Karla Marie Grant, 47, of Davis, died unexpectedly on January 11, 2006. Born in Millington, Tennessee, Karla grew up in Sacramento and attended Encina High School and UC Davis. For more than 20 years, she was involved in social work, helping children and adults living with disabilities, mental illness, emotional disturbances and dual diagnoses. Karla received a bachelor's degree and her Master of Social Work degree from California State University, Sacramento, and was a member of the Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society.
Karla moved to Davis in 1997, where she continued her primary work as a violence prevention consultant, and as a behavior analyst for emotionally disturbed children and adolescents.
At the age of 12, Karla began training in the martial arts. She held a 7th degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate and a 3rd degree Black Belt in Kosho-Shorei Karate. She was ranked internationally and was a nominee to the Martial Arts Hall of Fame. In the 1970's Karla pioneered her violence prevention education programs in tandem with her unique style of self-defense instruction. She taught her curriculum at UC Davis for more than 19 years. Thousands of students enrolled in her classes, and she was routinely stopped in public by former students who told her that she had changed their lives. She was an advisor to sexual assault coalition teams, universities, crisis centers and law enforcement. Karla was a published author. She had been featured on TV news programs and in various publications. She was a champion for the rights, dignity, and safety of women and children.
Karla will be remembered for her quick wit and sense of humor, her compassion and nonjudgment, and her willingness to help others. She enjoyed music, cooking, kayaking, weapons, rock and mineral collecting, discussing world religions and metaphysics. Most of all she cherished her time working with children and found that very rewarding.
Karla was preceded in death by her mother, Jean Grant. She is survived by her life partner, Lynn Peters; step-daughter Marina Sterner of Davis; sister Karen Grant of Sacramento; sister Kris Hannan and her husband Tom of Durham, North Carolina; sister Kym Fischer and her husband Dan of Grant's Pass, Oregon; and a brother, Kurt.
A memorial service was held on Thursday, January 19, 2006 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Karla Grant Memorial Fund, c/o The Sacramento Region Community Foundation, 555 Capitol Mall, Suite 550, Sacramento CA 95814. The fund will be used to continue violence prevention education and programs that support the interests of children.