Obituary: Karen “Hazel” Benson – Portland Press Herald

Karen “Hazel” Benson

MOODY – Karen “Hazel” Benson of Moody passed away on Sunday, June 20, 2021 after losing a courageous battle against COVID19. She was 74 years old.

She was born in Concord, NH on December 13, 1946, to Charles Paire and Lillian (Larlee) and raised in Penacook, NH During her youth, Karen was an active member of the Girl Scouts. Karen graduated from Penacook High School.

In 1965, Karen met the love of her life, Peter, which led to a 55-year love affair. They were married on October 16, 1965. They settled in Boscawen, NH and had two sons, Peter Charles and Jeffrey Royal.

In 1973, Peter’s work with NHDOT necessitated a move to Keene, NH where they would live for the next 29 years. In 1977, Karen started at Granite Bank (originally Keene Savings Bank) as an installment loan secretary. She rose through the ranks and retired as senior vice president.

Karen was active in the community by serving on the boards of directors of United Way and Big Brothers / Big Sisters. She led a team for NH Public TV’s annual phone-a-thon. She also enjoyed playing the clown, “Benny,” for the Keene Lions Club.

On April 30, 2002, Karen and Peter retired to Wells and then to Moody in 2005.

Their love for travel took them on adventures to Venice, Italy, where they danced in St. Mark’s Square, Baja, California, Mexico to watch and pet gray whales, and the highlands of the central Mexico to observe the millions of monarchs. butterflies that migrate and overwinter there. Karen was an accomplished seamstress and particularly enjoyed making quilts, creating beautiful, personalized quilts for family and friends. She has also made and donated quilts to charity groups and veterans. Karen sewed and donated masks to the Wells Police Department during the pandemic.

Karen loved to solve crosswords and Sudoku puzzles and never missed an episode of Jeopardy. Later in life she became an avid golfer. Best known for her kindness and quick smile, she had the wonderful ability to make instant friends and put people at ease.

Karen especially loved her family. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a wonderful wife to Peter, who called her the best thing that ever happened to her.

Karen was predeceased by her grandparents John and Hazel Larlee; and his parents.

She is survived by her husband, Peter; son Peter and wife Michelle, son Jeffrey and wife Cynthia; grandchildren Kelsie Stuart and husband Collin, Kendall, Courtney, Ty, Gage, Peter and fiance Emma, ​​Hayden, Cole and Steven; great-grandchildren Lincoln Stuart and Adley Benson; her sister, Sandra Brodeur and her husband Ed; and several nieces and nephews.

Honoring Karen’s wishes, a private memorial service will be held at a later date.

A complete obituary is available at To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Karen’s Book of Memories page at

Arrangements are made by Bibber Memorial Chapel, 111 Chapel Road Wells, ME 04090.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you consider donating on her behalf to your local Big Brothers / Big Sisters organization.

Golden Book


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