We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Cronrath-Grenoble Funeral Home, Inc. - Lewisburg
Karen Marie Benfer, 36, of Watsontown, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 at her home.
Karen was born December 27, 1985 at Evangelical Hospital in Lewisburg, a daughter of the late Russell A. and the late Eileen M. (Kelly) Benfer.
She graduated from Coudersport Area High School in June of 2005. Karen entered religious life with the Sisters of Christian Charity out of Mendham, NJ later that same year and in her first few months with the order, traveled to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany. In 2007 she completed her postulancy and graduated from Assumption College for sisters earning a degree in religious studies. Sister Karen Marie later completed her novitiate in 2009.
She has traveled to many states with her religious order to work at charitable gatherings with her fellow sisters. Sister Karen Marie made her first profession of temporary vows on August 16, 2009.
On July 2, 2011, she graduated summa cum laude from Saint Elizabeth University in Morristown, NJ with dual Bachelors’ degrees in Theology and Early Childhood Education. She was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi International honor society. Sister Karen Marie had a renewal of temporary professed vows on August 14, 2011. She went on to teach second grade and preschool in the Newark Archdiocese in New Jersey. Karen decided to leave religious life in late 2014 to pursue a different path but her faith was always with her.
Karen loved to help others, especially children, which showed in her chosen area of employment. She taught preschool at Summit Early Learning in Selinsgrove for over a year.
Later she was employed as a home health aide at DNA and Bayada, and eventually completed training for a role as a therapeutic support staff member at various school districts in the local area. Most recently, Karen taught preschool at St. John Neumann Academy during the 2021-2022 school year and was rejoining her role of working in therapeutic support and being a home health aide.
In her free time, Karen was always on the go. She found great joy in traveling to various places, especially to the beach in Rehoboth, DE and Cape May, NJ. She also enjoyed traveling out west to Las Vegas and New Mexico as well as to Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
In more recent years, wherever Karen traveled her dog, Penny, was along for the ride. She loved nature walks and being outdoors in the warmer months. In the cooler months, she enjoyed crocheting, quilting, making handmade cards and various crafts to keep busy. Karen was truly a beautiful soul and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
She is survived by three sisters, Melissa Benfer, of Pittsburgh, Teresa (Angelo) Cariello, of Delaware, and Maureen (Albert) Payne, of Lewisburg; one nephew, Andrew Layton, of Delaware; two aunts, Sandy (Robert) Eyer, of Delaware and Kathleen Kelly, of Queens, New York. Also, she spent many happy hours with her boyfriend, Thomas Glica, and his daughter, Emily, of Muncy.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by an uncle, Dr. Michael Kelly; maternal grandparents, Thomas and Marion Kelly; and paternal grandparents, Robert and Dolores Benfer.
Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, September 23 at Cronrath-Grenoble Funeral Home, S. Second and St. Louis streets, Lewisburg, with a Rosary service starting at 5:30 p.m. The funeral will be held at 11a.m. on Saturday, September 24 at Sacred Heart Church, Eighth and St. Louis Streets, Lewisburg with Father Matthew Larlick, officiating.
Burial will follow in Resurrection Cemetery, Montoursville.