Karin Ingrid Breiter
February 12, 1968 – June 4, 2018
Karin Ingrid Breiter, of Alexandria, VA, passed away peacefully in her sleep due to complications of the flu on June 4, 2018. Karin was born in Wilmington, DE on February 12, 1968 and had lived in Fairfax County, Virginia since 1970. She graduated from W. T. Woodson High School in 1986 and from Penn State University in 1990 where she received a B.S. Degree in Physics. Shortly after graduation she joined the Department of Defense at Fort Belvoir as an engineer in the Humanitarian Demining research and development program which eventually fell under the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate where she helped in the development of land mine detectors used around the world. She was employed there continuously up until the time of her death.
One of Karin’s biggest passions in life was her love of music. Following her favorite bands took her all over North America and Europe and through her travels she met many people who would not only become good friends but would become her family away from home. She did her best to keep in touch with as many of them as possible on a daily basis, their friendship brought real joy to her life. Karin also had a true love and passion for wildlife in general, but for birds in particular. Anyone who sat or talked with Karin long enough would soon be hearing stories and looking at pictures of her beloved American Bald Eagles. She was fortunate that there were several bald eagle nests near her office along the Potomac River and on breaks and at lunch you could always find Karin walking down near the water with her binoculars, taking notes on the days sightings which she would eagerly share with anyone who would listen.
Karin was the youngest of three children. She is survived by her parents, Jerome and Antoinette (Bizyak) Breiter of Salt Lake City, Utah; sister Kirsten Johnson and her husband Steven of Fairfax, Virginia; brother Karl Breiter and his wife Cathy of Salt Lake City, Utah; nieces Danielle and Megan Breiter and a multitude of extended family and friends around the world. A memorial service honoring Karin will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations in Karin’s memory be made to the American Eagle Foundation at https://www.eagles.org/product/make-a-donation/
“No one leaves you when you live in their heart and mind” - Marillion © 1997
“In the end people won't remember what you said, people won’t remember what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou (paraphrased)
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Karin Ingrid Breiter
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June 20, 2018
Way back on September 22, 1973, my husband and I got married. Karin was probably around five years old at the time and came to our wedding with her family. I may have been the first bride she had ever seen and she was mesmerized with this girl in the “beautiful “ gown and veil. We think she thought I was a princess. Karin was my little shadow all evening. She was with us until the very end of the reception, even when my mom had removed my veil and my husband and I were leaving. She will always be in my heart💕
June 17, 2018
Karin was many things to many people and I was fortunate enough to know her both as a family member and as a friend.
I met Karin as a pre-teen younger sister of a good high school friend. She was a pesky, mischievous young girl, one who you had to keep an eye on lest you become the target of one of her pranks.
Later my high school friend became my wife and Karin became my sister. This was the take charge, strong independent Karin, blunt and to the point, who told it like it was no holds barred. If you were doing something that she didn’t agree with or approve of you heard about it in honest terms that left no doubt as to how she felt about it, but she was also fiercely loyal and caring. Over the years more than one doctor got an earful from Karin if she didn’t think that a loved one was receiving the care that she thought that they deserved. If someone was hurt she would jump right into take charge mode and come to their aid directing people as to what needed to be done NOW.
Somewhere along the lines Karin also became my friend. This was the playful, fun loving, joke telling, sometimes innocent but still fiercely loyal Karin. It turned out that we shared many interests and we always seemed to find a way to make any situation fun. To hear her giggle or see her bounce up and down like a little schoolgirl when a duck or goose would go “bottoms up” never failed to put a smile on my face. Sometimes when we were out and about our conversations would get so off track and silly that we would both get laughing so hard that we could hardly breathe, many times right in the middle of a restaurant or shop, neither of us caring what anyone thought. Over the years we went on various adventures, trips, concerts, dinners, walks, watched countless hours of movies and TV shows or just chatted away the day.
I will miss those times, both the times that we enjoyed and the times that we had planned that will now never be, but I will mostly just miss Karin.
June 15, 2018
My heartfelt sympathy to all the Breiters and friends of Karin. Please let us know how we can be helpful, and peace to you all.
Heather, Pat, Harper and Tiernan
June 14, 2018
Oh, my beautiful baby sister, so much to say, but I can't find the words. Just this:
I love you ALWAYS. Until we meet again......
