Karen Parsells Fritsch was born December 3, 1948 to Howard and Emily Parsells. She graduated from Northern Valley Regional High School in 1966. She married her best friend, Carl Fritsch, on May 24, 1969. Karen was the first female member of the Closter Ambulance Corps. She co-owned and operated All-American Airport Service from 1966 – 1986 in Closter. Karen moved to Orlando, Florida in 1986, where she worked as a Captain in the catering department at Universal Studios. She has two children, Tammie Fritsch Helmick and Robert Fritsch, and two grandchildren, Wesley  & Charlie Helmick. Karen left us too soon on May 24th, 2013. She will be greatly missed but will forever live in our hearts and in our memories.

This site is a memorial to celebrate to her life. Here we can share photos, memories and remember Karen for the amazing sister, wife, mother and grandmother that she was.

The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering -Bruce Lee

14 Responses to Home

  1. Dick Oakley June 8, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    When I moved back to Closter in 1957 I was lucky enough to move into a house 2 doors away from the Fritsch family. Carl and I became friends pretty quickly. Here we are 55 years later and still friends. I remember Carl dating and falling in love with Karen. And, I mean falling hard! in the beginning of their romance it was obvious from looking at either one of them how much they loved each other. Karen, you were an angel when you entered my friend’s life and I’m sure you are still an angel today. Carl, Tammie, Robert you will always have beautiful memories of a warm hearted lady who loved and cherished her husband and children. I will always have memories of a lovely girl who married one of my best friends and she made his life wonderful.

  2. William Wyman June 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    I worked with Karen at Northern Valley Cab in Northvale in 1966 (?). I have some sweet memories of her and Carl. I am very saddened. Bill Wyman

  3. Dennis Hoag June 8, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Carl and Family,
    So sorry to hear of Karen’s passing. I still remember when you asked me to drive
    the rental truck to Florida when you moved. My sincerest sympathy to dear friends
    that I will never forget.


  4. shirley van saun June 9, 2013 at 12:49 am #


    So sorry for your loss and although I didn’t personally know Karen, I hope you find peace in your life.

    Hugs from Shirley Van Saun Emmons

  5. ray lynott June 10, 2013 at 2:38 am #


    Sorry for your loss. I remember Karen from my years in Closter. I also remember the
    years when you had the Airport service.

    Again you have my deepest synpathy.

    Ray Lynott

  6. Camille "Kim" Bianchi-Hutchins June 10, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Karen & I didn’t hang out, outside of school, we usually sat at the same lunch table, laughed, a lot. I tried to find her on Classmates.com, once, even contacted several Parsells on that website, never could find out how to locate her, had thought about her, several times, over the years, even tried to find her on Facebook, still unsuccessful. Carmen Hoppe Olsen, on Facebook, told me about it, hadn’t seen the post, was so sorry to hear of her passing. My thoughts & prayers go to Carl, their children & extended family. I was very saddened to hear of her passing.

  7. Carol Gordon June 10, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    Working with you and Karen brings back so many fond memories,

    way too many to include here, and the best part is that we’ve

    remained friends all these years. We lived two houses from each

    other, and always checked to see if our side and back porch lights

    were lit…and whenever we spoke on the phone after you moved to

    Florida, the first words Karen always said, was “Is that back porch

    light on?”…well “that back porch light will NEVER go out”. Karen

    was a special person, and a very special friend, we miss her and

    know she is an angel watching over you Carl, Tammie, and Robert.

    Talk with you soon.



  8. Jackie , Teterboro June 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    Thinking of all fun memories of working with Karen. She truly was a Great Friend And I will miss Her.

  9. Kathi Jarabek June 12, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    I’am so sorry for your loss..Karen left us way to soon.
    I worked with Karen at Universal Studios in the Catering Department, she could always make me laugh and if I was in a mood she could quickly turn me around..I will treasure the time we had together. I will think of her often and smile

  10. mary ann ( Giannotti ) mara June 16, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    Dear Carl , I am so sorry for your great loss . I think of you guys so often . So many good memories of our years in Closter . I’m really saddened by this news . Karen will always be remembered with warm thoughts . I hope that all your good memories will carry you to a place tind peace . All my best for you and your family

  11. jeri richardson June 19, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    Karen was my younger sister as we got older we became closer, I will miss her and especial our Friday talks. Her family was always the most important thing in her her life, and she married her best friend and the love of her life. Karen could not have asked for a better husband, he was there to take care of her and love her to the very end. Carl , Thank You for being so GOOD to her. Jeri

  12. Closter Volunteer Ambulance & RescueCorps, Inc June 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    The Closter Volunteer Ambulance & Rescue Corps, Inc hereby sadly acknowledges the passing of Life Member Karen Fritsch.

    Karen will always be remembered by many of the “old timers” for her individual achievement as becoming the first female member of the Corp almost 40 years ago. The world of volunteer emergency medical services was far different than today and Karen was pioneer in her achievement, setting the foundation for today when all female EMT crews are commonplace and not even thought twice about.

    Karen dedicated herself early on to becoming a first rate EMT and was “ first through the door” on many a call, calmly taking charge of a varied assortment of true emergencies, as back in the 1970’s paramedics were still an unheard of entity in Closter and the Northern Valley. There is no doubt that people lives were extended by Karen’s quick action and comforted by her compassion.

    Karen will also be remembered as a true friend with a quick wit and a big smile. (She had to have that, she was married to Carl!) The Fritsch home always had an open door and a fresh pot of coffee on, and all were welcomed.

    God bless you Karen, and Carl, Tammy, Bobby,& Wesley. You have answered your final call. Rest in the peace of God, and hold a place ready for the rest of us to respond.

  13. Dennis McGuire December 3, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    I just found out about Karen’s passing and am so sad. Karen and Carl were very good friends to me in the early 1970’s when I returned from Vietnam as a disabled vet. Most folks wouldn’t talk to me because i was disabled but Karen and Carl were different. They not only gave me a job at Northern Vally Cab but also encouraged me to extend myself. Without their encouragement, I don’t know where I would be today.

    Rest in Peace, Karen. You certainly deserve the rest for putting up with Carl all these years!

    Dennis McGuire
    [email protected]

  14. Neil Fleischer December 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    I remember both Carl and Karen when I lived in Closter NJ. My parents Sam and Adele owned the Varsity Sweet Shoppe which later became S&A Stationers. We had always enjoyed spending time with them when they came into the store. My parents were very fond of both of them. I am sorry to hear about Karen’s passing.

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