Karen will be with you forever.
  • Born on July 7, 1943 in Coney Island, New York, United States.
  • Passed away on August 20, 2019 in Melville, New York, United States.
On August 20th 2019, Karen Elizabeth Nash left our dance floor for the final time. To all that knew her, we offer this humble memorial to an extraordinary woman.


For over 30 years Karen worked in the field of Therapeutic Recreation. She brought joy and a better quality of life to all with whom she worked. She was an educator as well. She taught at Columbia as well as offered continuing education to her residents. They even had a graduation. 
To continue her legacy, the "Karen Nash Therapeutic Recreation Certification Award" has been developed to provide financial aid to Therapeutic Recreation students at Lehman so they can take the  certification exam given by the National Council of Therapeutic Recreation.    
For further information, please contact Honey Shields at hshields@nyc.rr.com


The Journey of An Angel
It was a day that would change the world forever
An extraordinary gift
And it came to us in the form of a baby girl
She was given the name Karen
Karen began her journey towards the light
absorbing each of humanity’s greatest attributes 
and reflecting them into every person she met
Karen chose to spend her life in the service of others
Through her efforts, many smiles emerged
Many souls found peace and joy
Many hearts learned to sing
Karen raised two sons
And while they both brought her joy
It was her induction into the Nanahood
That truly lit her up
Karen cherished family above all else
Whether immediate or extended, you always got ALL of Karen
Her brothers, her nieces, her great-nieces
Each individual was a vital ingredient to her well-being
Karen had lots of friendships
But they were the way friendships were meant to be had
Friendships that spanned decades and were unconditional
Friendships that will transcend eternity
So it is Karen’s wish
That you celebrate her life
Carry forward her message
And let her light watch over each of you
And you know… SHE WILL
Posted by Ina Oost Topper on September 8, 2019
My tribute to Karen is because of the very special bond I shared with her , when my late-husband RIck and I were sharing our concern with her summer of 1980, that we had no place to get married ! Our spontaneous decision that summer to tie the knot within just a couple of weeks was due to the fact that both of us had very hectic out of town 24/7 work schedules, both as independent freelancers. Because we DID want all our NY friends to be at our wedding, this spur of the moment wedding plan presented a big problem - NO place to have it. We already scheduled the reform rabbi, had the date picked (only 2 weeks later...) pre-paid my sister's quickly arranged airline ticket to come in from Holland.... but NO place to get wed.
  That's when Karen said, "Oh, but then you guys get married at my nice sized, 3-story home in Queens!'
" Not only was this a most gracious way that solved our problem, when entering that morning of our wedding we saw the entire stairwell beautifully decorated with single flowers tied everywhere. (I was supposed to descent from the stairs into the living room where she had set up all the chairs for the guests.)
  Karen shall therefore be always part of my life.
 (My sister in Holland shares this tribute - she always asked about Karen for these now almost 40 years, as Karen always asked about her, so graciously.... )
Posted by Emily Katz on September 6, 2019
If you are reading this, I don't need to tell you how amazing my Nana was. I don't need to tell you that she had the brightest smile in the room, or that her hug could cure any of your problems. I don't need to tell you about her ever-lasting energy or her passion for life. If you knew my nana, you already know this. However, I will tell you about how it feels to be her only granddaughter.

My nana was my everything-buddy. My shopping buddy, my manicure buddy, my Broadway buddy, my lay on the couch and do nothing buddy. She was happy to do whatever, whenever. As long as we were together, she was smiling. Whenever we spent time together, she always made me feel like I was the most important person in the world. She supported me in anything I did, even when I was singing at the top of my lungs and everyone else was begging me to stop. She was my number one fan and I know she still is. I know she is all around us and I know she is watching all of us with the biggest grin on her face. I would do anything for another hug, but I know her love will forever surround me. Hey Nana, until we meet again, I'll be waiting for you in my dreams. I love you forever.
Posted by Barbara Simonetti on September 5, 2019
I knew Karen through the recreation profession. I taught and so had students at facilities all over the city. There never was and never will there ever be anyone else with as much joy, enthusiasm, and respect for the dignity of clients than Karen Nash. Long after I left the field, we would meet at Fran Wallach’s with Honey Shields for our annual holiday dinner. I would travel fromBoston to be there. I last saw Karen with Honey at a dinner in Queens. She was already diagnosed with this awful disease but you would have never known. She was her joyful, positive, beautiful self. Dance on my friend. I will always think of you and smile.
Posted by Ron Becker on September 2, 2019
I first heard of Karen when I filled the position she left at a facility in Queens, as Director of Recreation, 28 years ago. They informed me she was the "dancing director" and had left a reputation that was intimidating. I later met her at a NYSTRA conference and she was so sincere, open, welcoming and kind...I immediately felt like we were good friends. From that point on, we shared a ride to the many TR conferences upstate, giving us an opportunity to share history, dreams and what was going on in our current lives. She would talk about her family, of which she was so proud, her memories and joy of dancing and other exciting moments from living a creative and full life.
In the field of Therapeutic Recreation, she was a role model for so many, including myself. She was meticulous in preparing to present on any topic. She took her role seriously and her presentations always reflected her passion for the field and what TR did for others. I had the honor of co-presenting with her once and it challenged me to up my game. Her reputation as a Director in the field was much deserved and inspiring. The "Healing Mind Workshop", which she authored and presented in many health care facilities and at conferences, was a treasure and gift to others, helping them to live a better quality of life on many levels. She lived her life using the workshop's many pearls of wisdom and guidance.
Her outlook on life guided and helped her as she dealt with medical issues, which attests to her appreciating each day, focusing on the positive and accepting the light around and within us.
Her life was a blessing to others as she taught us to acknowledge and welcome the grace around us. Forever missed.
Ron
Posted by Randi Mazzella on August 30, 2019
I met Karen when I was about twelve years old and at that young age, she made quite an impression on me. She was so darn cool - a model of the type of person that I wanted to be when I grew up. I loved watching her and my aunt ( the Karens) and their friendship through the years. Before there was "Meredith and Christina" dancing it out on Grey's Anatomy - there was Karen and Karen dancing it out throughout NYC or on a Girls Trip. But as much as I admired Karen when I was young, I was even more in awe of her as an adult, especially throughout her health battles these past few years. When I saw her a few months ago, she told me a story I had never heard of her days dancing salsa in the Catskills. She never ceased to amaze me. My thoughts are with her kids, grandkids, family and friends - she will be missed but not forgotten. 
Posted by Linda Feinstein on August 30, 2019
Karen was such a great person. She was and is still an angel. We were friends, roommates in New Orleans, neighbors in Huntington, walking partners and we felt like sisters. We went to many a tribute that Karen achieved through her programs. Karen worked and played hard. She was very smart and spiritual as well. She told me that we all return to this earth to learn lessons that we need to know. Somehow, I agree with this concept.
I think Karen was the most positive person I have ever known.
We had a ton of fun with Karen and we loved to watch her dance, I cherish
the time and so does Bernie with such a wonderful friend. Karen will always remain in our hearts! Karen has blessed our lives!
Posted by Barbara Reilly on August 30, 2019
Karen was a guiding light at Gurwin. I met Karen in 1989 and watched as she encouraged everyone into being a "performer" at our Gurwin Talent Show! She was always happy with what we had to bring to the table, even if we hadn't a clue as to what to do. She always had a nice word to say about everyone and had infinite patience. Her talent and generous spirit will be missed. Everytime I hear a song that we "danced" to I think of Karen and smile. She was one of kind and will be sorely missed.
Posted by Carmen Artiles-Anderson on August 29, 2019
Dearest Karen,
You were such a special part of our lives. Our family along with your family had so many great times together. It was always a pleasure to know that you there. Always so given and loving. I can count on you for advice and suggestions and you would always had a positive answer! Gary, Lana, Vanessa and I will miss you forever!
With love,
Carmen
Posted by Jason Katz on August 28, 2019
Karen Nash, my Nana. I miss her so much already. I used to describe my Nana as "not one of those old-fart grandma's that you picture when you hear the word 'grandma.' My Nana is full of energy, she's always smiling and she loves to dance." 

Somehow, through all the pain and frustration cancer brought, my Nana never laid down and cried "why me?" Instead, she wore a smile on her face, even joking around and laughing with family and nurses through the hardest times.

Nana never took herself too seriously. She told me countless stories of times she had messed up and been able to laugh at herself instead of getting angry or upset. She always preached a positive mental state, and I believe if there is any lesson she would want me to take from her it would be this one.

Laugh through the tough times. A positive mindset can bring so much good into the world. Nana never failed to make anyone smile. Her love and good energy, I feel, will never be forgotten by this world and I only hope that I can be as powerful a force of good as she had been.

I love you so much Nana, and although I know you'll always be in my heart and looking down from above, I will miss you forever.
Posted by Raymond Archer on August 27, 2019
I have worked in several professional TR roles with Karen over the years! On both boards, LILSA and NYSTRA we were on several committees together. She was the poster Women for TR. She was SMART, COMMITTED, FOCUSED PROFESSIONAL, ORGANIZED, CREATIVE, DEDICATED AND A ROLE MODEL for EVERYONE who had the privilege of meeting her. What wonderful thing could I possibly say about Karen that hasn’t been said already! Karen was a beautiful soul. Always kind... always sharing, always helping others! You’d here people talking about her and only had beautiful things to say! Karen was unique... as she would be the first to volunteer for a committee, a presentation or just about any job that needed to be done! Karen taught with me at SCCC and mentored many students and young professionals. She was a very special person... I have wonderful memories of her smiling and dancing, laughing and hugging. Thank you Karen!
She was amazing ... and I will miss my friend! God Bless you and all those who love you.
Posted by Lauren Petricca on August 27, 2019
Anyone who knows me, knows about my Aunt Karen because she was such a big part of my life. How blessed I have been to be loved so much and so unconditionally. From the moment I was born, Karen loved me and was a part of every aspect of my daily life. She gave of herself so fully and completely and never asked for anything in return. There are no words that could express how much I loved her and will miss her but I will keep her love with me always. I know there is a quote that goes something like this: "you only take with you in the next life what you gave away in this life". So my Aunt Karen, I know you take all the love you gave here with you and oh how much love that is. There is more love in this world because you lived.
Posted by Elaine Duca Abrahams on August 27, 2019
Karen was a beautiful person. If one had to describe her in one sentence, that would be it. Her family is her legacy. Emily and Jason had the best grandmother in the world. Her playfulness turned into dramatic scenes fencing with Jason as a toddler, and dancing with Emily. Her infectious smile shown through every time she looked at them. There are plenty of words that could describe Karen, but there are no words to describe the loss upon this world. She made a difference. That’s for sure. I’ll miss her. She showed me that being a grandma is a lot more than watching the children grow, but also enjoying and sharing in all their experiences, and encouraging them through it all. Love ❤️ you Karen
Posted by Joann Kaplan on August 27, 2019
Karen was the kind of woman who lit up a room as soon as she entered. Her love of life and her wonderful laughter will always remain in my heart. Karen danced through life with a smile and always saw the glass 3/4 full, despite the many struggles she endured these past years, but rarely ever spoke about her difficulties. Karen made friends wherever she went and treasured them. There are so many precious memories I hold dear in my heart but can't speak about them. Karen was angelic. She was never too busy to help out a former colleague and share her wisdom, etc. Karen didn't know how to say no. I will miss the funny times we shared at Gurwin and the times we spent out of work. I have so many beautiful memories. My heart aches, and it is difficult to think she won't be here to support and give love as she always did. The world is a little dimmer without your light. I look forward to meeting up with you again my love.
Posted by Heather Claudine Nash on August 26, 2019
My most amazing aunt, you will be forever loved and missed by all of us. Thank you for the love and support you showered on us, your incredible spirit and sense of adventure, and of course for being my Auntie Mame. We love you.


You Wasted Nothing

You wasted nothing.
You breathed energy
into the ozone,
recycling atoms of
spent oxygen
into pockets of
positively charged air.
Micro moments
were deemed
thrilling things,
snow and sand
flecks of thin but
wondrous matter.
You savored
day’s existence,
wiping clean
near empty slates,
prizing every
piece of light that
wrapped around
each eyelash.
You didn’t spend
an instant nursing
anything but
exuberance,
spilling anything
into the atmosphere
that wasn’t cut
from love.


Posted by Diane Haber on August 27, 2019
I only met Karen 3 years ago (not long enough) and we became close friends. She was my neighbor and only met her when introduced by a friend. We had so much in common. She was my dance buddy and we tried all new places. She did exhibition dancing with all the best dancers wherever we were. We had many talks about spirituality. She actually lived her spirituality till the very end. She was upbeat and accepting. She cared more about the person she was with than her own discomfort. She lived each day to the fullest and radiated beautiful energy wherever she was. I will miss her.
Posted by Jay Rockmaker on August 26, 2019
I have known Karen for almost 30 years.  She was one of the most positive, upbeat, caring and spiritual people I have ever met, with a great sense of humor.
   I remember once dancing the Merengue with her at a party and they changed it to a Polka . It was a dance I didn’t know. She told me to just dance the Merengue real fast and it would be a Polka. She had me convinced I was doing the Polka, although I don’t think anyone else was convinced watching me. But that was Karen with her great sense of humor..
 The last time Judit and I visited her was in the beginning of July.. I called her and asked if she was up for a visit. She responded yes. We sat around for about an hour and a half reminiscing and laughing (in 30 years there were lots of stories and lots of laughs). When we were leaving, I gave her a hug and then told her she had given me a piece of herself to keep with me forever..the memories.
   Now that the dancing lady has left us I am happy to have that piece of her (the memories) but I would much rather my friend, the dancing lady was still here. I will miss her.
Posted by Isabel Tiffen on August 26, 2019
I knew Karen for so many years during my career in TR, attending her sessions at workshops and spending time with her at conferences. Over the past few years, our luncheon dates, Karen, Ron Becker and myself meant so much to the three of us. Despite her illness, Karen was upbeat, beautiful as ever and a joy to be with, always enjoying the moment. Karen touched the lives of so many, her family, her friends, the residents at Gurwin, those who attended her workshops and was always an advocate for TR. She was a colleague and a friend who made a difference in this world for which I think we are all thankful. Rest in peace dear friend. Your light continues to shine.
Posted by Stanley Nash on August 26, 2019
July 7th, 1934, I received the most precious gift a brother could ask for. A gift that I cherished every day of my life and will do so forever. Only poets can find the right words to explain what a remarkable person Karen was, I cannot find these words. All I can say is she touched the lives of so many with Love.
Posted by Helene Winograd on August 25, 2019
Karen from Montauk was her special name after we met her in 1974. We cherish her memory and will forever remember her as the Dancing Queen.
Through the years, we celebrated Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, New Years Eve , and many parties. When I think of Karen, I see her beautiful, radiating smile. She was so very special to our friends and family. Karen's positive nature was so comforting to all.
She was more like a sister than a friend and I will miss her so very much!
Karen you will forever be in my heart and I will love you forever!
Posted by Gail Levine, Ph.D, on August 25, 2019
I have had the blessing of knowing Karen as both an esteemed colleague and a friend for over 30 years. Karen's smile radiated warmth, joy and enthusiasm. She was caring and made each person feel as though they were "special". Karen and I were "kindred Spirits" in that we both believed in the Unity of Mind/Body/Spirit. She brought her "Healing Mind" program to hundreds of residents and community members. She lived it and lives on in the Light she radiates for us. One image of her that is unforgettable was of Karen dancing with Prof. Lester Rhoads, her mentor, at Lester's retirement party. The two of them danced so smoothly ,moving as One, across the dance floor and dancing into the Future, it seemed. She had the Spirit of a Dancer.
During her last months in her physical form, Karen told me that she was thankful for each day. She never complained. She was teaching us how to move through this Journey of Life. I told her she was "my Guide". From our Jewish prayerbook, "...the stars that light up the darkest night,
                   these are the lights that guide us.
                    As we live our days, these are the ways we remember."
Karen will live on through the lives she touched and transformed and through the Light she continues to shine on us. Her life is a blessing for all of us.
Posted by Nora Katz on August 25, 2019
My life was truly blessed when Jeff and I found each other and then blessed again with the love from a mother-in-law who called me her daughter. She said I was her sweet angel but now, she's my sweet angel. 

