The Paul Mortuary

390 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA


Karma Crofts Criddle

August 8, 1928September 8, 2020

Karma Crofts Criddle, age 92, died peacefully after a brief illness on September 8, 2020 in Monterey, California. She is survived by her six children. John Linden Criddle (Darla) of Medford, Oregon, Laren Jay Criddle (Vicky) of Cupertino, California; Karel Gundlach (Ron) of Sturgis, Michigan; Kevin Charles Criddle of Pleasanton, California; Allyn Wenzel (Phil) of Pebble Beach, California; Karmalee Jansky of Meilen, Switzerland; seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Karma was born on August 8, 1928 in Cedar City, Utah; the youngest of eleven children to John Edward and Mary Jane Hoyt Crofts. She grew up in the small town of Orderville, Utah, spending her days surrounded by immediate and extended family. Summers were spent on the mountain at her father’s saw mill. She graduated from Dixie College in St. George, Utah, and then Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, with a degree in Elementary Education in 1953.

In 1953, Karma met and married Jay Roscoe Criddle of Idaho Falls, Idaho. She taught for a few years in American Fork, Utah, before moving to Carmel, California, in 1962 to raise her children with her husband. She spent several years as a stay-at-home mother before working as a teacher and then director at Sunset Preschool in Pacific Grove. She retired from teaching preschool in 1995 after 20 years of service to the community. She touched many lives in her role as teacher, friend and mother. Karma was very active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in many volunteer positions including as a missionary in the Northwestern States (1949-50), Sunday school and Primary teacher, Primary Pianist, Primary President, and in Relief Society Presidencies.

Karma was an avid reader and writer all her life. Prior to marriage, her ambition was to be a foreign news correspondent. She had a very retentive memory that she employed to play cards with friends and grandchildren. She loved cooking, her specialties were cakes and rolls. She passed on recipes to her children and grandchildren for celebrating holidays, graduations, birthdays, and special events. Karma had a gift for recalling details and never forgot a face, recognizing former students as adults upon chance encounters.

A special thank you to the staff at Carmel Hills Care Center, Dr. Susan Kubica, and Karma’s close friends for taking such excellent care of her these past three and a half years. A virtual celebration of her life can be attended on September 18, 2020 at 4:00PM PST by emailing awenzel512@gmail.com for the Zoom link. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice. Internment and graveside services will be in Orderville, Utah, on September 26, 2020.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Karma Crofts Criddle

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carol Ferrantelli

September 19, 2020

I became friends with Karma while working with her at Sunset Preschool. She was beloved by my family. Her kind, caring and nurturing soul will be missed by many.

Colleen Baird

September 18, 2020

Karma was born 8/8/1928, Katherine 4/8/1929, Colleen 4/18/1929. The three girls were like sisters growing up in Orderville. Colleen remembers when she and Karma, as young girls, decided to go "visiting teaching". Not all the ladies in the ward wanted to be bothered, but Martha and Noreen Porter opened their door to the young teachers.
Colleen remembers the time when she and Karma started a fire in the outhouse at Swains Creek. They were concerned the paper was getting too high and decided to take care of the problem. Luckily the guys working at the sawmill were close and put the fire out. Colleen says "we got into a little bit of trouble that time".
Karma called Colleen every month to reminisce and catch up on life and families. Sometimes one of the two would remember something the other couldn't and off they would go!
Colleen says she is sad that Karma went first, but to make room for her to follow soon. Karma is loved and will be missed.

Mary Kay King

September 16, 2020

Karma, and her family, were those wonderful next door people that made our year in Carmel so much fun! We loved all of the family and had many great adventures with each of them.
Karma and I would ride our bikes from our homes almost every morning (after the kids were out the door!). We would ride around the shopping centers that were near by. It was for exercise we always said, BUT we also always stopped at Baskin Robbins for an ice cream cone before heading home. We have special memories of John, who would bring my mother when he would come home from Cal-Poly. Laren was always willing to sit with our boys and answer a thousand questions. Kevin was the one who helped us move and drive the U-Haul to Klamath Falls in 1982. Karel was our babysitter who always had exciting things for our boys to do. She was sweet and was very patient with them. Allyn was like another member of our family!! She just fit in and I always thought she should be along when we were going some place! KarmaLee was a little thing but always polite and friendly. Karma and I would always laugh at her antics!!
I know my friendship with Karma was lifelong. We stayed in touch even after we moved to Oregon. A visit to Carmel always included spending time with her... laughing and catching up on the doing of our families. I know she will have a special place in Heaven and will bring joy to everyone there. Our memories of Karma, here on Earth are strong and bring us much joy.

Katharine Edwards

September 12, 2020

Karma and I were like cousins instead of her being my Aunt. she was only 8 month older than I. Colleen and Karma and I shared wonderful memories growing up in Orderville. My Dad was her oldest brother Arlos Crofts. Grandma Hoyt used to tell us such wonderful stories while the men were out fishing. Wish I could remember all the stories, but I have a great, great love for our ancestors too.
Karma was always so full of love and had such an optimistic look on life. I called her not long before she passed away. She loved her family dearly.
When we were at the BYU we shared time together. She and Jay came to our apartment and loved our first tiny baby Debi. She was always wonderful. We went to a Crofts Reunion in Idaho Falls, Idaho just as our missions were over and had such a good reunion together. We served missions about the same time (1950/51). I knew her daughter Carol and loved her, but only heard a lot about the rest of you. I love your dear Mom/ Grandmother so much!! I miss her terribly . Katharine, Crofts Edwards

Diane Chatwin

September 11, 2020

I have such vivid memories of Karma because we were close neighbors when our children were young. I learned so much about parenting from watching Karma. ALL of my children remember the wonderful smells (and food) that emanated from the Criddle kitchen and I remember the wonderful woman who was Karma. She was such a loving person . . . so kind, so filled with charity and upbeat even when life was difficult. I last saw her a month ago, through a window because of the pandemic and she was smiling.

muriel Menssen

September 11, 2020

Karma and I got acquainted with each other when we drove together to her brother Alf's funeral. Since that time we have corresponded with one another and shared experiences and family stories. As a child I remember her as a fun aunt at family reunions....someone who would perform fun skits and always had a positive loving personality. I feel she went into heaven excited about the next big adventure in her life. Her siblings were probably very excited to have her join them once again.

Mike Ross

September 11, 2020

My grandma Passey and my mother would speak often about Karma and always with high regard. I always had a sense that she was someone very special. My interactions with her are limited but fond as she was always very kind to me when she looked after me a few times as a boy. Gentleness, patience, kindness. I was very young but I remember. I'm glad to have known her even if it was peripheral. I'm leaving this memory because it seems like this world has much need for more people like Karma in it. She was such a jewel.

Susan ward

September 11, 2020

What I remember most about karma was her warm smile and friendly outlook on life. I met Karma when we first moved to Monterey and spent many years in a book group with her, Karma was such a loving and caring friend. She shared stories about her family and growing up. I loved our visits before her residence was shut down due to the COVID pandemic which prevented me from visiting her in person. We were able to speak once in a while on the phone. Karma was always upbeat. I will miss her.

Laren Criddle

September 11, 2020


The Dong Family

September 11, 2020

We really loved the gentle, caring experience our boys had with Karma at Sunset Preschool. She taught us so much about parenting and how to slow down and enjoy life with young children. Thanks for sharing her with us. We will miss her.


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