Karen Spencer

SOUTHWICK – Karen (Koehler) Spencer passed away January 6, 2018 at the home of her daughter Roni, surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Northampton, MA on January 12, 1936, the daughter of George and Alice (Adams) Eldridge. She attended schools in Northampton before moving to Conway and received her diploma from Arms Academy in 1953.

Karen devoted her life to children, her own as well as others. It was common to have extra people at her dinner table, and she opened her home to friends who needed a place to stay.  She worked for a time for the Southwick Public Schools in the cafeteria. She was the Girl Scout Leader of Troop 321 and gave her girls many happy memories camping. As an avid Red Sox fan, Karen enjoyed coaching softball for the Southwick Recreation Center.  Karen also served as a Sunday school teacher and member of the Board of Christian Education for Southwick Congregational Church in the 1960s. After her children were grown, she continued her commitment as a volunteer at the Recreation Center. In her later years, she was always available to babysit her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Karen was predeceased by the love of her life, Donald E. Spencer in 1996 and her beloved daughter Dawn Elaine Spencer in 1971. Karen is survived by her children Sharon (Spencer) Parsons and husband Chip of Hadley, Roni (Spencer) Connolly and husband Paul of Southwick, and Kevin E. Spencer and wife Dianne of Greeley, Colorado; her grandchildren Paul Connolly Jr. (wife Leila) and Dawn (Connolly) Schafer (husband Mike), Tim and Amy Parsons, and Mitchell (wife Jordan), Bryce and Grant Spencer.  She also greatly loved her four great grandchildren:  Riley and Kohl Schafer, and Aylei and Caven Connolly. Karen’s family is grateful for the wonderful care she received from Highland Valley Elder Services and Baystate Hospice.

Her family will receive friends on Saturday, January 20that the Southwick Forastiere Funeral Home, 624 College Highway, Southwick from 12-2 PM with a Funeral Service to follow at 2 PM. Burial will take place in the spring in New Cemetery, Southwick.

In lieu of flowers, Karen wishes to have donations made to one of the following: the Shriner’s Hospital,516 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104; the Jimmy Fund, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284; or the Southwick Lion’s Club, P.O. Box 352, Southwick, MA 01077. For more information, please visit

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