STRONG — Karen Sue Kangas, 65, of North Anson, died peacefully surrounded by loving family and friends at the home of one of her dearest friends in Strong on the evening of July 18, following a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born Feb. 6, 1953, in Livermore, Calif., a daughter of Virgil and Helen Westerman) Hartz. She received her education in Livermore schools and completed secretarial studies. With her husband, Peter Kangas, (whom she married on Sept. 22, 1973), and their young son, Erik, in tow and another on the way, this young family came east as young visionary “hippies” to explore their future and to find true joy in building everything together, from building their small log home, nestled in the Western Maine mountains and made from fresh-cut trees on their 10-acre property with a good, fresh water supply to nurturing their family-owned business Kangas Inc., a leading manufacturing company for drum brushes and drumsticks.

Hers was a life designed around gifts of the heart. Her devotion to family could be seen by the love she had for her grandchildren, her chosen friends who became “family,” and the welcoming spaces in her heart for those who might otherwise be shunned or seemingly forgotten.

She was a woman of integrity and deep faith and was a founding member of the Living Waters Church in Farmington. A hobby that she shared with those whom she dearly adored was her gift of making beautiful cakes for all occasions.

She is loved by her husband, Peter, of N. Anson; their sons: Erik and his wife, Madison of Strong and Davin of N. Anson; grandchildren Alec Marcheterre, Trinity, Avery, Irelynn and Della Kangas; her parents, Virgil and Helen Hartz, of Livermore, Calif; and siblings Robert Hartz and his wife, Margaret, Chuck Hartz and his wife, Lee, all of Livermore, Calif. and Deborah Olsen and her husband, Rick of Tracy, Calif., and Linda Ellicott of Strong whom she considered family.

Her family invites you to share tributes and condolences on her memorial wall at www.wilesrc.com.

Karen Sue Kangas

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