After living with a rare form of cancer for more than three years, Karen Christine Ferreira Amis, age 43, passed away at home on November 24, 2021, surrounded by her loved ones in Westford, Mass. She is survived by her loving husband Gregory Amis; their children, Leo and Margot; her caring parents, Christine and Anthony Ferreira; her brother and sister-in law, Stephen and Errin Ferreira, and their daughter Amelia; her sister Kristen Ferreira; her grandmother Ruth Connors; her mother-in-law Christine Amis and her wife Marie; her father-in-law Jim Amis and his wife Kathy; cat overlords Pickles and Peanut; and a multitude of loving aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and friends.
Karen called many places home in her life. She was born in Providence, R.I., and grew up in Dighton, Mass. She later lived in Connecticut, California, and New Mexico before returning to Massachusetts. She loved her time at Wesleyan University, where she studied the classics and made scores of lifelong friends, including her partner in love and life, Greg. Karen gravitated toward jobs where she could professionally care for people: serving in a homeless shelter in New Mexico; becoming certified in Zen shiatsu massage; working as an ESL teacher and running the after-school program at her taekwondo dojang; and finally, mothering her treasured children, Margot (age 5) and Leo (age 7).
For Karen, cancer was a distraction from living, and boy, was she great at life. She was as nurturing with people as she was with her beloved garden, scattering joy like seeds. Karen lived each day to the fullest and made friends like most people make lunch. Her wit was legendary, her laughter immediate and infectious, and she adored a good (or bad) pun. Everyone felt welcome and valued in Karen's presence; this was her superpower. She was an unmatched wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend. As a mother, Karen's warmth, calmness, and sense of humor were unparalleled. Even at her sickest, she would muster the strength to take care of her children, and made sure they would always feel loved and cared for, no matter what.
Her bold spirit brought her on many adventures, including her travels to Greece and other parts of the world. She was a woman of serial passions, from taekwondo to musical theater and dance, gardening and cooking, connecting with others at her cherished Unitarian Universalist church, and of course, raising her brood of pandemic chickens. Karen had a thirst for knowledge and typically had several books out from the library at once. Curious and fun loving, Karen lived fearlessly and free, always making time for a dance break set to K Pop.
Her humor, charm, generosity, and kindness have brought so many people together, and her loss has broken the heart of her community. She is a shining example of how one life can touch so many others. And while it is tempting to dwell on how unfair cancer is, Karen lived her life as a testament to love. May Karen always be remembered as light and joy and may she be dancing with Prince in sweet purple rain. We will miss her forever.
Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Karen for a period of visitation on Monday November 29, 2021 from 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm in the First Parish Church, 1 Powderhouse Road, Groton. Face masks respectfully required. Her graveside service will be held on Tuesday November 30, 2021 at 12:00 pm in the Groton Cemetery, 242 Hollis Street, Groton. A memorial service is planned for the Spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Karen's memory may be made to:
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute online at dana-farber.org
Jhamtse International, which supports a school for Tibetan orphans in India, online at jhamtseinternational.org
To share a memory or to offer a condolence, visit: www.badgerfuneral.com