March 7, 2023
Karen A. Sundermier, passed away on March 2, 2023
Karen grew up in Ramsey, New Jersey. She was blessed with growing up in a wonderful family, her parents and two sisters. She truly appreciated supportive parents who set the example of how to live life fully and gratefully, work hard, and prioritize what’s important. They enjoyed adventures, many skiing and camping trips with family friends, and countless everyday family memories. Her sisters were lucky to be her best friends her entire life.
Karen attended Penn State University and Duke University School of Law. Following graduation, she moved to San Francisco for a job and met the love of her life, Michael. Together they traveled the West Coast extensively and around the world. After many years in the Bay Area, they decided to move back East and built a life in Boston, closer to family and enjoying the four seasons of New England. Karen was an employment attorney who excelled at the rewarding positions she held over her career, most recently as a Principal and workplace training specialist at Littler Mendelson.
Karen loved the outdoors — the ocean, the mountains, skiing, hiking, running, and long walks. Beach time with family and friends was her favorite. She loved music, books, and food and wine. She enjoyed cooking, and hosting family and friends, always wanting to share her home and special moments with the people she loved. Evenings entertaining outside, festive family holidays and birthday parties were tradition, often ending in a dance party.
She is survived by her husband and best friend Michael, her daughters Chloe Addison and Anna Louise, her adoring parents, Joan Ann (Langone) and John (Jack) Sundermier, her sisters Susan Gallas and husband Ross and Michele Clark and husband Christopher, her loving in-laws Leni and the late Al Schoenfeld, Howard and Marilyn Mankes, and brother-in-law Peter Mankes and his wife Christine. She adored her nephews and nieces: Grant Gallas; Charlie, Danny, and Rosie Mankes; and, Madeline, Lillian, and Quinn Clark. She was lucky to have loving aunts and uncles and valued relationships with first cousins from childhood through adulthood, and many enduring close friendships from high school, college, law school, California, and Hingham. Karen is predeceased by their infant daughter, Jacqueline Ann Mankes.
The heartbeat of Karen’s life was her daughters. They were her greatest gifts and sources of endless joy. They were her absolute favorite companions, playmates, entertainers, and snugglers. Her spirit will live on in their beautiful souls and through their lives. They expressed their love countless times a day, ”to the moon and back, and more than that.”
Karen lived each day to its absolute fullest, and took on every challenge and opportunity with energy and enthusiasm. She was full of love, caring, and selflessness toward all around her. Karen appreciated the countless blessings she had throughout her life, with her only regret not having more time with Michael, Chloe and Anna.
One of Karen’s favorite things in life was to sit on the beach and look out at the horizon where the water meets the sky. When the inevitable question was posed, “When should we leave?”, Karen’s response would always be, “There’s never a good time to leave the beach.” Life was similarly taken too soon from Karen, but her light will continue to shine in her daughters, her family and friends, and the numerous lives she touched along her wonderful journey.
A Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of the Angels at St. Mary’s Church, Hanover, MA on Thursday March 9, 2023 at 10 am. As it is Lent, the Church will not be accepting flowers. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Karen can be made to the Mankes Family Education Fund through Hingham Savings Bank, which will be used to support Chloe and Anna’s education and charitable organizations that were important to Karen.