Message from Karen’s Mom & Dad

We want everyone concerned to know that we really appreciate the Herculean effort involved in procuring items and setting up the auction for the benefit of the girls. We are sorry that we cannot attend. Overwhelming love and caring was extended to Karen’s family members upon our arrival and during our stay in Marion. We are forever grateful. Thanks to all of you for being there for our daughter and her family. We wish you great success and a very Blessed Christmas.

Elmer & Annette Pollpeter

Karen was my sister

Karen was my sister.  She was a year and a half older than me, so she was closer in age to me than any of our other siblings.  We had more differences than similarities, but we always got along really well.  That’s because Karen was very good at relationships.  She was shy when she was young, so she didn’t have huge numbers of friends, but the friendships she made were lasting.  She grew out of her shyness when she became an adult, and she made many good friends wherever she went.  Karen was a great listener, and a master at unconditional love.  I’m not sure she was ever angry with me, though I am certain I must have given her cause to be, plenty of times.  She very rarely lost her patience with anyone.

Everyone knows she was really talented as an artist, but few people know she also had a beautiful singing voice.  I remember one time as a teenager she sang Ave Maria at a talent show, and it was amazing.  I wish I had a recording of that.  And her paintings were beautiful.  I have five of them, but I really wish I had more.  I was waiting for a bigger apartment and more wall space to ask her to paint some of my favorites (of her paintings) for me, and now I’ll always regret that I put that off.

She was a great cook – often when I would visit her, we’d spend hours in the kitchen talking while she cooked a delicious and nutritious meal.  She took good care of herself and always ate healthy foods.  She was energetic and so young at heart – she was always the first adult to jump in and play with the kids.  She was a wonderful mother.  She loved her daughters so much, and they are as creative, thoughtful, and playful as she was.

She was a great sister and friend to me.  When she came to visit right after I’d had my daughter, she noticed that my feet were swollen, and she was so sweet and gave me the longest, best footrub ever.  She was a nurturer.  She always called me on my birthday, even the one that was twelve days before she died, when she absolutely didn’t need to have me on her mind.  She was one of the most optimistic people I know – she was always looking on the bright side and thinking positively.

My daughter, who is 8 years old, says she would describe Karen as adventurous.

I’ll miss you, Karen.  Love, Greta

From Karen’s friend Kristina about the home-school year-end party.

It went so very well. I got to meet Matthew and chat with him a while. Don’t know if you met Elizabeth but she printed out almost all of the pictures from on a big board which was beautiful to see and gather around to talk. After we all ate our potluck lunch and chatted we all held hands and walked up to the beautiful spot on the top of the hill and formed a circle. It was our whole co-op and a few families from the Asheville Homeschool co-op. Vixi led the talk we had about Karen and death and how we are always around and how much she was loved and that her love is always with us and lots more beautiful spiritual words. Then we went around and all said something about Karen. There were some tears for sure but mostly lots of words of love and gratitude that we got to know her. Rebecca just said “She was my Mom.” and Gabriella said that she was her Mom and that it was kind of strange because it still feels like she is all around. That was so moving, we all felt like she was with us today. I am sure she is still with her girls each and every day. All the little girls were hugging on each other. Lots of the kids said she was a great and fun teacher and was always smiling and helpful. Many of the parents said how much we admired her strength, her commitment to daughters, all the work she did with the co-op, her energy, her can do attitude, her happy attitude, her easy smile and her serenity. How we all feel so frazzled as parents but how she always seemed so serene and took everything in stride and how she saw the beauty in everything. Matthew told about how they met. It was a very special moment we all shared on top of the hill in the cool, winter sunshine. At the end we were all silent for awhile then we broke into the hoki poki and danced. It was so fun and funny and we all could picture Karen doing it with us. After we turned ourselves around and said that’s what it’s all about we shouted “Karen” and then put another body part in the circle and sang some more. It was funny. Then we broke off, the kids played tag and the parents talked. You and Karen would have liked it. It was a special day.

Karen Pollpeter Brzostoski


March 22, 1969 – November 26, 2011

Thank you for visiting Karen’s Wonderful Life. The purpose of this site is to give family and friends an opportunity to share and celebrate in the experience of having Karen in our lives. She will be missed by many.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below (click where it says “leave a reply”).

You will find her obituary in the site menu.

Please enjoy the gallery of photos. If you would like to submit photos to include in the gallery, please email them to

Condolences can be sent to: Matthew Brzostoski & family, 163 Viewpoint Dr., Marion, NC 28752.

A memorial fund has been established for Karen’s two daughters. Please go to Memorial Fund for more information.

Thank you