Although Karen’s life on this earth was brief, she lived it fully and enough for several lifetimes. Karen moved to Hawaii in the mid 80’s. She continued west to Australia after friends encouraged her to visit. In 1992, Karen made her first and last trip to Australia, from then on proudly calling it home. She met and married her husband, Bill Kneebone, shortly after arriving on the continent. They set off on a whirlwind honeymoon adventure, sailing around the world for five years on a 50′ catamaran, hand built by Bill. Many friends sailed into and out of their lives during that time.
One incident saw a book “Peril in the Red Sea” dedicated to her and Bill as they likely saved their friends lives by contacting the British Embassy when they were kidnapped from their boat off the coast of Eritrea. Her niece’s Nicole and Chelsea got an extensive geography lesson as each postmark was charted on a world map taped to the wall of their home as Karen and Bill made their way around the globe. Whether being chased by pirates in the South China Sea, or sampling culinary delights in Thailand, her thirst for every life experience remained unquenched. A gourmet chef who cut her culinary teeth in Boston, she could whip up a meal like no other with whatever ingredients on hand.
Her letters and postcards home while traveling were greatly anticipated, shared and enjoyed with family, friends and colleagues alike. Karen’s writing had a descriptive ability that made you feel as if you were there with her, and likely missed her calling as a writer. Her world travels created many opportunities for family to travel with her. Her mother, Nancy and sister, Wendy and husband, Bill joined her in Hawaii then with their daughters journeyed to Australia where she provided the royal treatment to her family.
Karen leaves her beloved son, Sean Leal, and his wife, Heather and grandson, Ryan of Arizona; her mother Nancy A. Courville of Webster; sister, Anne Kirk of Worcester, brother, John Courville of Lynn MA, sister, Wendy Steinhilber and her husband, Bill of Auburn, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her father, Louis N.Courville.
A private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family. BRITTON-WALLACE FUNERAL HOME, 91 Central St, Auburn is honored in assisting with arrangements. Contributions may be made in Karen’s memory to the organization nearest and dearest to one’s heart.