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Message from the Family

We will always treasure the many questions our mom asked us, and the extent to which she wanted to know every detail about any story we told. We now have the same curiosity, and would SO love to experience the details & images of your stories, too.

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Memories & Candles

“Thinking of you and wishing you peace and comfort. ”
1 of 10 | Posted by: Tanya Earle - friend of Tamara's

“My two main memories of Karen are how happy and fun she always was and the warm bottles of Dr Pepper she kept in the VW bus. I could never figure out...Read More »
2 of 10 | Posted by: Miriam Graubard - Raleigh, NC

“I was only with Karen for a short time. She told me that she knew I was the person for her when I agreed to start on her time frame and didn't push...Read More »
3 of 10 | Posted by: Stephanie - Portland, OR

“One of my cherished memories of Aunt Karen is riding in her VW bus on Lumbard Street in San Francisco.....one of the scariest rides I've ever taken!!...Read More »
4 of 10 | Posted by: Jennifer Salzman - Niece

“What I remember most about Karen was her smile and her laugh and her VW bus! Karen was my best friend't mom and I'm so glad I got to know her. I...Read More »
5 of 10 | Posted by: Marianne Weyand - Lehi, UT

“Karen had such loving ways. Even when she was still in her twenties, she was wise. I will treasure forever the memories of sharing cups of tea when...Read More »
6 of 10 | Posted by: Susan Hillhouse - Santa Cruz, CA

“Karen, you were one of my favorite patients. Your smile and the caring attitude you gave me. always asking about my family. I am so grateful that you...Read More »
7 of 10 | Posted by: amber Felker - friend

“Karen, I never stopped admiring your endless capacity for giving of yourself and for sharing your overwhelming love. You may have left us, but will...Read More »
8 of 10 | Posted by: Alan Lasnover - Escondido, CA

Karen with Sara at three weeks old “Mom, I miss you more than I thought possible. I am so glad that you are no longer suffering, but I wish you were still here. ”
9 of 10 | Posted by: Sara - Daughter

“Your flame will burn in my life forever, Mom. I love you SO much. And always will. ”
10 of 10 | Posted by: Tamara - Daughter


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Our Mom, Karen Ann Lasnover, died in her home on June 11, 2010 after a valiant nine-year fight against Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She was surrounded by loved ones during the weeks preceding her death, as well as during the moment when she took her last gentle breath and let go.

Karen was born in Buffalo, NY on March 3, 1944, to Frank and Pearl Schnettler. She was their second child, with siblings Francine, Roy and Eugene. A shy and curious child, Karen spent copious amounts of time reading and asking questions, passionate about discovering the world around her. Growing up in a strong Catholic family, she attended all parochial schools, and spoke fondly of the support she received from Sister Mary Grace--her teacher in Kindergarten. Upon completing high school, Karen was accepted to the School of Nursing at the Sisters of Charity Hospital in 1965. She was employed by the hospital for 3 months as an R.N., until she left Buffalo to follow the first love of her life, Algae Kohler (no joke...). They met on a blind date, and as she described him, “he was the beginning of the rest of my life. I had the hots for him but he transferred with his job to Chicago. When he came home, he had met someone, but I thought he just needed to be with me more. So I moved." Their reunion didn’t end with the relationship that she left to pursue, but she didn't let that keep her from creating a new life in the windy city. Immediately following their break-up, she went to Michael Reese Hospital, seeking employment, and which is where she ultimately met and fell in love with our Dad, Dr. Alan Lasnover. They were married the following year in the Philippines, in November 1966. The two of them traveled extensively for a few years during Alan’s service in the Air Force, before returning to northern California to start our little family.

On their fourth wedding anniversary, November 20, 1970, Sara Elizabeth was born. Mom quit her nursing job to stay home with Sara, stating later that she “loved staying home—I couldn’t imagine being able to work and do all that.” With Mom’s passion for motherhood, Tamara Michelle was born three and a half years later on June 21, 1974. “I was a born mother,” Karen said…”I always remembered the feelings I had when each of you were born—I felt the most amazing love. I looked up at the corner of the room and I never wanted to forget that feeling. Everything I did was because of the way I felt when you were born…” My sister and I have felt this love throughout our entire lives, and never once doubted that our Mom gave us all the love she had to give. And then some.

Unfortunately, Mom and Dad's marriage was struggling, and the two separated in December 1974. Mom moved from Cupertino, CA to San Jose, where she bought the house on Del Oro Drive and lived with us for the next 11 years.

For most of those years, it was just the three of us--Mom, Sara, and myself. We spent many weekends with Dad, as well as half of many of the major holidays. The rest of the time, however, was full of time together with Mom—time during which she got down and dirty with us, building sand castles on numerous beach trips to Aptos; playing in the fun mirrors at Great America during multiple birthday parties; and giving foot massages during every sleep-over that we had (and there were many!). That was always a huge highlight of the party, for all of us. I remember feeling so proud and happy that our Mom could make people feel so wonderful with her hands. In 1980, she earned her Massage Therapy degree at the Getting-in-Touch School of Massage in Los Gatos--so she was not just any old foot-massagin’-momma. These hands were quality. For three years, from 1980 to '83, she worked as a self-employed Massage Therapist, followed by a year at a The Woman’s Place in Saratoga.

Prior to her work as a masseuse, Mom ran an in-home daycare so that she could be home with the two of us. That left us with a childhood full of neighborhood friends and a mom who seemed so very available to us. But even though she was so committed to us as a mother, her physical condition started to fail her to the point that we began to notice. Around the time of my birth, her anxiety disorder began to cause her much distress. Over the years, she had difficulties receiving an accurate diagnosis because so little was known about mental illness at the time.

Similarly, she had a variety of complications from both of our births, which exacerbated her Irritable Bowel Syndrome. One of the most prominent memories that I have of our mom is going school shopping at the beginning of every year. “I have to find a bathroom,” she’d say. She had the best bathroom radar of anyone we know. So, naturally, Mom was most comfortable at home. I remember coming home from school and going up to her room to hang out on the bed with her. It’s where we memorized the states and capitals, and where she helped me write my Teddy Roosevelt report. This is one of the strongest images I have of our mom during this time in our lives—on her bed. From that bed, she gave us her undivided attention. She asked us question after question about our friends and our feelings, and ever more questions about the responses we gave. From her, we learned how to listen, and how to truly make connections with others. We also learned the power of open and honest communication, in the way she was available to talk about any subject at nearly any hour of the morning (the night owl that she always was). There may have been moments when we wished that our

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