Karlene Conrad passed away peacefully on January 10, 2020 at Mount Vernon hospital in Alexandria, Virginia while recovering from major surgeries. She is survived by three children – her son, Charles Collins and his wife Beth Collins, her daughters, Christine Collins and Lisa Moderski and Lisa’s husband James Moderski. In addition, she is survived by her sister, Cynthia Schafer and her husband George Schafer, six grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren. One other relative who needs to be mentioned is Joyce Ronci, who was not only Karlene’s aunt but because they were so close in age, was more like a sister. They had many exciting and fun adventures as they grew up together and stayed close all these years
Karlene was born in Baltimore, Maryland on February 21, 1943 to Evelyn and Charles Conrad. Since her father was in the Army, she moved many times and lived and attended school in several different states and in Germany and France where she shared many wonderful experiences with her family. While living in Virginia, Karlene graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1960.
After graduating from high school, Karlene attended Northeastern University School of Nursing where she met her husband. Her nursing studies were interrupted when Karlene began raising her family. She was a loving, patient, understanding, and actively involved mother and always made any sacrifices needed to make sure that her children had the best lives possible.
When Karlene was eight years old, her sister Cynthia was born and she instantly demonstrated her caring and loving ways by taking her “baby sister” under her wing. She served as her “big sister” and second mother and protector at all times while they were growing up. This helped prepare Karlene to be a caring mother in the future.
After a few years passed by, Karlene returned to her nursing studies and became a dedicated registered nurse with special training in oncology, infusion therapy, coronary and palliative care, and pain management. She worked in different departments in a hospital in New Jersey for several years. Karlene then went on to work in several high-level administrative positions in the healthcare profession including Hospice and Home Health Care in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia until retirement.
After retirement, Karlene spent her time enjoying life and celebrating holidays with her family, especially her mother, shopping, playing canasta, going out to dinner with family and friends, reading and watching “Outlander”.
Karlene’s family would like to thank her caretaker and friend, Tigist Melese, for all her loving help and support throughout Karlene’s later years as her health began to deteriorate. They shared a special bond and Karlene always felt that Tigist was an important part of the family.
Farewell for now, Karlene. You will always have a special place in our hearts.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that you make a donation to the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, or the ASPCA.
American Diabetes Association
2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900, Arlington VA 22202
American Heart Association
ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals