After a fantastic Tuesday that included scoring a 94 in a game with one of her golf groups, a meeting about one of the many, many events she organized, and sharing a glass of chardonnay with friends, Karen Elmblad Forrest, born in Morristown NJ on April 4, 1942, suffered a catastrophic stroke. She died peacefully in hospital on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, surrounded by her loving family.
Forever curious and quick to laugh, Karen lived her life with unbridled enthusiasm for the smallest of things: a great meal, an errand with a son-in-law, a grandchild’s goal, a nicely decorated holiday table. She had an uncanny ability to find sea glass marbles and bottle stoppers on the beach, could play 97 games of Yahtzee in a row, was still great friends with people with whom she went to elementary school, loved to wear sparkly shoes, and she once hit a hole-in-one. Of course, nothing was more important to her than the people in her life. She was considered by both friends and family the glue that brought people together.
Karen grew up in Chatham, NJ, and the stories about her childhood antics would resonate with anyone who knew her later because even at 76 her spirit and sense of fun was that of a mischievous teenager. She later moved to Short Hills, NJ, where she raised her children and lived her life to the absolute fullest. Her life in Andover, MA and Winnetka, IL was equally full. She moved to Naples, FL in the early 2000s. Thrilled to be reconnected with old friends in Naples, she quickly formed dozens of deep, new friendships as well. It was clear to her family, that in Naples, Karen was getting younger, not older, in the company of the many friends she loved and who loved her right back. Her job in the tennis pro shop at Wyndemere equally enhanced her life. Her sense of humor and fun shone through in all that she did, and she will have a lasting impact on many, many people. She was one of a kind and irreplaceable.
Karen is survived by her husband of 54 years, Jonathon Forrest, her sister, Dayle Elmblad Bartell, and her brother, Deane Elmblad. She was a loving mother and mother-in-law to Alison Williams and her husband Hanson, Sandra Forrest and her partner Anthony March, Todd Forrest and his wife Alison Pratt, and Sarah Filler and her husband Eric. She also leaves behind nine beloved grandchildren. She was predeceased by her father, William Bertram Elmblad, and her mother Evelyn Hulmes Elmblad.