Karen Anderson Ware, 67, died Feb. 2, 2010, surrounded by her family at Windward Gardens in Camden. Karen’s fight against colon cancer was inspiring to many and her strength, positive attitude and determination to live was incredible.

Born Nov. 11, 1942, in Rockland, she was the daughter of Robert Norman and Edith Rebecca Anderson of St. George.

In addition to her mother, Karen is survived by her husband of 40 years, John Ware Sr. of Owls Head; her daughter, Rebecca W. McLaughlin and husband, Greg and grandchildren Kyle and Jacob of East Millinocket; her son, John Ware Jr. of Owls Head; her daughter, Susan G. Ware of Rockland; her uncle, Hilding Seastrom and his companion Mary Curtis of Tenants Harbor; her sister-in-law, Anna M. Ware of Owls Head and her significant other Willie Templeton; her brother-in-law, Dr. Roland G. Ware and his wife, Norma, of Portland; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Karen was predeceased by her father in 2001.

At a young age, Karen’s family moved to Lannon, Wis., where her father worked in the stone quarrying industry. There she attended Willow Springs Elementary School and Menonomee Falls High School. Her family moved back to Maine when she was a junior in high school. Karen graduated from St. George High School in 1961 and from Gorham State Teachers College with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education in 1965. In the summers during college she waitressed at Belgrade Lakes. Karen began her teaching career at Cushing Elementary School where she taught kindergarten and first grade. She then taught first grade at North School in Rockland from 1966 to May 1972 when she concluded teaching in preparation for her first child. Karen was one of the first four certified teachers to establish the Head Start program in Rockland where she taught during the summer months for several years.

Karen was married at the Tenants Harbor Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school in earlier years. She was most passionate about her family and was a loving wife and mother. She was active in many organizations including the Pen Bay Hospital Auxiliary where she chaired the Christmas Fair Wreath Room for several years. She was a Girl Scout leader and a member of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. Her knack for interior design shines throughout the family business of Maritime Energy and Maritime Farms. Karen created seasonal displays in the main office lobby and took great pride in decorating the stores. Karen enjoyed playing golf, skiing, gardening, playing the accordion and sunsets at Crawford Lake. She absolutely loved shopping, auctions and yard sales.

Visiting hours will be private. A service of love and remembrance will be held Monday, Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. at the Rockland Congregational Church, 180 Limerock St. The Rev. Seth D. Jones will officiate. Spring interment will be private at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Waterville.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the St. George Ambulance and Firefighters Association, P.O. Box 249, Tenants Harbor, ME 04860; or the LifeFlight Foundation, P.O. Box 1007, Union, ME 04862.

Arrangements are with the Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home in Rockland.