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Karen Joyce (Mann) MacTavish was born in Boston, MA on November 23, 1946 to Dr. Robert and Frances L. Mann of Needham, MA. She was a graduate of Needham High School, Class of 1964 and attended Boston State College at night.
Karen entered eternal rest with her children by her side on September 29, 2023 at the age of 76. She departed her earthly body with the formidable strength that quietly propelled her through life.
Karen was a supportive mother, dedicated grandmother, loyal friend, and tireless employee. Her life focused on her children, their interests, and later her grandchildren.
Before she had grandchildren, Karen could most often be found in hockey rinks, golf courses, tennis courts, or shopping malls. She adored giving presents, but hunting for the perfect gift was her true passion! Karen was known for her penchant for bargain shopping.
When her children were young, Karen enjoyed attending family events and retreats with the Dover Church. She grew up singing in the choir at the Needham Baptist Church, later sharing this joy while playing the piano leading Christmas carols. She adored celebrating the holidays with the Ya-Yas and their families.
Karen truly cherished her family--most notably her grandchildren. She spent weekends attending their games and caring for them. She was generous with her love, patience, and unbridled enthusiasm for all things hockey and football.
Karen played tennis at Wimbledon 109 and on the courts in Dover. She loved playing golf with her friends, especially at the Needham Country Club. She relished friendly competition and camaraderie. Karen later traded playing bridge with the Ya-Yas for what would become one of her most beloved pastimes—the casino.
Karen had an impeccable work ethic, starting early working at the Dover Drug Store, then as a dental assistant for Dr. Leach. She’s most recognized in the town of Dover at the Assessor’s office where she worked for nearly 50 years. She rarely took time off, but when she did, it was almost always for someone else. Karen silently retired as the Assessor, but remained in touch, supporting the office and people who meant the world to her.
Karen savored trips to the Cape and spending time at the beach. The ocean was her solace and salvation. The simplest pleasures in life brought the most joy to Karen.
Karen is survived by her son, David MacTavish, Jr., his children: Shawn, Matthew, and Megan, and their mother Donna; her daughter Paige DeSisto, husband Joseph, and their children Eliza and Jocelyn. Her sister Beverly Mulcahy and her husband Douglas, her brother, the late Barry Mann and his wife Jean. She was the aunt of Dr. Corynne Orzech and her husband Paul, and Tisha and Tera Mann. She is survived by her dearest, lifelong friends, “The Ya-Ya's”: Nancy Dowd, Laverne Lovell, Jacey MacAlpine, and Bente Sears, as well as her former husband, David MacTavish, Sr.
Left to cherish her memory are her beloved cousins, the Taylors, and friends who were more like family.
Visiting hours in the Eaton Funeral Home, 1351 Highland Ave, Needham, on Wednesday, October 4 from 4-7 PM. A Celebration and Remembrance of Karen’s life will be held at The Dover Church, 17 Springdale Avenue in Dover, on Thursday, October 5th at 11 AM. Interment is Private.
Karen’s family is grateful for the compassionate care and attention provided by the extraordinary people of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Shapiro 8 East.
In honor of Karen’s tremendous altruism, please consider donating to a charity of your choice or to HopeHealth Hospice and Palliative Care, 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02904 (www.hopehealthco.org) HopeHealth Hospice & Palliative Care is a community-based 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. All contributions are tax deductible. Tax ID #51-0192422