Shrewsbury – Karin Louise (Kavanagh) Bleakney, 88, of Shrewsbury, MA, and Rumney, NH, passed away peacefully at Benchmark Shrewsbury Crossings on October 19, 2021, due to Alzheimer’s disease and COVID-19 residuals.
Born in Claremont, NH, on July 18, 1933, the second child of William L. and Georgia M. (Frolich) Kavanagh, Karin graduated from Needham High school and the Katharine Gibbs School in Boston. She and her beloved husband of nearly 61 years, Robert G. Bleakney, Jr. raised their five children in Sudbury, where there were many adventures, laughs, experiential learning (followed by trips to the emergency room), two house fires, one lightning strike, much happy chaos, music, and countless pets including Happy, aka “that damn dog.”
Karin was particularly known for her honesty, wisdom, humor, faith, generosity, sense of adventure, creative writing, and sass.
Before having children, Karin worked at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association and, later in her career, she worked at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School so she could more easily keep an eye on her children. She also served on the board of Hattie B. Cooper Community Center and volunteered for many church events and groups.
Karin firmly believed that God had given her and Bob gifts and resources that they were obligated and happy to share; because of that, their homes were always full, both in Sudbury and Upton, as well as the family summer camp on Stinson Lake that she so loved. Sometimes folks stayed for a few days, others lived with her and Bob for years. There was always room for more people at the table, and she was always ready for a fun experience. To quote her, “The purpose of my life is to do good to others and to have a blast doing it. This is how I believe I am to honor the Lord.”
Karin is predeceased by her husband Bob and her siblings, Joan Bowditch and Kai Kavanagh. She is survived by Kathy Pawley and her husband Keenan of Bedford, NH; Betsy Lambert of Northbridge, MA; Robert Bleakney and his wife Tiggi of Worcester, MA; Linda Gorham and her husband Douglas of Upton, MA; and Amy Neil and her husband Mark of Westborough, MA. She is also survived by her grandchildren Sean Pawley, Melissa Pawley, Daniel and Gretchen Lambert, Robert and Alexis Lambert, Jenna Gorham, Ashley Gorham, Kara Neil and Jeremiah Muhire, Emily Neil and Nick Lowe, Kevin Neil and Annalise Deal, Ryan Neil, and Lindsay Neil. She is also survived by a large extended family with many nieces and nephews. Karin also counted as family everyone she met but particularly many Jurgeleits, Spillers, Hatches, Allens, Lochers, Phillips, Egans, Pollocks, Gongs, and the late Cathy Conaty.
Please join us at Karin’s celebration of life, via the First United Methodist Church of Westborough, MA Facebook page, on Saturday, October 30, at 10:30 AM EDT.
In lieu of flowers, we invite you to do good for others and have a blast doing it.