Karen M. (Balestrieri) Whitcomb

November 6, 2020

Karen M. (Balestrieri) Whitcomb

Karen M. (Balestrieri) Whitcomb -in Woburn, Friday, November 6th, at seventy-seven years of age. Beloved wife of Arnold E. Whitcomb.  Cherished mother of Theresa M. Gridley of NH, Derek G. McNulty of Woburn and sadly the late Karen “Reni” E. Whitcomb. Devoted sister of Lillian A. Craven, her late husband Michael of Woburn, and the late Salvatore Balestrieri, his wife Grace Balestrieri of Lynnfield.  Loving “Nana” of Alexandria and Isaac Gridley.  Very special Aunt of Christopher McNulty of Woburn. Also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, family and dear friends. Karen’s Funeral Arrangements are private and under the direction of the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home 263 Main St., Woburn, MA.  A Memorial Mass will be Celebrated in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn for Karen at a later time that will be announced on this website and in the local newspaper.  Remembrances may be made in honor of Karen, to St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, MA 01801

Karen M. (Balestrieri) Whitcomb – a proud life-long resident of Woburn, died unexpectedly Friday, November 6th, at seventy-seven years of age. She was the beloved wife of 57 years, Arnold E. Whitcomb.

Born and raised in Woburn, Karen was the beloved daughter of Salvatore and Lillian (Connors) Balestrieri.

As a retired secretary of Saint Charles Catholic Church, she remained dedicated to her faith and often spent weekends volunteering where she once worked long-term. While her husband worked as a truck driver in her younger years, she was an avid CB’er (Citizen Ban radio-er) as she was a member of the Metropolitan Modulators; a CB radio club. She found comfort in making sure the guys were safe along their trucking routes. 

Anyone who knew Karen understood that she was not much of a traveler but knew how much she loved and was devoted to her family. She made some of the best memories with her family as they went camping all over the East coast by a motor home. She had never flown on an airplane in her life until 2011 when her granddaughter had a gymnastics competition in the Bahamas and requested Nana’s attendance, so how could Nana say no. Eight years later, the family convinced her to take a cruise to Bermuda. 

Karen loved spending time in the kitchen, creating meals for her family. She loved shopping with her sister Cookie at Stop and Shop, where they were well-liked and known by the staff. Karen loved spending time with her family any chance possible, whether it was the annual family Christmas party, a 4th of July at her nephews’, or just a regular Saturday with her grandkids. Anyone who knew Karen adored her as she was always willing to help anyone she could. Her favorite holiday was April Fool’s day; her witty sense of humor made a force to be reckoned with as she brought joy and stubbornness to everyone’s’ lives.

Along with her husband Arnold, Karen is survived and will be deeply missed by her children Theresa M. Gridley of NH, Derek G. McNulty of Woburn and sadly the late Karen “Reni” E. Whitcomb. Devoted sister of Lillian A. Craven, her late husband Michael of Woburn, and the late Salvatore Balestrieri, his wife Grace Balestrieri of Lynnfield.  Loving “Nana” of Alexandria and Isaac Gridley.  Very special Aunt of Christopher McNulty of Woburn. Also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, friends, cousins and dear friends.

Karen’s Funeral Arrangements are private and under the direction of the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home 263 Main St., Woburn, MA.  A Memorial Mass will be Celebrated in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn for Karen at a later time that will be announced on this website and in the local newspaper.  Remembrances may be made in honor of Karen, to St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, MA 01801

 

Karen’s Funeral Arrangements are private.  A Memorial Mass will be Celebrated in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, MA at a date and time to be announced on this website and local newspaper.  Remembrances may be made in honor of Karen to St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, MA 01801

Guestbook

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  1. Debra (Chamberlain) DiMattia

    Lil, Terry, Adam and family,
    I am so sorry to hear about Karen having passed so suddenly. She looked the picture of health just days before. She was a gentle, courageous, kind woman. My first memory of her was how loving she was to her eldest daughter in church. Surely, she is with her Lord now. I know you will miss her!
    Love, Debbie

  2. Pauline and Donald Chamberlain

    We were so sorry to hear about Karen. Just talked to her at 10 Mass. We knew her when she worked at the rectory and when her mom was the cook at the St Charles Rectory .

