Karen Jean (Belisle) Child died on Friday, April 3, at home in West Tisbury, surrounded by her son, daughter, husband and incredible hospice nurse, following a two-year journey with ovarian cancer. She was 72.

She was born at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on Feb. 15, 1948, the daughter of Eugene George Belisle, originally from Leominster, and Lillian Mae Belisle of Edgartown. She was raised in Edgartown on Silva Lane, attended the Edgartown School and graduated from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School in 1965. She earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Fisher Junior College.

She married her best friend and devoted husband, Henry Teas Child of West Tisbury, whom she had met in high school. They reunited in Boston while Karen was attending college and Henry was attending Franklin Institute, parking cars at the Sheraton Boston. They married in 1968 at St. Elizabeth’s in Edgartown. They spent the next several years living in a housing cooperative in Jamaica Plain called The Castle.

Karen had many careers. She worked at Bank of Boston in downtown Boston. On the Island, she worked for the Martha’s Vineyard Commission as an administrative assistant and the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group with longtime dear friend Rick Karney. After she had her children, she worked as a daycare provider for Martha’s Vineyard Community Services and then as a preschool teacher at Green Gates Day School with Cecily Bryant. In 1990, she began assistant teaching in the morning and afternoon kindergartens at the West Tisbury School with Martha Hubbell and Teri Mello. She later worked in the third and fourth grade classrooms of Martha Stackpole, Ann Rossi and the late John Harris. Her final career was as an assistant manager at the Chicken Alley Thrift Shop, where she continued to touch the community through her passion for seeking undiscovered treasures.

Karen always viewed her greatest accomplishments to be her children and eventually her grandchildren. Brandon and Bess, her son and daughter, were her pride and joy. Brandon’s sons, Aiden, age eight, and Mason, age five, and Bess’s daughter Camilla, age three, were the light of her life. She spent much time reading, doing art projects, baking cookies and acting silly with her grandkids.

She was an avid cook, a talent and passion she inherited from her father and shared with her family. Her son Brandon graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked as a professional chef. She also enjoyed growing a garden with many varieties of vegetables and beautiful flowers. She was known for her canning abilities, creating delicious jars of beach plum jelly and her signature dilly beans.

Most remember her for the heartfelt conversations they had. She had an authenticity and humility that was refreshing. She could create the comfort of home and motherly influence wherever she was, and create a connection with nearly anyone. Karen cared about people profoundly and genuinely, a trait she passed onto Bess, who now runs a private therapy practice and works with teenagers.

She was predeceased by her parents, and her brother Eddie. She is survived by her beloved husband, Henry (Hal) Child, son Brandon and his wife, daughter Bess and her husband; her three grandchildren, a sister in law, a niece and many incredibly supportive family-like friends.

The family would like to extend gratitude to the medical professionals who have been such an integral part of her care over the last couple of years: Dr. Rachel Sisodia at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Charles Siegert at Falmouth Hospital, Dr. Victor Aviles, Stephanie Tudor and the staff at Hematology Oncology Specialists of Cape Cod, and Robyn Hanover.

Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard has been a rock for the family since Karen was diagnosed. Speical thanks to Jill De La Hunt, Kealee Rainaud and Chantale Duguay for their genuine and personalized care in the past two years. They are all angels.

Donatons can be made to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.