Karen E. Palotas

April 5, 1951 - June 26, 2018
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Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services
Chris Halligan
Lisa Jensen
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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.


Wright & Ford, your local, family owned and operated “Life Celebration Home”

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Service Schedule

Visitation Information

Date: Saturday, July 14, 2018

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, "A Life Celebration Home"


38 State Highway 31
Flemington, NJ 08822

Service Information

Date: Saturday, July 14, 2018

Time: 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, "A Life Celebration Home"


38 State Highway 31
Flemington, NJ 08822

Cemetery Information

Locust Grove Cemetery


Quakertown Road, Quakertown, NJ,

| Map

Burial was private.

Reception Information

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.

Donation Information

Prevention Resources, Inc.

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.

Phone: 908-782-3909

4 Walter E. Foran Blvd., Suite 410
Flemington, NJ 08822
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Timeline for Karen E. Palotas

Born: April 5, 1951
Died: June 26, 2018

Condolences for Karen E. Palotas

Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services

Our sincerest condolences.

Please know that we are here for all of you, however we may be of service.


D.J. Wright and the entire Wright & Ford Life Celebration Care Team Family


Mike Skoczek posted on 7/13/18

I met Karen many years ago and quickly grew to admire and appreciate her zest for life, amazing personal strength and never-give-in attitude. She helped us at CEA with our events, both in person and with her generous donations of the Big Pink Truck, and her support and passion for doing the right thing are, and will remain legendary. She will be greatly missed. My condolences to Kim, Eric and her extended family.


Chris Halligan posted on 7/13/18

The word amazing does not seem adequate to describe Karen. I will never forget her convincing me to help her with the gala for CEA that she was chairing and while things did not go exactly smooth, I never once regretted agreeing to it because Karen had asked me. While we lost touch recently, Karen will always have a special place in my heart


Lisa Jensen posted on 7/13/18

I wish we had more time together. Spending time with Karen and Eric was always tons of fun and too short. Will miss her wit and her laugh so very much.


June Flora posted on 7/11/18

To my dear friend, Karen, How I wish I had met you sooner. Although we had only these last year’s together as neighbors we understood each other and felt a closeness that most people never find. We could talk for hours, laugh and cry together and share our thoughts and dreams with each other. You have and always will have a special spot in my heart because you were more than a friend to me you were a sister. As you always said, no one deserves cancer. May you rest now in peace and know that you have touched my life in a way that will never be forgotten. Until we meet again and we will.


Diane Simovich posted on 7/3/18

It was an honor and pleasure to know Karen. She was instrumental in helping launch BW NICE and we loved using her pink truck for advertising. My condolences to her family.


cat posted on 7/2/18

I love you Karen, cupcake


Lynn posted on 7/2/18

Eric & Family: Karen was a true fighter. I’m so sorry for you loss. May she Rest In pease.


Ann Hersch posted on 7/2/18

I was deeply saddened to hear of Karen’s passing. I met Karen when she opened Curves in Flemington. She was most definitely an inspiration to all. My heart and prayers go out to her family at this time.


Tracey Costanzo posted on 7/1/18

Very sorry to hear the news. I met Karen when I worked at CEA. She was a warm, vivacious, caring and generous person. My condolences to her family.


Joseph Baumann posted on 7/1/18

Eric so very very sad to hear of Karen’s passing. Thoughts and prayers are sent to you and family. Joe Baumann


Anne DeVito posted on 6/30/18

Knew Karen from HPR when she visited us. So So Sorry for your loss. Anne DeVito.


Cindy Behar posted on 6/29/18

Rest In Peace, my beautiful sister. We love you forever


Sharon Frant Brooks posted on 6/29/18

Karen, it was such a delight to have reconnected recently after so many years. After going to school and Hebrew school together so many years ago, and to have been living so near each other and with such common interests and concerns, yet not knowing that we were living so close seems so unfortunate! But our recent time spent together was so pleasant and meaningful! Prayers for you, Eric, and praise for your love and support. Sharon Frant Brooks


Brian A landy posted on 6/29/18

One never has words when one leaves us,karen was a wonderful person growing up in HP,we learned a lot fro. One another,she is in peace and flying over HP as other are too,a new angel,rip


Craig Spitz posted on 6/29/18

Karen was a lifelong friend of mine. We grew up around the corner from each other in New Jersey and even attended the same summer camp in Pennsylvania way back when. We stayed in close contact even after I moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida after college. She has always been an inspiration to me of positive thinking, great sense of humor, courage, innovative creativity and friendship. I am so very saddened by her death. I have lost another irreplaceable piece of life's puzzle. She will always be part of my life in spirit.


Eddie Schell posted on 6/28/18

Please know that Karen made this world a better place. We need more people on Earth like her. It was a pleasure to have met her and worked with her on projects. I’m saddened to know we will not run into each other out and about any longer. That was always a pleasure. My deepest sympathy to Kim and Eric.


Hannah Goldt posted on 6/27/18

So sorry for your loss. I will always remember Karen at curves. She was so much fun . A kind and Smart business women. Love and prayers , Hannah Goldt.


John Elliott posted on 6/27/18

Eric - I'm so sorry for your loss. Though I never had the privilege to meet Karen, all I've heard is that she was a wonderful person and I know she'll be deeply missed. Thoughts and prayers are with you sir.


Ruthann Brown Disotell posted on 6/27/18

I'll always remember the gal with this big pink truck. Truly an innovator. It was a privilege to get to know Karen during the formative years of BW NICE. She was a bright light. My heart is with you at this time.