Karen E. Palotas, age 67 years, of Alexandria Township, NJ, died on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at Center for Hope Hospice, Scotch Plains, NJ, with her loving husband Eric by her side.
Born in New Brunswick, NJ, April 5, 1951, daughter of the late Marvin Rosen and Rita Rechtschafer Rosen, currently residing in Hallandale, FL, Karen was raised in Highland Park, NJ and had lived in Kingwood Township and Ringoes, NJ prior to moving to Alexandria Township twenty years ago.
A woman with a true magnetic personality, Karen lived life on her own terms and was fiercely loyal to family and friends. “No” was not in her vocabulary and the result was a woman who was inspirational, motivational and innovative in everything she did.
Humble, Karen’s loving and giving personality shone through in all she did both personally and professionally.
For many years she owned and operated MGx Promotions, Milford, NJ, and many will remember her, “Big Pink Trucks” that drove all over Hunterdon and the surrounding counties advertising for various companies and events.
The most important thing she ever did with the truck, from her point of view, was to advertise and then be the lead truck that would start the CEA’s (Center for Educational Advancement) annual “Turkey Trot” in Flemington, NJ each year. She was so proud to help support the CEA. Having a developmentally disabled daughter, she was a tireless advocate for the CEA and its mission; the CEA honored her as a recipient of their Benefactor Award.
Though never defining her, Karen’s 18 year battle with cancer is something that must be written about. Written not to elicit sympathy, but to inspire others to never give up and always remember that, “Hope” is something that can never be taken away from anyone, ever.
Diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2000 and given a 5% chance to live no more than 5 years, Karen soon underwent a double mastectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Before her cancer, Karen, in her own words, described herself as, “…a beach ball with teeth.” She did not exercise and was extremely overweight. After what she described as a deep and meaningful soul-searching experience, she opened a Curves fitness center in Flemington.
She soon lost 70 lbs. and went from a size 22 to a size 8. She believed diet and exercise was essential in her overall health and recovery. She said, “You have to care about your health when you are done with your treatment…you change things you’re doing wrong and you look at it as a second shot at life. The day comes when you decide that you want to live and grow old with your husband. To do that, you have to be willing to pick up where the Doctors left off.”
Many women have commented that Karen literally saved their lives as she was non-judgmental and her caring and supportive manner helped them to achieve, and then surpass their goals. Her successes led to her opening two more Curves locations, open in Whitehouse and the other in Branchburg, NJ.
She won national recognition from Curves for her promotion and exercise/nutrition plans for those battling cancer and was written up in several newspaper and magazine articles as well as made several television appearances on the topic; all helping to inspire and support women as they challenged societal norms and became better versions of themselves.
After selling the Curves locations, Karen went on to assist her husband with one of their mutual loves: car racing. She was the manager for BB3 Motorsports, and was her husband’s #1 fan and cheerleader.
The cars needed to be low, wide and fast in order to qualify for Karen’s liking. From Porsche’s to Corvette’s to one of her favorite’s, the Viper, Karen knew everything there was to know about the cars; from brakes to tires, she did it all. Her smile was the one that Eric could always spot in the grandstand, as it was always the biggest as she cheered her true love on.
Her hobbies were varied and she could be referred to as a true renaissance woman; she loved her cars, her business ventures and also enjoyed farming! In her early forties, she moved to a farm in Kingwood Township and soon found herself feeding the baby sheep with a bottle very early in the morning. There were not many things that Karen did not do and everything she did was always with an open and genuine heart.
She enjoyed traveling, especially cruising, and had been to Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and many other places with family and friends. Her kindle had over 1000 books on it, so calling her an avid reader would be an understatement.
Very involved in civic communities, it will always be said that Karen did all she did not for business gain, but rather because that’s who she was; a longtime member of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce, she was the recipient of the Good Neighbor Award as well as the Chairman’s Club award.
She was vital in the creation and operation of the former Flemington-Raritan Business Association, receiving their Volunteer of the Year award. The PCA awarded her the prestigious Fowler Award for her countless activities in helping to organize charitable events. Additionally, she was awarded a certificate of appreciation for her activities with Hunterdon County Crimestoppers.
Because of her efforts with Hunterdon Prevention Resources, now known as Prevention Resources, the organization has just created the, “Karen Palotas Community Giving Award” in her memory. The award will be for community members who donate their time, passion and energy to reduce substance abuse. As the organization stated, “Karen worked so hard for our coalition and never expected anything back. It’s our small way to continue to be grateful she was in our lives.”
To all those saddened that Karen’s infectious smile and strong, but always heartfelt words of advice may be gone physically from this Earth, she would want you to simply pause when you need her, and follow your best instincts. As long as those instincts are rooted in genuine love and caring, they can not be wrong.
In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by her son, Eric Friedman on June 8, 2018, as well as by a brother, Barry Rosen.
Surviving are her loving and devoted husband of thirty-eight years, Eric Palotas, with whom she joined hands in marriage on June 6, 1980; her cherished daughter, Kim Friedman of Lambertville, NJ; her mother, Rita Rechtschafer Rosen; her siblings, Daniel and his wife, Ashley Rosen, and Cindy and her husband, Alan Behar; her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, John Palotas and his longtime partner, Judy Sypnewski and Anne Palotas; her mother-in-law, Marie Palotas; several nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family; and many dear friends.
A celebration of Karen’s life will take place on Saturday, July 14, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. in the Chapel of Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 38 State Highway 31, Flemington, NJ.
Family and friends are invited to visit between 1:00-2:30 p.m. at the funeral home.
Following the service at 2:30, there will be a reception in Karen’s honor at a local location to be announced; all are invited to help break bread and continue the celebration of the life of this amazing woman.
Burial was private in Locust Grove Cemetery, Quakertown, NJ.
Please visit Karen’s permanent memorial site at www.wrightfamily.com where one can light a candle and leave a message of condolence and words of comfort, as well as share stories and photographs of her life.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Prevention Resources, Inc., 4 Walter E. Foran Blvd., Suite 410, Flemington, NJ 08822 or online by clicking HERE.
Date: Saturday, July 14, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Date: Saturday, July 14, 2018
Time: 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Locust Grove Cemetery
Address:Quakertown Road, Quakertown, NJ,
Burial was private.
Date: Saturday, July 14, 2018
Time: 3:15 pm - 5:30 pm
Location will be announced. All are welcomed and encouraged to attend following the formal services at the funeral home.
Prevention Resources, Inc. (formerly known as “Hunterdon Prevention Resources”) was incorporated in 1971 as a private non-profit charitable organization. HPR was known then as the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, Inc. of Hunterdon County. It was a community-based information and referral service. Developed by local residents responding to the needs of individuals, family members, and friends, it focused on its primary goal of prevention, education, information, and referral.
In 1998, Hunterdon Prevention Resources developed its new name, expanded services and implemented its comprehensive holistic program dedicated to the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse, treatment through education, training, intervention, community awareness, information/referral services, and counseling.
Prevention Resources is the Hunterdon County member of the New Jersey Prevention Network, a state-wide model organization of county agencies dedicated to the prevention and education of substance abuse and related issues.
In the new millennium, Prevention Resources, a multifaceted service agency, continued to respond to and meet the diverse needs of its community members by recognizing the severity of chemical dependency and related issues. This insidious disease touches the lives of our parents, grandparents, and children from all economic and cultural backgrounds.
Prevention Resources, Inc. is excited to launch our new name to reflect the broader communities we serve, our ability to recreate quality services, and in recognition of the changing geographic boundaries of grants. Our dedication to fighting the effects of addictions has not waned since 1971.