  3. Don and Pauline Chamberlain

    We are so sorry to hear about Karen. We have known her for a long time. We just saw her at 10 Mass not long ago. We knew her at St. Charles rectory and when her mom worked at the rectory also. Sincerely Pauline and Don Chamberlain

  4. Margarette Masotta

    Sorry to read of Karen’s passing. She was always pleasant when I talked with her at Saint Charles and very helpful. May she now REST IN PEACE. Love Margarette Masotta

  5. Mary Ellen (Lil) & Al Sleger

    To Arnold and Terry, Derek and all of Karen’s family .Al & I are so deeply sorry to hear of Karen’s sudden loss. Her devotion to Church, family, friends, and sense of humor were incredible.

  6. My thought’s and prayer’s are with Karen’s family. She alway’s had a smile on her face and was such a good friend. She will missed.

    Sherri & Paul Donohoe

  7. Nathan &Melissa Balestrieri

    Our deepest condolences to Arnold,Cooky,Theresa and Derek. Karen will be greatly missed..such a kind and lovely soul…RIP Karen

  8. Nick and Joanne Bagarella

    Our deepest sympathy to Karen’s family.
    We will remember her smile and humor always.
    RIP

  9. Richard Giarrusso

    Arnie: We were so heartbroken to hear of your wife’s sudden passing. Words can not describe how sad and devastated we are for you and your family. We are sending all our love and prayers. Much love, Rick and Lori Giarrusso.

  10. Adam Balestrieri

    Rest In Peace, Aunt Karen. Thank you and God bless you for all you did for all of us. Your door was always open. I have so many great memories and had so many laughs with you my whole life. A joyous life well lived, for sure!

  11. Arnie, Terri, Cookie & Family,

    I was so sad to hear Karen has died. It was always a pleasure running into Karen and Cookie at Stop and Shop. Her smile was infectious. You have my deepest condolences.

    MaryBurns

  12. Such sad news to hear. Karen was always smiling, always a quit wit and always fun to be around. We became friends when my girls attended St. Charles. She will be truly missed and lovingly remembered by all who knew her. She most definitely has a special place in heaven. Love, hugs and prayers for Karen and also to all her family.

    Charlene Fish and family

  13. Joey and Dotty Balestrieri

    Cookie, we are so very sorry for your loss, Karen was a wonderful lady so full of fun and life, she will be greatly missed.

  14. Marguerite Fahey (Winchester Hospital)

    Dear Lillian – I was so sorry to hear of your sister’s passing. I loved hearing the stories you would tell us while volunteering at the hospital about your adventures. I pray that you will be comforted by your memories of Karen. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  15. Claire and Tom Murphy

    Arnold, Cookie and family
    We are very sorry to hear of Karen’s passing. I knew her as long ago as in the McGarr School and I must say she always kept a smile on her face no matter what was happening. RIP Karen

  16. I am sadden to hear Karen’s passing. I had the pleasure of meeting her at St Charles’ rosary. Always with a smile and witty comment. She would arrived to rosary group and announce, “hello my rosary friends” and at the end she would be heard saying “goodbye my rosary friends”. She always made me feel welcomed and I will miss her! I’m grateful to God that I was given the opportunity to meet and pray with her.
    Tina Peary

  17. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. She was amazing and we are all so blessed that she was a part of our lives. Love, Bob and Barbara Britt

  18. God Bless You Karen! You were always so helpful and kind. I enjoyed our Friendship back in my St Charles Days. Til we meet again!

  19. Philip Boudreau

    My sincere condolences to Karen’s family I remember her from st charles use to see her at stop and shop even just recently I always called her Franny funny she never said anything about her name was Keren

  20. Maryann Dellinger

    Rest In Peace Karen! We will miss you tremendously at St. Charles especially your rosary people. We love you. We know you are dancing with the Lord!

  21. Karen was one of a kind; fun, faithful and always full of joy. I will always remember her smiling face at the rectory. She truly cared for everyone. May she rest in peace. Keeping you all in my prayers.

