Karen M.'s Story
AMESBURY, MA - Karen Marie (DeBlois) Jenkins, 67, longtime resident of Amesbury, died early Sunday, March 11, 2018, at home, with her loving family by her side, following a courageous battle with cancer. She was the dearly beloved wife of 43 years to Wendell N. Jenkins II.
Born in Haverhill, on August 31, 1950, Karen was one of three children of the late Lillian A. (Dacey) Auffrey. Her father was the late John DeBlois. She grew up in Amesbury, graduating from Amesbury High School, then went on to graduate from Notre Dame College with a master's degree in social work.
Karen was a guidance counselor at the Amesbury Middle School for many years. She loved her work and took great pride in doing her best for all the students she worked with throughout the years.
Karen truly was a people person in every sense of the word. She greeted everyone she met with a genuine smile and true interest in getting to know them. She never judged; she cared. She could reach those who otherwise couldn't be reached by showing a mutual respect and trust and always going the extra mile for a person. She devotedly cared for her mother Lillian during the final years of Lil's life.
Karen was lovingly given the college nickname of "Fun" and that she was. She was in attendance at the original Woodstock, and really did embody the Woodstock spirit. Karen had a contagious smile and zest for life. She found immense joy in the little things, playing for hours with her granddaughter Lila, sitting in the sun at the beach, enjoying time with family and friends, helping those she loved, and being at the lake.
Lake Attitash was Karen's happy place. It gave her so much pleasure to raise Joshua there, enjoying the boat, ice skating, water skiing, and the numerous lake celebrations for birthdays, Fourth of July, the illumination and more.
In addition to her beloved husband Wendell, she is survived by her son Joshua and wife Becky of Hampton, N.H.; two granddaughters, who held the key to her heart, Lila and Zinnia Jenkins; a brother, Robert Auffrey Jr. and wife Teresa McGowan of Somerville; a sister, Danielle Hawkes of Ohio, who cared for Karen during her final days; two nephews, Ryan and Tyler Hawkes; a niece, Rachael Hawkes; two great-nephews, Dante and Sidney Hawkes; and many cousins, extended family members, dear friends and colleagues. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by a nephew, John Hawkes, and her step-father Robert Auffrey Sr.
A memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. at St.Joseph's Church of the Holy Family Parish, 2 School Street, Amesbury. A celebration of life will follow at the Seaglass Oceanside on Salisbury Beach. Please wear your bright spring colors to help us celebrate Karen's bright spirit and life. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made online at pancan.org, or by mail at: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Ave., Ste. 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. Arrangements by Paul C. Rogers Family Funeral Home, 2 Hillside Avenue, Amesbury.
Published on March 13, 2018