In Memory Of
Karen Elizabeth Noonan
United States of America / Seat 20A
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Karen Elizabeth Noonan
Student
December 26, 1967 - December 21, 1988 (Age: 21)

"The purpose of life is to serve others.
The joy of life is to love others."
—Karen Elizabeth Noonan

On December 21, 1988, just five days before Karen Elizabeth Noonan would have celebrated her 21st birthday, Karen, an early childhood education major at Boston College, was returning home after spending a semester studying in Vienna, Austria, and looking forward to celebrating the Christmas holiday and her upcoming birthday. The daughter of Patrick and Nancy, she was a 1986 graduate of the Connelly School of the Holy Child, from which her sister, Dawn, also graduated in 1988.

At Our Lady of Mercy Grade School, Principal Sheila O'Donnell remembers Karen as a vivacious, popular, gentle young woman interested in community concerns and those less fortunate than herself. "She loved people and she loved them far beyond their station in life," Principal O'Donnell said. "Even as a young child, she had a very broad vision—of others' needs, their temperaments, their senses of humor. She was just a wholesome young woman."

Karen gave herself to the school through involvement in class, varsity sports such as field hockey, basketball and lacrosse, and involvement in campus ministry. She received letters for playing varsity lacrosse and varsity field hockey. Senior year she was elected president of the Service Club. She performed volunteer work at the National Institutes of Health's day care center, which may have led to her decision to study early childhood education at Boston College. Karen determined early in life that she wanted to be of service to others and dedicated herself to being a teacher. She loved most her student teaching experiences at St. Augustine's Elementary School in South Boston and the joy of helping the "little people."

Holy Child Principal Sister Margaret Doyle remembered Karen as "a wonderful young woman, full of life and enthusiasm and caring for other people. She was going to make a great contribution wherever she was going to be. She was a gem." Karen was involved in all aspects of community service and upon graduation from Holy Child, she received an award for distinguished volunteer service over a period of four years to the needy of the greater Washington area.

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