Karen Louise (Kelch) Altomare

Born: Sat., Nov. 30, 1946
Died: Thu., Aug. 30, 2012


10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Fri., Sep. 07, 2012
Location: Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church

Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 AM Fri., Sep. 07, 2012
Location: Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church

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Karen Altomare, age 65, Thursday, August 30, 2012 at Kobacker House. She was a wonderful mother, grandmother and an outstanding teacher in the Groveport Madison school district for over 20 years, retiring in 2007 due to illness. She is preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Florence Kelch and is survived by Rick, her loving husband of 44 years; son, Ted of Australia; daughter, Jill of Columbus and son, Dr. Christian of Columbus; grandson, Aiden; brothers, Joseph, Thomas (Connie) and Jon (Rosa) and sister Ann (John) Schurtz. Friends may call Friday, September 7th from 10-11 AM at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, 20 E. Dominion Blvd, Columbus, 43214, where her Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 AM, Fr. Kevin Kavanagh, celebrant. Inurnment Resurrection Cemetery.

I love you mom. What would be easier than saying nice things about you? What could be harder than doing the easiest of all things in these conditions? I can only share my personal memories, but since you were the same wonderful woman to all you touched, rest assured the stories I share will remind those who love you of the stories they have too. You’re not just my mom. You’re my best buddy. You always were. You always will be. You were so playful, clever and creative. My favorite story of your preschool teaching was when a child took a drag of an imaginary cigarette. You didn’t want the other kids influenced, but you knew just saying “stop that” would make him do it ten times more. You walked over with your imaginary ash tray and informed him, “Excuse me sir, but we don’t smoke in school.” Then he put out the imaginary cigarette in the imaginary ash tray and never did it again. Childhood with a mom like that was just as much fun as you’d think it is. I won the mom lottery, and I never even bought a ticket, though I was a baby so I might just forget. Mom, if you saw me say that right now you would grin and roll your eyes. Your gift giving abilities at Christmas was amazing. Sometimes it would be an interest we liked that we thought you didn’t know about and even then you’d somehow find out and get the perfect thing. If a comment was made in February for a moment, in passing, it would often lead to something under the tree in December, with the astonished recipient realizing, “You remembered THAT?” that’s who mom was. In her gift giving, teaching, motherhood and the rest, mom wasn’t thinking about mom. Mom was thinking about you and me. Even in the hardships of the final years, she always rode the happy train and she liked to bring the rest of us aboard. We’ve all heard motivational speech. Mom lived a motivational life. If she could be so happy for over 5 year with her body at war, we all know we can do anything. When she couldn’t read as much, she painted by numbers. When she couldn’t walk as much, she did more at home. When she couldn’t throw the dog a ball, she still watched and smiled. I literally never once heard her complain about her new limitations. We give thanks for the fact that even the final years were so happy, and the final painful passing was short. We would do almost anything to bring you back. The only exception would be to let you live in pain. For over a decade I’ve called you Moomar instead of Mom since that was the closest one of your preschoolers could come to saying Altomare. It sounded like a silly version of the word mom. So you started calling me Sonar as a silly version of the word son. I wish I could hear you call me Sonar one last time. I’m glad you got to see my PhD thesis in math. I’m glad you loved its two word dedication: To Moomar. I loved how you laughed hysterically when I showed you. Mom, it wasn’t just the PhD. Where would I be without the ones who raised me? Mom, please know that everything I have ever done, or ever will do, can be summed up in two words: To Moomar.   

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John Gatiss
   Posted Fri August 31, 2012
Christian, Jill, and Ted --

I'm so sorry about the loss of your mother. She was a special woman with a great sense of humor -- how could she not have a sense of humor being married to your dad?

I usually only saw your mom when she stopped up at Scottie's while I was hanging out with your dad or if I stopped by the house. The only time we ever spent any one-on-one time together was for our "date" to watch the Vice Presidential Debate in 2008 at Studio 35. We had a great time and it's a memory that I treasure whenever I think about your mom.

Richard --

My condolences, I know Karen loved you very much.

