PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Karen Francis Kazin of Portsmouth, RI died peacefully in Middletown on Wednesday, March 20th after a long courageous battle with a degenerative disease.
Born in Newport, RI to the late Genevieve and Frank Kazin, Karen graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1975. She went on to study nursing at URI, receiving her BS in 1979. Karen started her career as a staff nurse at Roger Williams Medical Center and Miriam Hospital. She found her calling in women’s medical oncology through various positions at Rhode Island Hospital and later Women’s & Infants Hospital. In 2000 Karen earned her MS in nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner. She then accepted a position at University Surgical Associates where she utilized her comprehensive skills and compassion to assist patients and their families navigating difficult times. Her patients often remarked how her empathy, knowledge and support empowered them not only to survive but also to thrive as they made it through their journey with cancer. Karen retired after 32 years of devoted and caring service to her patients.
Karen was a member of the American Cancer Society, the Oncology Nursing Society and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She was the recipient of many awards and honors including the American Cancer Society Teressa Lasser Award (New England Chapter) in 1998 and 2002.
Karen is survived by her kind and devoted husband, Jan Hagerstrom, whom she married in 1991 at a big family wedding in Sweden. Together they shared a passion for travel with family and friends, their adored pets, gardening, skiing, bicycling around Ocean Drive, kayaking and 2nd Beach.
Karen was the beloved sister to the late Marjorie Kazin Boyce (Milton) and to Linda Roy (Albert), Judith Kazin Cooper (James Studders) and Nancy Browne (Pete). She was a treasured aunt to Cindy Lam, Alison Roy, Rachel Cooper, Sam & Jessica Browne and many Swedish nieces and nephews. Karen will be greatly missed by her many grand nieces and nephews both here and in Sweden. She will be lovingly remembered by her many lifelong friends.
Donations in her name can be made to the College of Nursing at URI.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday, March 24, from 2pm-5pm, at the Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth, R.I.