot so much already! My husband and I are deeply saddened by her passing. Our prayers are and will continue to be with her family, friends and any other patients who may have heard the news.

    I will always cherish the years I had working with Dr. Theriot. She had great expertise in her field, which I could tell from the first time I saw her, yet she was not a proud person who left no room for my input on what I was experiencing. While she maintained appropriate professionalism, she was also very respectful and caring, eager to listen and help with my complex medical issues. I will be hard-pressed to find a doctor to take over my care who will be like Dr. Theriot… however, this is something for which I am grateful since I have no desire to replace her. No one could ever take her place; she was unique and special in her own right. I can tell from reading some of the other testimonials from people who knew her in a different way, that I am not the only one who am blessed to have been able to be touched by such a special person as Dr. Karen Theriot.

    Reply
  20. My husband and I are deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Theriot’s death. He was a patient for over twenty years and a counsel to me many times. Her individual attention to his needs was unprecedented. She cared about all of him not just the MS symptoms. We have lost a great doctor and a wonderful friend. Our sympathies extend to her family whom she always spoke of so fondly.

    Reply
  21. Dear Perry (Roy).
    I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Karen’s passing. Her life was cut far too short. You, Alison and Lyndsay must be so devastated. I am so glad I was able to get to know Karen, and your whole family, especially during the years we worked together at Swedish Hospital, Spalding Rehab and the Jimmie Heuga program . She was like family, and I am so thankful to have known her and learned from her.

    I especially appreciated her quiet, understated nature, yet powerful, practical insights into MS care. She was instrumental in setting up the Jimmie Heuga Program (now Can Do MS). Jimmie choosing her as his doctor. says a lot. As I just read her obituary and all that Karen accomplished, I was blown away. She never honked her own horn. Thank you for doing that for her. I “only” knew her as a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doctor, There I saw how well she understood and respected the value and contribution of each therapy discipline, no matter the diagnosis.

    I also have many fun memories of watching the fireworks together from your amazing home in the foothills overlooking Denver. And I’m not sure if she ever told you, but during one of our New England Heuga programs, she actually brought down a plane, after called to assess a passenger’s cardiac status!! The pilot had to dump fuel and land emergently.(in Chicago, I think?). When we arrived in Denver, the pilot announced that the man survived and was doing well.. We all cheered for him and for her. Another example of your small and mighty wife, whom I will never forget.

    You and your family are in my prayers,
    Pam Miller (Sorensen)

    Reply
  22. To Karen’s husband and daughters,
    We were all touched and blessed by her diligence, genuine practicality, generosity, caring, sharp dry humor and guiding ways. You were recipients of her undying affection and you were placed as top priority in her life.

    I received enormous amounts of encouragement and wise advice as her younger sister. In her last year and the last day on earth, she shared her ocean-wide love for me. There was nothing left unsaid between us. For that I am so grateful. She was a giver of un-matched amounts of care even when she was stern! The best advice she gave me was, “…a goal without a plan is simply a wish and wishing won’t make it so…” This advice changed the trajectory of my life and enabled me to move into line with who she was. I will never forget the day when she sat sick and shivering in the rain, just to see me graduate and move into another level of my career in cancer care. I will never forget her traveling with me, while still suffering through treatment, to attend my son’s celebration of life because she did not want me to do that without her. I miss her in ways I cannot describe and I take her spirit with me every time I provide care for other breast cancer patients. Because of her, those patients receive better care than I could have given without her influence.

    She was one of a kind! She was fiercely brilliant. I’m so proud to call her sister. She will always be part of who I am today and into the future—a much better version of who I would have been, were it not for her.

    She was my sister, but she nurtured me, gave me discipline when I needed it and she loved me unconditionally. She was my sister, but mothered me through hard times.

    I am here for you when she can’t be. I love all three of you almost as much as she did. There are no words for a loss this profound. Love you, Aunt Suzie

    Reply
  23. Karen was my childhood friend and neighbor. We stayed good friends through high school years and roomed together two years in college. That was also where we had the good fortune to meet Perry. I still remember Karen and Perry studying on many a Saturday evening while the rest of us did not! She was always smart, focused, patient, goal oriented, curious and artistic too. She had a quiet sense of humor and an easy smile as a young woman. When I read above of her many accomplishments throughout her adult life, I am struck by what a gift she was to so many people: Patients, colleagues, friends and family. What a sense of pride all of her family must feel. And with that a sense of loss. She truly left a legacy. Rest In Peace dear friend from youthful times. I will always remember you and you have a place in my heart that will live on.

    Reply
  24. Karen was a special doctor, friend, and champion for people with MS. In the “early days”, I recruited her to establish a career in Rehab Medicine at the Rocky Mountain MS Center. She was a special person and Doctor for everyone involved with MS including the other Health Care Professionals at the RMMS Center. Soft spoken, kind, smart and caring describe her. Her contributions and smiles will live forever.
    Jack Burks, MD, Founder, RRMS Center

    Reply
  25. My brother Michael Angell and I are deeply saddened by Dr. Theriot’s passing. Dr. Theriot always focused less on Michael’s multiple diagnoses and more on how he actually felt, moved and lived. She helped him greatly. We will miss her good doctoring and wit. Our sympathies extend to Dr. Theriot’s family and close friends.

    Reply
  26. I was so sad to hear of Dr.Theriot’s passing. I was patient of hers and at my last appointment with her she was talking about what a great Christmas she had with her family. She could not stop talking about her granddaughter. It was evident just how much she loved her family. She was wonderful lady and she will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time

    Reply
  27. Karen was a major force in the arenas of rehabilitation and multiple sclerosis. Her excellence and her caring impacted the lives of many individuals and communities. Few can compare.

    Reply
  28. First, I am so sorry for you loss Roy (Perry), Allison, and Lindsey. Second, I am so sorry for my loss as Karen was a dear friend, colleague, and so much more. When Dr. Hank Brammell recommended that she would be an incredible asset to our “merry band” at the Jimmie Heuga Center, I believed my mentor and could not have imagined how universally important she would be as an outstanding colleague, but more importantly, as my friend. Karen truly was the most significant “utility player”, whether it be neurology, internal medicine, or physiatry, at the Jimmie Heuga Center. My heart and healing energy go to you all. Please let me know how you are all doing. KC, Cody, Miranda, and I are with you in spirit.

    Reply
  29. I am deeply saddened by Karen’s passing. She was a great physician and friend and such an integral part of the Rocky Mountain MS Center. Our mutual time at the MS center was one of great progress and innovation in care and management of MS patients. Karen was central to improving the care of MS patients. Her novel leadership in the interdisciplinary management of spasticity was one example of bringing a team together to make the life of a patient and their family better. She will be deeply missed by all but her impact as a physician and friend will live on in all of us.

    Ronald S. Murray, MD
    Former Medical and Research Director
    Rocky Mountain MS Center

    Reply

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook