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Karen Safford

Karen H. Safford (Hill)

Tuesday, June 12th, 1934 - Monday, September 30th, 2019
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Obituary

Safford, Karen Hill, passed away peacefully on September 30th, 2019. She was born on June 12, 1934 and grew up in Connecticut, New York, and Florida. She graduated from New York University and Lesley University, with degrees in early childhood education and a Master’s Degree in special education. She taught kindergarten and preschool and then had a long career with Needham Public Schools as a special education teacher and reading specialist. She volunteered tirelessly for many years at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and received a lifetime achievement award from NAMI in recognition of her work. She also was a volunteer adult literacy tutor, and was active in the Unitarian church (both First Parish Unitarian Church of Lexington and Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport). She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, wife, neighbor, and a friend to many, always interested in people’s lives: supportive through challenges and joyful for successes. Karen was an enthusiastically active woman, enjoying walking, swimming, and tennis most of her life. She spent some of her childhood living (and eventually working at) Deer Lake Camp, a traditional outdoor camp owned and run by her parents, Ralph and Elizabeth Hill. In her later years, Karen lived gracefully and galliantly with Primary Lateral Sclerosis. Even as the disease progressed to the point where she could not independently move and had very minimal ability to speak, everyone who helped care for her was able to recognize the light and spirit inside of her—she handled difficulty with great fortitude and grace. Karen was predeceased by her beloved husband Richard Safford. She is survived by four children and four grandchildren: her son Richard Hartogensis; her daughter Wendy Hartogensis and her husband, James Lloyd, and their children, Ella and Anna Lloyd; her step-daughter Adrian Leone and her husband, Robert Leone, and their children, Sophia and Micaela Leone; and her step-daughter Jennifer Safford. She is also survived by many beloved nieces, grand nieces, and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Cambridge/Middlesex Chapter, https://nami-cambridgemiddlesex.org/donate_now/. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
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