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In Memoriam: Kim Kouri

In Memoriam:
Kim Kouri
1965 – 2018

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(Pictured: Kim with daughter Hayley March)

 

UPDATE: The memorial service to celebrate the life of Kimberly Kouri was held on Saturday, January 20th in Sausalito at the Portuguese Cultural Center from 4pm – 6pm.

Sunflower Wellness invites you to celebrate Kim Kouri at our annual Spring Bling event, which Kim co-founded.

 
Kim Kouri was one of a kind.

She was that rare blend of intelligence, warmth, compassion and high-octane fun. Breast cancer took her life in early January 2018, and from the outpouring of love and grief in the few days since, it’s clear that she touched many people deeply. Kim believed passionately in our work.

We got to know Kim in 2013 after she first discovered Sunflower Wellness. She immediately volunteered to help us spread the word about our program in Marin, and joined our Rapid Response team to reach out to new people looking to get exercise. Kim told us early on about her background in fundraising, and we hired her in early 2014 as our first Development Director. That, quite simply, changed the financial picture of our organization – our budget has since grown to nine times its prior size.

More importantly, through her tireless, hands-on work, Kim changed our reach to encompass hundreds more people with cancer. She started our exercise program at Rolling Hills Club in Novato, kicking off two of our classes there by teaching them herself for months before handing them to other instructors. She became an Exercise Counselor after weeks of study, helping us to expand our program at Marin General Hospital. With Regan Fedric, Kim dove into growing a significant relationship with Kaiser San Rafael to make sure their cancer patients would get access to exercise. She helped us to teach dozens of fitness professionals how to lead cancer-exercise classes, and she initiated an exercise class and discounted membership program at The Club at Harbor Point.

Throughout all of that work, which led to Kim joining our Board of Directors in 2016, Kim was a compassionate, caring friend to everyone she came in contact with. She was our “Energizer Bunny,” always with a big smile, a beautiful and infectious giggle, and a mind brimming with an endless stream of ideas. Testimonial after testimonial told us how much Kim helped ease people’s anxieties about cancer and concerns about getting exercise. And they told us how much fun her classes were.

Kim leaves behind a devoted family, including her life partner, Mark Sherburne, and the treasure of her life, daughter Hayley March, her mom Linda, her brother Denny, along with nieces and nephews.

Friends from the Sunflower Wellness community have written wonderful words about what Kim meant to them, including To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation (coming soon!), Kim’s daughter Hayley, and Larry Gerrans at Sanovas, where Kim worked last. Larry wrote:

“Kim was our friend, our sister, our family. Her smile and jovial personality brought warmth and sunshine into our lives here . . . EVERY DAY!  Kim knew you. She cared about you. And that was, perhaps, her most endearing quality. Kim cared for everyone, and she took the time to learn about the people she met and those whom she was responsible for. Kim was one of a kind!”

Ray Kaliski, from the Harbor Point Charitable Foundation, wrote:

“I cannot find the words to express my sadness in our collective loss of our friend and associate, Kim Kouri. I cannot recall a single person in my relatively long life that was more energetic, focused, giving and loving. The world is a better place for her presence on this planet and a more lonely one without her.

“I know she would not want us to lose a step in our efforts to improve the health and lives of the clients of Sunflower Wellness and the people counting on the inventiveness and medical creativity of Sanovas.

Let us all put extra effort into our work in the community in Kim’s name. She would love that!”

Sunflower Wellness will soon announce plans for honoring Kim, and will make updates here on this page. Donations in Kim’s honor can be made on our website.

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Kim’s reminder to all of us: get some exercise, and have fun doing it!

3 Comments

  1. Julan Braskamp

    The times I met Kim at different Sunflower events, she was friendly, upbeat, and warm. Learning of your passing was both
    shocking, and heartbreaking. May you rest in peace.

  2. Fara King

    It is heartbreaking to hear that Kim has passed, I was so looking forward to getting to know her. She will be missed may she rest in peace forever

  3. Lori Ling

    I first met Kim through To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation. We modeled together in 2012. What a spark she had – fresh out of treatment, no hair (I barely any myself) and so full of life. We were never close friends, however, each and every time we saw each other over the years, always a hug, and a smile with a giggle. I last saw Kim a few months ago when she came to speak and move at our Survivorship group on behalf of Sunflower Wellness. She had treatment earlier that day, but she had the whole group lined up in the Kaiser Terra Linda “old emergency room” parking lot moving and laughing just like in class then stretching and cooling down in the hallway outside the physical therapy waiting room cheering us on and showing us what we needed to do to stay healthy and fit. So much fun, so much love, such an inspiration … such a tragic loss, I am sorry to lose such a bright light, I am grateful that I have been touched by a glimmer of her sunshine, she will truly be missed.

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