  22. Arnie and Family, Lillian.

    So saddened by the passing of Karen. Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys. She was such a warm, friendly and funny person. She always made me laugh! Rest in Peace, Karen

  23. Eddie and Cathy Gromyko

    Arnold, Cookie, Terry, Derek, Lexi and Isaac, Eddie and I are so sorry to hear of your sudden loss of Karen. Karen was a wonderful person and loved by many. She will be sorely missed. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.

  24. Our hearts are truly broken. She reached out to us at our very first attendance at a family Christmas Party and made us feel so welcomed. We became fast friends on Facebook and her love and humor will be greatly missed. Wishing all her family love and peace during this time of sorrow. Love Kathy and Sid Balestrieri

  25. Jimmy Rodriguez

    Arnold, I’m sorry to hear about Karen’s passing. She was like a mother to me when I lived at the rectory and she was always looking out for me. She always used to call me Jimmy Jimmy Coco Puffs. Please be assured of my prayers for you and your family.

  26. Rosemarie Hellawell Rambello

    My name is Rosemarie Rambello. Karen was a great person. We had a lot of laughs growing up

  27. Mary Contalonis Regan

    Cookie, just saw you and Karen two weeks ago at CVS, glad I got to talking with her! Karen will be missed here on earth, but, we know she’s an 😇 in heaven!

  28. My deepest condolences to her family & friends she treated as family. She will be missed terribly ❤🙏

  29. Colleen Donohoe

    Arnold, Cookie and family,

    Please accept our sincerest prayers and condolences. We are heartbroken at the loss of such an amazing woman, our dear friend, Karen. There was never a time when we left her presence without a smile on our faces. Her one-liners, wise cracks, zest for life and immense love for God and the Church truly made her one of a kind and someone we will miss dearly! She fought the good fight, she finished the race and remained faithful. I pray she enjoys the eternal crown of glory and until we meet again that God hold her in the palm of His hand. Prayers for your family and all who mourn this immense loss. God Bless you. Ron, Peg & Colleen Donohoe

  30. Howard & Donna Britt

    We are so sad to hear of Karen’s passing. We send our love and prayers to Arnold, Cookie, Terry and the entire family. There will always be a special place in our heart for her.

  31. Adam & Denise Currier

    Dear Arnie,
    We are so saddened to hear of Karen’s passing. From all of the stories you’ve shared, she sounded like a fantastic lady. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you during this difficult time.
    With sincerity,
    Adam & Denise Currier

  32. Julie and Michael Maher

    If we were looking for an example of a life lived with joy, courage, generosity and kindness, Karen would be our choice. We were so sorry to hear of her passing. We will miss her. Our sincere condolences and prayers.
    Julie and Michael Maher

  33. Roger & Janice Palmer

    Lillian,
    We were so saddened to receive the email from Cliff that a Karen had passed. She is, for certain, one of God’s special angels in Heaven!
    May God’s peace be with you and all Karen’s family.
    Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.

  34. Catherine A Figucia

    Dear Lillian and family, so sorry to hear of Karen’s passing. A lovely lady, always with a smile to greet you. She will be missed.

  35. Dear Arnold, Cookie, Terry & Derek,

    There aren’t adequate words to express the sadness we feel for your sudden loss.

    Karen’s loving compassion, generosity, humor and smile were boundless. We will miss her terribly and she’ll forever have a very special place in our hearts.

    Love & prayers to you & family,

    Jayne, Paul & Christian
    🤟🙏

  36. William Bolster

    Lillian, Kay and I are saddened to hear of your sister Karen’s passing. We will offer ass today in her memory. Bill and Kay Bolster

  37. My Aunt Karen always brightened the room. I look forwarded to every visit with her. She will be greatly missed in our family.

  38. Sandy LaFontaine

    My heart is broken, such a great loss for all. I will miss and love you forever. “Simply the best”

  39. Marie A Anderson

    I am very saddened to hear of Karen’s passing. I have known her and her family for many years.

    I loved to stop by the St. Charles office to say hello to Karen. My thoughts and prayers with all of the family

    Marie Anderson

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