Kaaren Kapp Furman
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AGE: 61 • Morristown
Kaaren Kapp Furman passed away peacefully at Morristown Medical Center on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012 after a long and courageous fight against cancer. She leaves this earth having brightened the days of so many over her 61 years filled with unconditional warmth, love and laughter. Heaven became a little bit brighter the day she passed away. Kaaren started her high school career in 1964 by going to Morristown High School, in Morristown, NJ. She then went on to finish high school by attending St. Johns' the Baptist High School in Mendham, NJ where she graduated from in 1969 and then Kathryn Gibbs Secretarial School, NJ in 1971. From there she went on to receive her Bachelors Degree in English with a teaching certificate for secondary schools from Rutgers University. But it was during her freshmen year at MHS, where she met the love of her life, James Furman. Morristown remained their home; as they would go on to spend the next 48 wonderful years together. Kaaren was the ultimate commuter having navigated the twists and turns of NJ Transit, as well as the city of New York, especially Manhattan. She built a successful 30-year career at Avon, which started in 1981. She held a number of positions of increasing responsibility in Sales Training and Management/ Professional Training at Avon's corporate headquarters in New York. After retirement, Kaaren turned her passion to writing; having joined the Women Reading Aloud group as well as various others this gave her the perfect outlet. Writing had always been something of great joy and passion for her. Unfortunately she had lost touch with it over the years, only picking it up every now and then. But after her cancer had forced her out of 6 long years in remission, she was able to rekindle her desire to write again. Writing helped her positively focus her emotions during her battle. Kaaren's first and only public reading was met by a standing ovation from all those who attended. She was intrigued by the unique qualities of others and never settled for generalizations or "types" of people. Instead, she focused on the differences between individuals and celebrated what was special and distinct about them. To her, everyone's life was a one-of-a-kind story. She clearly had a unique ability to see things in a different light and perspective from others. Throughout her life she was the ultimate teacher and mother, always making it her goal to motivate and inspire others. She would approach everyone in the same way and fashion. Always asking how they were doing, what they were up to, and what at the time they were doing to make them happy. If you told her that you were going through a difficult time she would look at you and always say, "Well what are you going to do to change it." She was a strong believer in saying something even when others were afraid and chose not to. For her family, she was a bright light that brought much peace to ALL those around her.
Kaaren is survived by her loving husband, James, as well as her only child, James II, both from Morristown. She is also survived by her brothers, Christopher Kapp, and his wife Betsy from Baltimore, Timothy Kapp from California, Justin Kapp, and his wife Beth from Morris Plains and her sister, Elissa Phelan and her husband Shane also from Morris Plains. Kaaren was predeceased by her oldest sister, Tina Johnson in 2003; her mother, Dora Bryant Kapp in 2008; her father, William Robert Kapp in 1983 and her mother-in-law, Helen Furman in 1998. Kaaren is also survived by six sisters-in-law (one predeceased in 2005) and two brothers-in-law and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, whom she loved dearly, far too many to list. The family will remember Kaaren's hearty laugh and positive attitude, in which she offered the world, as well as the supportive comments she would offer in private.
In honor of Kaaren's wishes, there will not be a wake or a funeral. Kaaren believed that death should not just be a time of mourning, but a time to celebrate the life of the loved one. Even after death, Kaaren wanted to give the gift of love and laughter to all of those who were close to her. Please join us and come share your thoughts and memories of Kaaren on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at the Center for Spiritual Living, 331 Mt. Kemble Ave, Morristown from 2:00pm - 4:30pm. In lieu of flowers, we ask that any donations be made to the Carol G. Simon Center in memory of Kaaren Kapp Furman.
Published in Daily Record on Oct. 19, 2012