Always loving and supportive at the most precious times of my life, from courtship and marriage to Jeff to standing by my side and holding my hand through the births of Emily and Jason. Such an integral part of our lives, we will miss her terribly.

Loved and cherished by so many, she will always be in our hearts and minds.
Posted by Judit Rubin on August 24, 2019
To Dear Karen - our Dancing Queen

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

By Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
Posted by Joyce Cohen on August 24, 2019
When I first met Karen thirty-eight years ago, I felt that I had known her all my life. Her warm personality won me over. What a dynamic, vital woman she was. To know her was to love her. She was definitely a highlight in my life - so very rewarding. Although we didn't see each other or speak often, when we did touch base our conversation started where we had left off. I know she is with the angels making friends and teaching them how to dance. So long my friend, I'll miss you.
Posted by Helene Katz on August 24, 2019
The first time I met Karen I knew this was a special lady. Her smile lit up the room! Gracious, warm and kind, she welcomed this stranger into her home and treated me like family. It was obvious this was her way. All are welcome. Her presence put everyone at ease. I could feel the glow of her light as I watched her play with Emily and Jason and share moments with family and friends. I will never forget her and will be forever grateful to have been touched by her light.
Posted by Arlene Gladstone on August 23, 2019
A life well lived is the epitome and the essence of Karen. Most of my memories of Karen are laughing and dancing. Karen was able to pack into one day what would take the rest of us at least three.
Our “ladies cruise” was a hoot, especially when Karen would retell stories of “the wig incident “! What happened on the ship stays on the ship!!
Her strong belief that the healing mind can transform our lives for the better was so evident in the last few years of her life. It was her new normal. Her grace under Fire was something to be emulated.
A week before she passed I whispered in her ear, “ Come back to us.” She smiled and nodded. I know her spirit will forever be around.
Posted by Patti Dowsett on August 23, 2019
We all know how spiritual Karen was, so when she told me about her prognosis earlier this year, I told her that I couldn't imagine life without hearing her voice, laughter or talking to her ever again. She told me she would come back to me. (Apparently spirits come through electrical devices somehow). I reminded her that she was the one that people came back to and I was the one who was "closed off". She insisted she would find her way to me. Finally, I told her ...I am deleting my usual colorful language........
"Karen, you would have to SHUT Gurwin DOWN for you to reach through to me!!" ........... yesterday at Gurwin, the phone system.....SHUT down....and still today..........  Karen, it is you that I see when I am walking down the halls. It is you that I hear .. "You have to walk the walk and talk the talk". It is you that I hear saying "it's all good".... I believe, I believe...... so now....can you PLEASE put the phones back on ??!!!!!!  XO 
Posted by Joanne Parisi on August 23, 2019
It has been one of my greatest pleasures to have known Karen. Not only was she a shining star here at Gurwin, but was so for the entire Therapeutic Recreation community. Her love and compassion for our residents and staff was evident in everything she did. She radiated warmth and her spirituality was infectious.

