Karen Anne Phillips was born Aug. 11, 1986, in New York, N.Y. The middle child of three girls, she was raised in Scarsdale, N.Y., with her sisters and their many pets.

Karen graduated from Scarsdale High School in 2004 before attending SUNY Purchase.

Karen was first and foremost an animal lover, especially, but not limited to, dogs, horses and cats. Karen owned, at various times, a cockatiel named Chirpy, a snake, rats named Snowball and Tippy Tappy, hamsters and a snail named Little Customer.

Karen was a devoted friend and enjoyed making people laugh. Her friends remember her magnetic personality and her ability to bring even the shyest person out of their shell. 

A contrarian by nature, Karen often rebelled against rules and authority figures. She was skeptical of anyone who took themselves too seriously and enjoyed poking fun at social norms and conventions.

Aside from her pets, Karen’s interests included heavy metal music, horror films, and horseback riding.

For the past 11 years Karen worked at Bluegreen Vacations in Orlando, Fla., where she was adored by her colleagues. She was a member of the Bluegreen Zenith Society in recognition of her top-in-class customer service and performance.

Karen is survived by her mother Robin Phillips and step-father Salem Katsh of Orient, N.Y.; father William Phillips of Jamaica; sisters Laura Phillips of Astoria, N.Y. and Katie Herring and her husband Wade Herring of Atlanta, Ga., along with their son Isaac; step-sister Halley Brown and her husband Nick Brown of Greenport, N.Y., as well as Loki the basset hound and Puma the cat.

Karen struggled with addiction for much of her adult life. Despite periods of sobriety, Karen ultimately succumbed to her addiction and died by overdose on April 6, 2024. 

She will be deeply missed by those who knew and loved her. This information is shared in the hope that it may help destigmatize substance abuse and prevent additional unnecessary loss. In lieu of flowers, Karen’s parents respectfully suggest donations to the following organization: To Write Love on Her Arms, twloha.com/donate.

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