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Kari Murtagh

June 1, 1966 ~ October 14, 2023 (age 57) 57 Years Old

Kari Murtagh Obituary

Kari Murtagh, 57, Aberdeen, SD, passed away Saturday, October 14, 2023, at her home.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Aberdeen, with Father Gregory Tschakert officiating.

Burial will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery following Mass.

After the burial, there will be a time of fellowship and luncheon at the church parish hall.

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct 24, at Schriver’s Memorial Chapel, with a liturgical wake at 7:00 p.m.

Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary and Crematory, 414 5th Avenue NW, Aberdeen, is in charge of arrangements.  Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at

Kari Parsons was born on June 1, 1966, in Aberdeen to Donald and Dawn (Ronning) Parsons. Her family moved to the cities the year following her birth. After two years, they moved to Mandan, ND, where she attended Christ the King Elementary School. In 1975, they moved to Bismarck, ND, where she attended St. Mary’s. They relocated back to Aberdeen in 1981, where she graduated from Aberdeen Central High School. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Science degree at Northern State University in 1988.

While attending NSU, she took part in a student exchange trip where she won the heart of Joseph “Joe” Murtagh.

Kari was a letter writer, Joe had to finish reading her letters when he got home from work. Joe, not being the letter writer that Kari was, kept in constant contact by phone. 

Kari made three trips to Ireland. On her third trip in 1992, Joe asked her to marry him, and she gladly accepted. Joe came to America in December of 1992, and they were married on March 13, 1993.  She then went on to receive her certification from the Institute for Reality Therapy in August 1993.

She later attended USD for her Master of Arts in 2016. In September of 2018, she received her license as an addiction counselor from the SD Board of Addiction and Prevention.

Kari had a love for all animals, especially cats and her daughter’s dog, Max, who clung to her whenever she was around. She always had two cats; as she would say, “Every cat needs a friend.” Her most recent two are her rescue cats, Shedcat and Prince.

Kari and Joe shared over 30 wonderful years together. Two children were born into this union: Joseph “Joey” Patrick the IV and Ciará Antoinette. Ciará has two of the most handsome wee men, Cohen Michael and Cillian Oisin. Kari’s eyes lit up every time she saw the two boys.

Kari spent all of her working years helping other people. She spent her last working years at Northeastern Mental Health, where she formed many strong relationships with her coworkers and clients whom she cared for deeply.

Grateful for having shared Kari’s life are her husband, Joe Murtagh; son, Joey (Ruth) Murtagh; daughter, Ciará; grandsons Cohen and Cillian; brothers Dan “Boone” and Dennis; uncle Jim Parsons; stepmother, Jody; bonus daughters: Brooklin Bower (Nordine) and Josie Folden (Goldade); and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Kari was preceded in death by her father, Donald “Don” Parsons; mother, Dawn Parsons; sister, Dawn “TD” Parsons; infant son, Anthony Christopher; and bonus daughter, Shelby Paige Linder.

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