She will be missed, but never forgotten.
Posted by Abbey Plotkin on August 23, 2019
I came into the Mambo/Salsa world about 30 years ago. I had the pleasure of meeting & becoming friends with one of the most celebrated & beautiful dancers in the scene, Karen Nash. Not only was she a wonderful dancer but also, a lovely, gentle, generous, giving soul. She also became an inspiration to me when she & her best friend, Lucy became the 1st female promoters of a SPECTACULAR recurring event called, Night Of The Dancer. It was always a treat to go to these soirées packed with hundreds of elegantly dressed people, fantastic dancers & FABULOUS dance showcases! I will admire Karen for her spirit, her beauty & her divine dancing.
Posted by Carolyn O'Brien on August 23, 2019
This is a great way to honor her memory. Dance in peace Karen Nash xoxo & thanks for the memories! ❤ It's because of you that I continue to do what you had passion for...not just Recreation Therapy but Physician Ordered Recreation Therapy. You so believed in us being CTRS's & the extra service we provide to our residents, not just programs but real Therapy. You gave me the support & courage to become a Director & speak at conferences. You were a great mentor & you appreciated my humor like no other...those who've heard you laugh know it was contagious! I worked with you from 1994 - 2009, 15 years! You will be missed but not forgotten! ❤ My heart & prayers go out to her sons Dale & Jeff, Nora & grandkids. Thank you also for allowing me to give life to your monkey puppet, appropriately named "Mambo"...he gave joy to many.
Posted by Yvonne Van Schaick on August 23, 2019
I feel truly grateful that I had Karen as my internship supervisor at Gurwin in 2002. I learned so much from her. The things that I learned from her I still carry with me today & implement. Her energy & enthusiasm for the field of Therapeutic Recreation was amazing & inspirational. She will truly be missed.
Posted by Nancy Schneider on August 23, 2019
I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to be Karen's friend.
She was beautiful inside and out. Karen was selfless and cared about everyone she came in contact with. Her ability to smile through difficult times should be an inspiration to us all.
God bless her family.

I love you Karen.
Posted by Kathleen Donnelly on August 23, 2019
Karen was the first person I met when I started working at Gurwin, over 30 years ago. I was new to long-term care, but on my second day on the job she asked if I could join the residents at an "Evening in Paris" dinner--and when I walked into the Main Lounge there she was, wearing a bright red beret, dancing around the room and singing French songs, hugging every resident she passed and smiling her beautiful smile. She lit up the room that evening, and continued to do so for all the years we worked together.  She was an inspiration, always thinking how she could provide the very best in recreational and especially educational programs to her residents.  Karen set the bar for so many of us, always joyful no matter how she was feeling and always living in the moment.  Karen lived and worked with passion, loved fully and made a difference in this world. She was my hero, and I shall miss her dearly.
Posted by Marilyn Weinstein on August 23, 2019
I had the pleasure of knowing Karen for several years although we were never close friends. I knew her well enough to know what a very special person she was. She did spend a few days with us when we first moved to Florida and I remember how much I enjoyed spending quality time with her. For as long as I live I will never forget she came to visit when we were sitting shiva after our daughter passed away. The thing is she was allergic to dogs and we had a dog but she didn’t hesitate to travel to Rockland County to pay her respects. There were many things I couldn’t remember about that time but my husband and I will forever be grateful to Karen for stepping out of her comfort zone. You are absolutely right – Karen impacted everyone she knew in the nicest way. I knew her from a distance and it was a privilege to know her. She will be missed terribly. For Karen’s family: keep all those memories close to your heart – I know she will always be remembered with lots of love. You are blessed to have had her as your mother.
Posted by Johanna Cutolo on August 23, 2019
Karen hired me as part of her first therapeutic recreation staff at Gurwin. I remember well the tour she gave when the building was almost, but not quite, completed. She was filled with enthusiasm, hope and excitement about the mission of Gurwin, and I was thrilled when invited to be a part of her staff. Karen was the heart and soul of Gurwin and I feel blessed to have worked with her as my mentor for many years.  Her love, dedication and energy had no bounds; she inspired everyone around her. May she dance with the angels and continue to live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.
Posted by Hannah Shields on August 23, 2019
Karen has been a good friend and colleague for about 30 years. I had heard of her before that in the field of Therapeutic recreation but had not met her. One of my earlier memories of her was when I was program chairperson for a conference in the Catskills. I asked her to chair the hospitality committee. Most hospitality committees would have a welcoming committee to help people through the registration process (sort of a meet and greet for newcomers). Karen took that to a whole other level that had a theme for every day with decorations, outfits for all to dress up, and a social that included performances. One year it was western and the next year it was Hawaiian. One of the leaders in the field at that time was known for saying, “we give to others what we most need ourselves.” Karen was our therapist in the area of play and made sure that we in NYS remembered, practiced and valued what we did for others every day.
For years she would teach dancing in the Catskills on weekends. She so enjoyed any kind of dancing. I remember having a St.Paddy’s Day party and Karen and a friend we called “O’Gonzales” taught the Irish Jig in the middle of my living room after the group had polished off several bottle of baileys Irish cream to make Irish Egg creams.
We taught a course together at Teachers College, Columbia. I learned a great deal from Karen about reality orientation, remotivational therapy and sensory stimulation. Years later she offered healing programs at different facilities for seniors. I remember she had a politician coming into her facility to give GEDs to the seniors who had passed a remedial educational program to get their high school equivalency. She was a great teacher and motivated all her students, including me.
Later after I moved away from TR and into Child Life and then Administration, we would only see each other a couple of times a year, usually it was a birthday or Christmas holidays. Fran Wallach, Barbara Simonetti, Karen and I would get together to exchange gifts and have a wonderful dinner at a restaurant or at Fran’s home. We were always able to just pick up where we left off like it hadn’t been months. 
Karen had a great laugh and found a lot of joy in the world. She also spread it. She also loved her family and friends. I am lucky enough to have been included in that large group. I will never forget her kindness, joy and (professionally, inspiration and knowledge). Even after her diagnosis, she showed tremendous resilience, courage and motivation to continue living. I went to her birthday party last year and watched Karen dance every dance!  Thank you Karen for being in my life. May you rest in peace. Your friend,
Honey
Posted by Gregg Bernard on August 23, 2019
Karen was a wonderful person and friend who brought joy into the lives of many. Always full of life and energy and the spirit to dance. We will remember you and the positive energy that you always displayed. We will miss you. Gregg and Teresa
Posted by Mary Lambertson on August 23, 2019
Karen's spirit was ever present and one felt it immediately....she was joy, wisdom, acceptance, purity, unconditional love. In that tiny little body was the energy and bravery of a giant. I was blessed to share a wonderful friendship with Karen..she has left this world but remains with me and many....her gifts to us remain in our hearts and minds. God speed.
Posted by Christine Marie on August 23, 2019
There are so many beautiful things to say about this amazing woman. Karen was my therapeutic recreation boss for 10 years at Gurwin. I can honestly say she is the reason I was able to spread my wings and become a director elsewhere. She was full of wisdom, teachable-moments, life experiences that we were all in awe of, and funny stories that would make us laugh. She was blessed by her loving family that we all seemed to know because she shared them in stories with all of us. Karen was full of energy, shared her love of dance, music, the Healing Mind Workshop, and was one of the best teachers I have met. We are all better humans for being in her path and I am grateful for this journey that led me to her.
Posted by Dawn Lettau on August 22, 2019
It was an honor being Karen’s coworker and friend. She was my TR director for almost 15years up until her retirement. She literally taught me all I needed to know in our field. It was from her I gained confidence to further my career and passion for what we do. She was selfless, loved her family more than anything and her face lit up at the near mention of her grandchildren. To say she was proud of them would be an understatement. She loved to share stories, had a great laugh and a smile which will stay with me forever. My life was better for knowing her and I am grateful I was able to share with her what she meant to me a few months back. We all know she will be surrounding her loved ones with energy and her beautiful light.
Posted by Kathleen Alier on August 22, 2019
Both Karen and I were professional Recreation therapists and were dedicated to service to seniors. She was dynamic and inspirational in creating wonderful events and special moments to uplift spirits and create community. She lived in the moment, with love and smiles for those around her. She is missed. Her memory lives on in all who met her and loved her. Blessings to her family. Kathy Cruz Alier 
Posted by Jeffrey Katz on August 22, 2019
My mother touched the lives of so many people both personally and professionally. She reached the pinnacle of the Therapeutic Recreation field and recently was honored with a scholarship named after her.

As a mother and grandmother, no one loved more and she was so dedicated to our family. She worked so unbelievably hard to be sure that Dale and I had everything that we needed. She was so playful and always available to both Emily and Jason. Mom truly had an impact on their development and she absolutely helped shape who they are today as young adults.

As a professional, she launched, developed so many in the field of recreation. There have been dozens of professionals that have reached out to us to let us know how much impactful she was in their career.

As a friend, well that will take too long. I will let her endless friends and relationships speak for themselves.

I love you and miss you, Mom but I know that you will always be here surrounding us with your love and your bright light.

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