June 14, 2018
Karin was more than just my friend - she was my surrogate sister across the pond. She was someone who shared my passions for wildlife and music, we'd have long conversations about what we'd seen flying into our gardens, marvel at what we'd seen on our travels. I would try and source British chocolates and gifts for her, she would send me examples of American confectionary. She wore out her National Trust tote bag, my American Eagle Foundation cap is my everyday hat. Every year she would send me the Whitehouse Historical Association Christmas Ornament, which led to me creating the "Karin tree". One year she sent me a box of what she felt were fine examples of Americana to hang from it: a football, beer cooler, Army cap, Gold Elvis and an Eagle. And the irony was Karin didn't "do" Christmas, yet she went out of her way to make sure I enjoyed mine.
We were also briefly "married" - on a trip to England in 2005 she had a day off and got the train to Bristol. Realising we'd never make her return train, we managed to persuade the rail company at another station to let "my wife" travel back from there to London for an important meeting. They even complimented her a first class ticket! On the platform she shouted "goodbye darling!" gave me a bear hug and big kiss. That was KB, she had a mischievous side that was a joy to be around. She delighted in learning and adopting new forms of profanity to try out at work. So many stories, so many happy memories.
My thoughts go to her family whom she loved without measure.
I know she would say to me "enough JM, get on with your life already!" so I can think of no better way to honour her than to continue the things she loved and try to pass that passion on to others.
"Though we know that time has wings, we're the ones who have to fly."
June 13, 2018
It’s incredibly hard to write this and still so unreal. I knew Karin since the late 90’s through my work with Marillion. We soon formed a very close bond and even though we lived an ocean apart, we met as often as we could at Marillion concerts and chatted almost daily online.
We both adored watching Greys Anatomy and would talk about the new episodes each week the day after we both watched them. My most recent adventure with Karin was a trip to The White House and the House of Representatives where we had the most incredible day and both felt very lucky to be there. It’s something I will never forget. I will also never forget my friend who sometimes drank too much, laughed too loudly and didn’t use her ‘inside voice’. I loved Karin for the whole of her. I miss her so much already.
June 12, 2018
Karin recently shared with me that she had mapped out all of the eagle nests at Fort Belvoir. Now every time I see an eagle soaring it reminds me of her. I like to think she's up there soaring with them now.
June 10, 2018
Karin and I shared a love of live music, and saw some great shows when we worked together at Fort Belvoir (1991-1993). Dash Rip Rock, Smithereens, Stanley Jordan, INXS, Edgar Winter, etc, at places like DC Space, 9:30, Insect Club, plus several others. Rest In Peace, KIB.
June 7, 2018
Karin and I became friends working together at Night Vision...she was such a fun loving person.
We shared many happy times including NV picnics, trips to Fl and RI and eating blue crabs and drinking beer.
I retired and moved away but we stayed in touch thru FB...enjoyed reading about her trips to England.
She will be in my thoughts.
Prayers are with her family at this sad time.
June 7, 2018
Karin was my best friend starting around 2nd grade and holding steady through 6th. We spent the night with each other almost every weekend; we made huge sandwiches, played hours of Monopoly, Life and Battleship; we played imaginary games, read every Nancy Drew book in print at the time and held (probably painful for our audiences...) fashion shows in which we starred. Though we haven’t been in touch in 35 years, she has been and always will be a huge part of my childhood memories.
Love to her family,
Jennifer Longest Enani
June 6, 2018
Karin and I became friends at Night Vision. We had great conversations and great times together. Concerts, trip to Aruba, nature walks, panda visits and other adventures. In the last few weeks she helped to make sure my retirement from Federal Service was special and memorable. Her heart was big and kind. She often talked of her family and how much she loved them. Sending love to all those who loved her.
June 6, 2018
Karin is one of my oldest and best childhood friends. We lived across the street from each other in Truro and were almost inseparable from grade school (Wake Forest) to junior high (Frost) and first year of high school (Woodson), in spite of us being a year apart. So many silly memories of boys, swimming, ping pong, popcorn and Love Boat and Fantasy Island on Saturday nights, Space Invaders and Asteroids, more boys, 7-11, babysitting, prank phone calls, sledding on plastic bags, pogo sticks, and fireworks. Just to name a few. When work occasionally brought me to DC as an adult, we would meet for drinks and dinner and the years just slipped away. I envy those who knew Karin better in recent years, but I claim a friendship going back to 1978. I pulled out an old yearbook and saw that her closing inscription was “Friends forever & ever & ever.” Didn’t realize how short forever was going to be. So sorry Jerome and Toni, Karl and Cathy, and Kirsten and Steve.