HARPSWELL — Karen Ellen Whalen, 67, of Harpswell and Clifton, Va., died peacefully Sept. 26 at her summer home in Harpswell of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
On Aug. 18, 1943, she was born in Englewood, N.J., a daughter of Dorothy (Wray) and Roy J. Fisher, and grew up in Bergen County, N.J. and Maryville, Tenn.
While attending Penn State University in Pennsylvania, she met her future husband of 45 years, James, in 1962.
Since 1968, their permanent residence has been in Fairfax County, Va., where they raised three children.
After her children were grown, she worked as a doctor’s office manager, and later on as an income tax preparer for H&R Block.
Her disciplined mind also had a strong artistic flair, which she expressed in her paintings, home decoration, gardening and needlework.
She enjoyed walking, bicycling, reading, gatherings of friends and family, sailing, and traveling in the Americas, Australia and Europe.
Her warm and generous spirit and friendly nature could not be dimmed, even when severely limited by ALS.
She is survived by her husband James of Clifton, Va.; three children, Christopher, Katherine and Thomas; daughter-in-law Jill; three grandchildren, Nicholas and Emma Whalen, and Michael Vennare, all of Pittsburgh, Penn.; her sister Jane and brother-in-law Leslie Hunt of Richmond, Ind., and her brother Bradley Fisher in Atlanta, Ga. She leaves many strong friendships across the USA and the world.
Memorial visitations were held locally at Stetson’s Funeral Home, 12 Federal St., Brunswick.
Funeral services will be held in Fairfax, Va., on Oct. 1.
Memorial contributions be made to the ALS Association, DC/MD/VA Chapter, 7507 Standish Place, Rockville, MD 20855; or to the ALS Association, Northern New England Chapter, The Concord Center, 10 Ferry St., Suite 438, Concord, NH 03301.
Memorial condolences may be expressed at stetsonsfuneralhome.com.