Griswold - Karen Suzanne Gaudreau, 47, of Jewett City, passed away at her home, unexpectedly due to complications from a lengthy illness.
Born in Port Hueneme, Calif., she was the daughter of William A. Gaudreau and Norma A. (Jette) Chestnut. Karen was a graduate of Hallandale High School, Hallandale Fla., "Go Chargers!" She was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force
having served with distinction in logistics from 1988 to 1994, where she received many medals and ribbons for her honorable service. She worked at Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort in marketing as an executive host. She was one of the original employees, beginning in 1996 before they opened, staying on for 15 years. During this time, Karen was diagnosed with a rare liver disease. She eventually left to pursue an education and career as a medical assistant while training at Ridley Lowell Technical and Business Institute, to give back and help others with illnesses as those in the medical field had so graciously done for her. Karen will be remembered for her radiant smile, spunkiness, and never being at a loss for words. Once you met Karen, you knew it. She was full of life and left an indelible mark on all who knew her. She was a 49'ers and Red Sox fan, and her favorite color hands down was purple.
She survived her liver transplant nine years to the day of her passing and leaves behind her loving parents, Norma A. Chestnut of Willimantic, and Attleboro, Mass., her father, William A. Gaudreau and his wife, Janice, of East Rochester, N.H.; her three big sisters, Michelle Thompson and her husband, Gary, of Cherry Valley, N.Y., Pamela DeVivo and her husband, Tom, and Rebecca Gaudreau, all of Willimantic; a step-sister, Janine Chiampa and her husband, Hank, and son, Christopher, of New Market, N.H.; her three favorite people in the whole world, her two nieces, Tiffany (Gaudreau) DiPietro and her husband, Michael, of Kensington, Melanie Miela of Manchester; and her number one nephew and godson, Brett Ellis of Willimantic. She also leaves behind her living donor and hero, Jamie Ward of Bozrah.
She was predeceased by her cats, Harley and Taz.
Karen leaves behind a host of loving cousins in Attleboro, Mass., from the Jette and Gaudreau clans and many, many friends from Connecticut, Florida, and around the world. Near or far, you were all very special to her and always included in her conversations at one time or another. Her Besties include, but are not limited to JuJu, Georgia, Natalie, Romina, and Nilgun.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the National MS Society/Connecticut Chapter/Walk 2014 in honor of her living donor, Jamie Ward@ www.nationalmssociety.org
or (860) 913 2550.
Calling hours will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, at the Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson St., Willimantic. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at the funeral home. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family.
Please visit www.potterfuneralhome.com
for online memorial guest book.