Karen Ryan

Karen Ryan (Heller) of Somerville, MA passed away on January 24th, 2022 at age 72. 

Karen’s passing leaves a huge hole in the hearts of her family and friends who were deeply touched by her thoughtfulness and generosity.  She always found a way to make someone feel special whether it be a hand-made gift or tasty treat.  

Karen had a wonderful sense of humor and a great yearning for adventure.  A lifelong passion for traveling led her to pursue a degree in Travel and Tourism. Cruises were her favorite!  She traveled to the great state of Alaska to see the glaciers and all throughout the Caribbean tropics.  She always dreamed of traveling “down under” to the continent of Australia to see the Great Barrier Reef, koalas and kangaroos.

Karen relished the arts and always had a creative project in the works. Her zest for writing poetry resulted in her being a published poet.  She also took delight in creating crafts of all types particularly ceramics, quilting, crocheting and painting landscapes.  Karen was a creative free spirit who truly enjoyed sharing her enthusiasm for the arts with others.  

Karen raised two loving children, Mark Heller and Lovelee Heller-Bottari who she loved and adored with all her heart.  It brought her such happiness to see her family expand with the marriage of her children to their soulmates, Mary Bishop her daughter-in-law and David Bottari her son-in-law, along with their wonderful families.  Her greatest joys were her three cherished grandchildren, Alex, Jake and Skylar.  She loved how they could always make her laugh and they loved the same about her.  She was so proud of both her children and her grandchildren for countless reasons.  

Karen was born and raised in Rochester, New York with the Malara family.  She is survived there by her incredibly kind-hearted sister, Elaine Malara DelleFave, brother Steve Malara and sister-in-law JoEllen Malara, as well as her nieces and nephew, Danielle, Patricia, Teresa, Joanna and Anthony; and many great nieces and nephews.

Karen treasured coffee hours, game-nights, and holiday parties with her dear friends, especially those at Cobble Hill (The Oasis) where she will be deeply missed by her beloved community.  

Karen loved to celebrate and added a little extra sparkle and stylish flair everywhere she went.  She was admired for her tremendous strength and resilience.  She worked hard to make the world a little brighter for those she met, especially those who needed someone to lean on.  Karen believed that love was the greatest gift you could ever give.  The immense love which she shared in her lifetime will live on in our hearts for eternity. 

Please join us for a Celebration of Life Memorial Service in Karen’s honor on Saturday, February 26th at 3PM at Connexion Church at 149 Broadway, Somerville, MA followed by light refreshments. 

Service Zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85631655609

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Animal Rescue League of Boston in Karen’s name and that of her beloved cats, Pebbles and Prince.  


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

2 Condolences

  1. Steve and Jo Ellen Malara and family on February 19, 2022 at 5:40 pm

    Mark, Love Lee and family, please accept my condolences for the loss of Karen. She was a wonderful, loving sister to me, and such a remarkable mother and grandmother to you all. She will be missed and remembered so dearly. God bless your family.

  2. Danielle and Olivia DelleFave on February 26, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you, I wish I could have been there to see you through the day. I pass you all my strength and love I possibly can to help you move past the pain. Xoxoxoxo

Leave a Condolence