Karen Lynn Hollant (Adams)
West Hartford, Connecticut
July 29, 1968 - May 27, 2021
Karen (52) believed in telephone landlines and poring over the news in its printed form. She would have read this very obituary and it would have reminded her to urge each of us to value our time here together more completely.
Along with the obits, she also read the horoscopes. I wonder if she ever tried to make sense of the astrological advice laid out for each of the strangers she had come to know on the day they died. On the day she herself died, her horoscope looked to reconcile “light and breezy” and “heavy and complicated” feelings.
Had she read her own horoscope on May 27th she would have been reminded that there are no right or wrong answers when resolving life’s puzzles. Indeed—resolution might not be necessary at all.
Karen didn’t need to read those words. She embodied them along with so many other great and liberating wisdoms.
Right around her usual bedtime on the last Thursday of May, Karen Hollant left me, Richard Hollant, and our five children: Jack, Hunter, Nicole, Dean, and Sawyer. Her transition was preceded and followed by days of stormy weather; we all knew who was busy cleaning out the heavens.
She leaves behind her sister Donna and her sweet family, her Aunt Linda, Uncles Ken, Peter, Mark, Ron, and Jeff, and a full cast of cousins—notably Jean, Brita, and Cheryl who were with her to the end. Karen was a true belonger in every sense of the word and will be sweetly remembered by a tight crew of lifelong friends where she was raised in Millbury, MA, neighbors and friends where she lived for 20 years in West Hartford, CT, her church family at Flagg Road UCC, and the Connecticut Deaf Community where she was a much-adored sign language interpreter and leader.
She found the worth in everyone she met, held onto them, and lifted them up. In turn, thousands of people did the same for her. We should all be so fortunate to live a life so full.
Karen was born in Millbury, MA to Dean John and Shirley Ellen Adams (Rydberg). She attended Millbury Public Schools, received her B.A. from Assumption College in Worcester followed by a Master of Social Rehabilitation Degree from University of Connecticut. There her compassion, advocacy skills, and sign language proficiency intersected. She knew her purpose and it influenced all aspects of her life and all the lives she touched.
Her graduate school thesis seeded the Deaf Spirit Club, a program for primarily deaf-blind individuals deprived of adequate social engagement due to limitations built into the systems designed to support them. She suspended the program she loved when our son Dean was born so she could put more of her attention into raising our children to be the stand-up young people they are today. Nevertheless, Deaf Spirit Club meant the world to her, and I expected she would get back to it one day.
In memoriam, we will be reactivating the Deaf Spirit Club. We'll dust off Karen's impeccable notes and carry on where she left off. Instead of other gifts, we ask that you visit freecenter.us/dscfund and support the 2.0 version of this incredible program.
Did I mention that time she sang in a choir at St. Petersburg Cathedral?
Did I mention that even as tumors took over the better part of her brain, she still remembered schedules better than I ever could and mercilessly shamed me at the Scrabble® board?
Did I mention that night a squall decimated the campsite she shared with nearly 200 of her friends on Assateague Island? I was readying to check us into a hotel and then I saw her running into the dark frenzy as if in slow motion looking back at me and mouthing the words, “We never abandon the ship,” before she bent down—still laughing at the rain—to help someone re-pitch their tent.
Did I tell you how on the day she died, I spent over nine hours reading hundreds of stories from friends about the lives she impacted? There are still hundreds of stories to be read.
Karen Hollant was unassuming and she was a giant. She was as resolved as a summer storm.
We miss her powerfully.
Please join us in a pot luck memorial celebration of Karen and a life lived well at 1PM, on June 12th, 2021 at Flagg Road UCC, 134 Flagg Road, West Hartford, CT. We look forward to sharing with you. To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Karen Lynn (Adams) Hollant, please visit our floral store.