Womanshelter Blog

RIP Karen B. Cavanaugh

SOUTH HADLEY: Karen (Boyle) Cavanaugh, age 65, of South Hadley, passed away on Friday, June 1, 2018 surrounded by friends and family. 
She was born in Lincoln, NH, daughter of the late John J. and Margaret M. (Donahue) Boyle. Karen graduated from Holyoke Catholic High School in 1971, received her LPN degree in Nursing and graduated Cum Laude from UMass, Amherst with a Bachelor’s in Journalism in 1998. Karen worked as a nurse for many years.
She was also a member of the Holyoke Board of Alderman from 1988 to 1989, and served on the Committee to Save the Merry Go Round for Holyoke.
Karen worked tirelessly for women and in service to ending domestic violence for 20 years as the Executive Director of Womanshelter/Compañeras, a non-profit organization. She served on the Massachusetts Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, and was an active member of Jane Doe, Inc. 
She is survived by three children, Jamie Cavanaugh of South Hadley, Patrick Cavanaugh of Chicago, IL and Meghan Paiva and her husband Blake of Milton, MA; two beloved grandchildren, James Patrick and Emma Maureen; three brothers and one sister including her brothers Brian Boyle and his wife Susan of Springfield, and Kevin Boyle and his wife Betsy of Easthampton, who provided much needed support during her brief illness; and ten nieces and nephews.
Besides her parents, Karen was predeceased by a son, Matthew J. Cavanaugh, in 1978. 
Calling hours will be held at Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton Street, Holyoke on Thursday, June 7, 2018 from 4 – 6:30 p.m., followed by a Remembrance Service at 6:30 p.m. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in memory of Karen Cavanaugh to Womanshelter/Compañeras, P.O. Box 1099, Holyoke, MA 01041-1099.