Our beloved Karen Leslie Greene Sanders, 77, of Ocala, Florida, departed this life on January 28, 2021 after contracting the Covid-19 virus. Her passing was at the Advent Health Facility in Ocala.
Karen was born in Miami Beach, Florida on May 28, 1943, to Arthur Shellman Greene and Kathryn Reynolds Greene, both deceased. She was the younger sister to Barbara Greene Henschel, who is now deceased and the older sister of Thomas Arthur Greene, currently residing in Ocala Florida. She also has many nieces and nephews, grand nieces and nephews, great grand nieces and nephews, and numerous cousins who will miss her greatly, each and every day.
Karen was thoughtful in everything she did. She loved every living being. There is no one she would not help, even to her own detriment. Giving and caring was how she led her life. She was determined to make a positive change in the world. She selflessly cared for her mother Kay during a long, bedridden convalescence, then her father Arthur during his last days, and then her stepmother Franny for many years as she suffered from Alzheimer’s.
Karen subsequently volunteered at the Superior Residence nursing home once Franny was no longer safe at home, even continuing to volunteer after Franny’s passing. She worked extremely hard spending many hours thinking of games, trivia, activities, music, show and tell, and many other activities to keep the patients engaged and entertained. She later was a large part of the care team for her sister Barbara, who was suffering from immense chronic pain. She was the caregiver lynchpin for the family, performing all tasks selfless, putting her life on hold, and focusing on those in need. Many of us view these efforts as Herculean due to their challenges, and Immense due to their gifts.
Karen was an incredibly Special Lady, thoughtful in all she did, conscientious to a fault, always cheerful and looking on the bright side, always willing to help. She did everything with intention and thought. She felt very strongly about self-care, breathing, stretching, and positive thinking. She loved Indian food. She loved camping, the outdoors, and company around a fire. She loved her pets, the latest being two cats named Sweetie and Scamper. She loved her family and friends.
Karen grew up in Miami, Florida. She attended Coral Gables High School graduating in June of 1961. She was on the high school swimming team, a champion swimmer who broke records for the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. She also competed in the Junior Olympics.
Not long after graduating high school, National/Pan American World Airlines of Miami hired Karen as a Flight Attendant. In her 22 years of service for the airline, Karen received numerous letters of commendation from the traveling public. She also moved to the position of Lead Flight Attendant, supervising, coordinating and directing in-flight services.
She earned an Associates of Science degree in Landscape Development from Miami-Dade Community College, in 1980. And in 1990 a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from the Florida International University of Miami.
In 1995 Karen was certified as a Correctional Officer and served in that capacity at the Marion Correctional Institute in Lowell, Florida until April 1998.
Karen always loved going “thrifting” and to garage sales. She began to sell some of her purchases as a part-time endeavor in the mid 1980’s to supplement income while attending school. Later, Karen became the sole proprietor of “Nifty Thrifties,” an antique and collectible business. This venture, of course, required knowledge of sales, research, scheduling, buying, marketing public relations and the like; yet another passion of hers. She operated this business until just a few years ago.
We are, and will continue to, miss her dearly.