A funeral mass was offered Jan. 29 at St. Francis RC Church, Hoboken, for Karen Marie Kelly of Hoboken. She passed away Jan. 23 at home with her family, completing a four year battle with Stage 4 breast cancer. She was not in pain and until the end was able to hear and talk with her family. Throughout the last four years, she never gave up in her pursuit of life and until the very end was the same wonderful person, with all the same humor and love that was apparent to all who knew her.
Karen was born in Boston, Mass., graduated Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and moved to New York City in the 1970s, where she received a masters degree from NYU in Graphic Arts Management. She settled in Hoboken in 1987 with her husband Ken Howitt and where together they have three children, Patrick, Katherine and Francis. After a successful career in New York City advertising, Karen switched careers to tax preparation at H&R Block in Hoboken, where she became an enrolled agent. Last spring, she completed her twenty-first year with H&R Block. Karen was active in Hoboken through her membership with Hoboken Elks Lodge 74 and as a committee member for Hoboken Boy Scouts of America Troop 146.
Karen is survived by her husband; three children, daughter-in-law Kristy Williams, granddaughter Victoria Lennon Howitt, and siblings Tom and Yong Sun Kelly, Nancy Kelly, David Kelly and Monica DeSanto, Steven Kelly, Kristine Kelly, and many nieces and nephews.
Karen’s many pursuits included art, music, piano and reading. Her passion was her family and her love for the outdoors. During her battle with cancer, she hiked in and out of the Grand Canyon on two separate trips, scaled a 14,400 foot peak in the Colorado Rockies and took multiple hikes with the NJ Freewalkers and Hoboken Boy Scouts Troop 146 throughout the surrounding area. Services arranged by the Failla – McKnight Funeral Home, Hoboken.

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