Karen Nickerson Grisdale, 64, passed away on Friday, September 6, 2013, after a very courageous battle against the ravages of diabetes. Born in Providence, RI, to the late John F. Nickerson and Elsie (Smith) Nickerson, Karen graduated from Hope High School in Providence, and attended Chamberlain College in Boston and Roger Williams College in Providence. She worked at Mass Wholesale Drug in sales, before losing her eyesight. Karen worked for almost 20 years for the Talking Information Center Radio Reading Service in Marshfield, as Radio Engineer and Program Director. For about the last 15 years, Karen was the Coordinator for Home-Delivered Meals for the Duxbury Senior Center. At TIC, Karen became known as a fierce advocate for people with disabilities, especially visual impairment. At the DSC she was an equally fierce advocate for elders, especially those needing special services. Karen was beloved by the staff, volunteers and clients at both those organizations. She was named a Home Town Hero, with her face appearing with that honor on a major highway billboard. Karen never let her blindness get in the way: she became one of the only visually-impaired people in the world to fly a plane from takeoff through landing, and she mastered all the radio recording and broadcast equipment required at the Radio Reading Service, among many other things. All who knew her admired Karens sense of humor, loyalty, dedication, caring, fairness and advocacy. She deeply loved her family, friends, and, of course, her pets (Karen was also an advocate for adopting shelter animals). Karen is survived, in mourning, by her husband, life partner and friend, Todd; her mother, Elsie of Providence, RI; her brother John of Portsmouth, RI; and her cousin, Carolyn Hough of Ann Arbor, MI; and her two grieving dogs, Sassy and Salsa. Memorial services will be held at future dates at the Duxbury Senior Center, 1 Mayflower St., Duxbury and at St. Peters and St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 25 Pomona Ave., Providence, RI. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to the Duxbury Senior Center, St. Peters and St. Andrews Episcopal Church Capital Improvement Fund, or to your local Animal Shelter or Animal Protective Service. Karen always loved the sun and warm weather. Please think of her as perpetually laying on the beach, warmed by the sun, surrounded by the gentle sounds of waves breaking. She is at peace. For online condolences, please visit www.shepherdfuneralhome.com
Shepherd Funeral Home Kingston 781-585-4453
Published by Duxbury Reporter from Sep. 11 to Sep. 18, 2013.