NEW GLOUCESTER — Karen Maberry Albert, 53, of New Gloucester, passed away Wednesday, July 11, at home surrounded by her loving family after a five-year valiant battle with metastatic breast cancer. She was born in Lewiston, raised in the Oxford area and graduated from Oxford Hills High School in 1983. She graduated from Thomas College in 1985 with a degree in accounting. She was employed at International Paper in Auburn for 27 years until her illness forced her to retire.

Karen married the love of her life, Jim, on Oct. 15, 1988. Together they have two wonderful children, Scott and Amy, and spent their lives dedicated to family.

They enjoyed many family vacations as the children were growing up and also after the children became adults. For the last several years a highlight has been the annual time at a family–owned camp in Livermore with their children in attendance and their dear friends in the camp next door.

Jim and Karen also started traveling without the children and visited several Caribbean locations with other family members. Their most recent trip was to Florida last fall with family.

Karen showed amazing strength and courage throughout her illness. She was diagnosed in 2013, endured multiple surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy. She agreed to multiple clinical trials at Massachusetts General Hospital in an effort to not only prolong her own life but to also help others diagnosed with this horrible disease. Traveling to Boston almost weekly for two years required family and friends to act not only as drivers but as ongoing support through the cancer journey. Everyone wanted to help.

Karen was an advocate for others with cancer. She started a charity called Celebration Rides that provided free limousine rides along with celebratory gifts to cancer patients celebrating their last day of treatment. She enjoyed participating in the annual Dempsey Challenge to raise money for the center which became an integral part of her life.

Karen was a loving person who enjoyed people. She developed close relationships with physicians, nurses, research staff and several others who devote themselves to health care every day.

Karen learned to loom hats and donated several to charities to help keep others with bald heads warm. Karen loved to cook, shop, go to restaurants and make memories. Karen was especially fond of dragonflies. She collected jewelry and other objects depicting dragonflies and she was well-known for giving dragonfly objects as gifts.

Despite the perception that the world can be cold and uncaring, Karen’s cancer journey taught the family that the capacity of love, strength and support has no limits and that the world is indeed full of wonderful people.

She is survived by her husband of almost 30 years, Jim, her children Scott and Amy, her parents Irene Maberry and Robert and Patricia Maberry, her in-laws Doris and Anthony Albert, her siblings, Kathy( Dana) Tice, Diane Jack, Michael (Tracey) Maberry, her step siblings Marjorie (Lee) Osterhaut, Linda (Greg) Segner, Nancy Price and Kathy Brant, Jim’s siblings who she considered her own brothers and sisters, Mary Ann (Mike) Morency, Sharon (Mark) Dube, Scott (Lisa) Albert and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and several dear friends.

She was predeceased by her grandparents and her stepsister, Julie.

The family would like to thank Nicholette Erickson, M.D. and her team with Central Maine Medical Center as well as Aditya Bardia, M.D., and his team with Massachusetts General for their constant care and support. We’d also like to thank the Dempsey Center and Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice.

Online condolences may be sent to www.funeralalternatives.net.

Karen Maberry Albert

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