Karen Ann Waite was born October 11, 1952, in Manhattan, New York to Percy and Catherine Waite (both deceased) and grew up in East Elmhurst, New York. She was the twin sister of Sharon and older sister Daria (both deceased). Karen attended Saint Gabriel’s Elementary and Forest Hills High School and was devoted to her East Elmhurst roots and friends.
While in New York, Karen attend Nassau Community College and received her associate degree. Karen then moved to Boston and attended Northeastern University for which she received her undergraduate degree. Over the next 40 years she worked at various places; Massport Authority, where she the first black woman in the Air Traffic Controllers Office, then a law firm in the Prudential Building and eventually at Harvard Vanguard where she retired in 2020.
Karen was a long-time resident of the South End when she first moved to Boston and could be seen walking around the neighborhood running errands and getting to work each day while greeting neighbors and friends along the way. Karen was famously known in the community for her Lynell’s home-based beauty care business, which proved to be highly successful. She and her team ran weekly meetings at the Harriet Tubman House in the South End to promote the business to enroll residents and encourage their success. Karen eventually ran another successful health and wellness business Melaleuca.
Karen loved spending time during summers in Sag Harbor, NY to be with family and friends. In her later years Karen moved to Dorchester and despite her health condition would spend time having long lunches and long conversations on the phone with close friends.
Karen is survived by her beloved Aunt Pearl, nephew Loren, cousin Nancy, brother-in-law Nathaniel Forbes, Eric and Jamal Lewis, the De Sola cousins, Priscilla Winter and her numerous treasured friends.
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