Sam & Gloria Liebfreund
   Posted Fri August 31, 2012
Dear Rick and family: Your memories of this beautiful lady will help you through this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love, Sam and Gloria

Moritz Matthew Ericsson & Franziska Decker
   Posted Sat September 01, 2012
We shall miss her, she was such a wonderful person. I knew Karen for 48 years and my wife met her when she and Rick visited us in Germany. We Love you Karen. Matt & Franzi

Msgr. John K. Cody
   Posted Sat September 01, 2012
Rick and family - I was deeply saddened when I read in the paper this morning about Karen''''s death. She was very special to me, and I will never forget the friendship we had in high school. I know she made a good match with you, Rick. Her happiness, always present in her easy and friendly manner, was her gift to all of us. I hope to be at her funeral on Friday. There are many memories I have of Karen, especially dancing with her at Watterson high school dances. I am among those who will miss her. Please give my condolences and promise of prayer to your family. You have suffered a great loss. And so have all of us. God bless, John

Jim Koehler Class of 63
   Posted Sat September 01, 2012
Rick, we, too, are saddened to learn of the loss of Karen. I truly believe you two were ordained to be together and to enjoy life and your wonderful family.
To know she is wrapped in the loving hands of the Father, and I am certain has reported to her "New" School to commence the new school year.
Please know we will keep you and your family in our prayers.

Sue Grogan Backs
   Posted Mon September 03, 2012
Dear Altomare Family,
I am so sorry for your loss of Karen. She was always so kind, friendly, and fun.
She was a good friend to me.
All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Sue (Grogan) Backs

Lisa Gribler
   Posted Tue September 04, 2012
Dear Rick, Ted, Jill, & Christian~

I just wanted to let you know how much Karen meant to me. I worked in her classroom at Sedalia as a speech pathologist for several years. Karen's class was my first preschool experience & I can easily say that 17 years later I have NEVER met a preschool teacher who could even come close to Karen! Christian, I loved your message to your Mom! Her humor & creativity continue to inspire me daily as I work with my preschool buddies, & I will think of "Moomar" every time one of my kiddos attempts to say Gribler (last year I was lovingly called "Bluh")! Karen used to tell me stories about her kids & even though I've never met you, I feel as if I know you! I learned a lot about parenting from Karen too, & I can only hope that I have the kind of relationship with my kids that you were blessed to have with your Mom. Please know that the world is a better place because of Karen!

God Bless! Lisa Gribler

Mrs R Younger
   Posted Thu September 06, 2012
Altomare Family,

I'm sorry to read about the loss of your loved one Karen. Death is like a thief that take away our loved ones. Or due to old age and sickness, we loose our precious quality of life that leads to death. The Bible always offer comfort for us in times like this. May you find comfort from the bible verse at Rev.21:1-5 & Ps.37:29. God has the Peace to excel all thought and guard the heard, may that Peace be with your family in your time of grief. Many happy memories of Karen be with you always.

My Sincere Condolences

Dawn Bellamy
   Posted Thu September 06, 2012
Dear Family of Mrs. Altomare,
My son had the honor of having Karen as a teacher in the Special Needs Wingspread Preschool Program at Groveport in the early 1990''s. As I read Christian''s tribute this morning, I could visualize Karen in all these situations. She was always in tune with the children and could get on their level and through to them like no one else. One day they were reading the "Very Angry Ant", but my son Jordan insisted that the ant was happy, so she helped him create a story to make the ant happy! At the time Jordan was in the program, teachers were able to do in-home visits to their students homes. I can still see her laying on her belly in my family room interacting with my son. Karen helping me become an advocate for my son and was a great sounding board. She and another teacher from the program came to Jordan''s high school graduation party in 2006. That was the last time I saw her.
It was evident that she loved her family and spoke about her children with a sparkle in her eye. Please know that you are all in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your mom with so many other children through the years. Her impact on their lives will continue to live on for decades to come!
Dawn Bellamy

Sr. Barbara Pfohl
   Posted Thu September 06, 2012
Dear Rick, Ted, Jill and Christian,
I wish that I could fly to Columbus (either by plane or sprout my own wings) as you say goodbye to fun-loving Karen. I AM with you in spirit. I'll always remember Karen as the secretary who in actuality was the school principal at the middle school of Pope John XXIII School. She sure made me look good! My deepest sympathy, love and prayers go across the 300+ miles to each of you and they will keep coming.
S. Barbara

Annette Andres
   Posted Thu September 06, 2012
Dear Altomare Family,
I am so sorry about your loss. Karen was an outstanding educator who advocated for her students and consistently demonstrated compassion for her students and their families. I adored her quiet manner in "kid watching" as she strived to know her students and diligently worked with them to take them that next step. I consider myself blessed to have worked with her when she was at Sedalia and I was her supervisor many years ago. The world is certainly a better place because of her imprint on the children and us adults.
May God continue to bless your family.

Denny Weinberger
   Posted Fri September 07, 2012
We were saddened to hear of your loss Rick. Our condolences to you and your family.

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