Karen Lyn (Arruda) Caton, born December 24, 1962, passed away on May 11, 2021 surrounded by loved ones after a long but courageous battle with leukemia.
Karen was born in Fall River, Massachusetts to the late Marlene Ann Amaral. Karen last resided with her husband Mark in New Bedford, MA.
In her 34+ year career at the Acushnet Company (Titleist), Karen held an array of job titles, eventually becoming a supervisor. Later she returned to school to earn an associates degree in business at Bristol Community College. She took pride in her work ethic and instilled that in her children. Karen’s success in life was no accident; it was the result of hard work, perseverance, and sacrifice.
Karen was loved by many, and was considered to be the greatest kind of person. She was deeply invested in her family; along with her mother, Karen was the glue that kept everyone together. Her kindness and love was felt far beyond family, and was shared liberally with friends, co-workers, and all who had the good fortune to know her. She was selfless, courageous, and lived her life deliberately. She awaited grandchildren impatiently, and when that time finally came, she was over the moon in love.
Karen attended New Bedford High School where she played softball for four years and was a member of several club and all star teams. She would later play co-ed softball in her free time. She was a lefty, first baseman; some would consider her “All World”. Karen loved to be on the back of Mark’s motorcycle, ride her wave runner, and bike the canal with her daughter, Amie. She was known to throw a good horseshoe and enjoyed playing rummy and cribbage with all who challenged her. A gracious host, she loved planning parties and gatherings, and looked forward to the occasional trip to the casino with her mother, sisters, daughter and nieces. She was an outdoor enthusiast who loved camping, gardening, kayaking, and hiking.
Karen was a wife to Mark Caton, a daughter to Marlene and John Amaral, and a mother to John and Megan (Oates) Arruda, Michael Gula and Sasha Rivera, and Amie Gula. She was a grandmother to Austen, Thomas and Taber, a sister to Michael, Barbara, Robert, Jerome, Kathleen, and Anne, as well as an aunt to countless nieces and nephews.
Karen fought her battle with leukemia heroically, never losing her positive attitude or sense of humor. She met her challenges with grace and elegance, all while being the strongest person you’ve ever seen. Karen never let her hardships bring her down. She never blamed anyone or anything for her misfortune and never felt sorry for herself. There was no point at which she stopped trying or gave up the fight. She took the battle head on, the way she wanted and did so until the very end. She was a beautiful soul, and our hearts are left broken with her passing.
In honor of Karen’s memory, do something in your lifetime, or in your everyday, that would make her proud. Please consider giving blood to the Red Cross, registering to donate bone marrow or stem cells at bethematch.org, or donating to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Leukemia Research Foundation, DKMS.org, Children’s Leukemia Research Association, or the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
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