"Ms. Karen Elise Seibert Ragazzo; mother, educator, scholar, and friend, passed peacefully surrounded by her loved ones on June 29th, 2020 at her home in Atlanta, GA. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer one year prior. Karen was raised with her three siblings in Wilmington, DE. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor's in Sociology, and later earned her Master's in Education, with a specialty in US Government, from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She educated young minds at Eugene-Ashley and John T. Hoggard High Schools in Wilmington, NC before working with Maynard Jackson and Dunwoody High Schools in Atlanta, GA. Karen, above all else, was a mother. She took immense pride in raising her children to be loving, compassionate, and unique adults and shared the achievements of her children with everyone. While she never had a favorite child per se, she would frequently claim with levity one child or pet to be her favorite at any moment. Education was a large part of Karen's life. She achieved National Board Certification and taught numerous Advanced Placement history and government courses throughout her career. As an educator, she would frequently voice her love for the Supreme Court and facilitate civil discourse with an open mind, challenging her students to become critical thinkers and engaged citizens of the world. She always mentioned she'd be a Justice in a different life. Karen is preceded in death by her mother Shirley, and survived by her children, Nicholas (Megan), Matthew, and Shelby; her grandchild Olive Elise; her siblings Cynthia Prentiss and family, Ted Seibert, Cheryl Simmons and family; and her loving pets Emmy and Coby.
A celebration of life will be held in Wilmington, NC at Airlie Gardens on July 16th. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Karen's memory to Hoggard High School. A scholarship will be awarded to a senior in the Striving to Achieve Excellence Program, which serves first generation college bound students. Contributions can be made out and mailed to John T. Hoggard High School 4305 Shipyard Blvd. Wilmington, NC 28403 with Karen Ragazzo written in the memo. The family also asks for you to keep your loved ones close to your heart, honor your education, and live life with all the passion and gusto you can.
“It's hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys”
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