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Karen Bigsby Hurley Carlin Finstad

Born: 1948. Married: John Carlin, May 1981.

Karen Bigsby was born in 1948. She attended Lawrence High School and Washburn University where she received a bachelor’s degree in political science. She attended graduate school at Wichita State University. In May 1981 she married John Carlin, who was the 40th governor of Kansas. She served as First Lady from 1981 to 1985.

In her capacity as First Lady she founded Friends of Cedar Crest, a nonprofit organization devoted to raising funds to purchase and accept gifts to furnish or improve the executive residence. John and Karen Carlin were divorced in 1985. She later served as executive director of the Delta Dental of Kansas Foundation and served on the advisory board for the Wichita and Kansas City "Smiles Change Lives" program. She later married Duane Finstad.

Entry: Finstad, Karen Bigsby Hurley Carlin

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: December 2015

Date Modified: January 2016

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.