Karla M. Rose

February 23, 1954May 9, 2018

Karla Marie Rose of Charlestown, MA, died peacefully on May 9, 2018 after a valiant struggle with ovarian cancer. She was a devoted mother to Jennie Katelyn Williamson and Andrew Trevor Williamson and a loving spouse to Dr. Christina Williamson. Beloved sister of Nancy Kolios and her husband Steve of NH., Patricia McKinnon of CA., Robert Hagerty Jr. and his wife Shaleen of NC. Loving aunt of Stephanie Huff and her husband Tyler and daughter Trinity Huff of NH. Her life was one of selfless and compassionate giving to others. Her training in nursing was a natural profession for such a nurturing and caring soul. She received her B.S.N. from Lowell University and M.S.N from Boston University where she continued her Doctoral Studies. She was a dedicated teacher as a member of the faculty at Boston University and Boston College Schools of Nursing as a lecturer and clinical supervisor. Her kind, joyful, and generous demeanor was well suited for the care of cancer patients, as she later served as a Clinical Specialist and Coordinator of the inpatient and outpatient Oncology Department at St. John’s Hospital. Her interest helping those afflicted with cancer was further nurtured as a Research and Pediatric Oncology Clinical Specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital in the Osteogenic Sarcoma Program with Dr. Allan Goren. She continued her academic career by completing her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin and post-doctoral clinical training in child and family therapy at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She was well ahead of her time as her doctoral thesis was a study of the care delivered to victims of domestic violence in our Emergency Rooms. She established a private counseling practice for victims of sexual and domestic abuse, and was on staff at Methodist Hospital in Madison on the Adolescent Eating Disorders Unit. Her passion for serving and caring for others continued when she returned to Boston, where she teamed up with her beloved K9 partner and “fur child”, Tuffy, in 2004 to become a Certified Crisis Response Team for both state and national incidents. She was deployed to Virginia Tech following the shootings on campus in 2007 where she provided emotional and stress counseling to students, faculty, and first responders. Karla and Tuffy were members of the Critical Incident Stress Management Team in Massachusetts and were frequently called upon to provide stress and grief counseling for family, friends and first responders following traumatic events throughout the state. She and Tuffy visited victims of the Boston Marathon bombing at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where they were regular volunteers. Karla personified grace in action. She loved all creatures great and small. While living in Sudbury she would annually post Turtle Crossing signs along Water Row that bordered the Sudbury River. She was known to frequently stop traffic to assist her slow but sure-footed friends across the road to their nesting place. She made certain that all the birds and squirrels in our neighborhood had plenty of seed and nuts and vociferously defended her mission to do so. She knew all the dogs in our neighborhood in Charlestown, Massachusetts by name. She loved birding, photography, and tending to her wild flower garden when she lived in Sudbury. She made room in every day for delight and beauty. She has touched many lives with kindness, grace, and selfless giving. She was a divine messenger in service to all life. Thank you to the many caregivers at Lahey Hospital Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital who guided us on this journey as well as the wonderful family and friends who have sustained her throughout her life. Friends and family are invited to visitation hours at Boston Harborside Home of J.S. Waterman and Sons, 580 Commercial Street, Boston from 2-6 PM on Sunday, May 13th. Her funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday , May 15th at Trinity Church in Copley Square. Burial will follow the service at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Trinity Church in the City of Boston or Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston.


  • Visting Hours Sunday, May 13, 2018
  • Funeral Tuesday, May 15, 2018
  • Inurnment Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Karla M. Rose

have a memory or condolence to add?

Kathy Ney

May 16, 2018

So sorry to hear this. Karla was a gem. I loved hearing her stories when she came into lumina at longfellow in way/sudbury. I used to care for Tuffy at the desk when she took a class. She and Tuffy will be deeply missed.

David Dockstader

May 14, 2018

To the family of Karla Rose: It is sad to hear of the passing of Karla. She and Tuffy were welcome participants with our CISM team. She had a generous and open heart. We will never forget Karla and her duty to serve others.

Mark O'Donnell

May 13, 2018

Yesterday I learned of your passing from Maura Casey, who was also kind enough to send me an email of your obituary. Last night I reflected upon our times together and looked at the picture of you and my deceased wife Gini (Roper) O'Donnell in the 1971 Tewksbury High School Year Book.
Tewksbury was your home, and your classmates - Keith Anderson, Frank Antonelli, Stephen Berube, William Blackney, Martha Byam, Margaret Carlino, Ronald Carson, Thomas Casey, Donald Cook, Donna Dube, Margaret Kelleher, Sharon McArdle, Dana Singleton, Margaret Thompson - to name just a few, will always remember you.
The carnation capital was Tewksbury, MA, but the rose has always been the favorite flower of America. Today, Mother's Day, and the following years to come, we celebrate and remember our dear friend, Karla M. Rose.
We thank you for your friendship. Your Lowell connection: Mark O'Donnell, Maura Casey, Joan Larock, Kristine Beaudette, Joanne Quinn, and many, many more.


May 13, 2018

To the family of Karla Rose, please know the beneficial extent to which Karla and Tuffy created an environment of acceptance and calm in many of our CISM events and trainings. We have been blessed to work with her, feeling the welcoming presence of their interaction within any group. She has been missed, but Karla will not be forgotten !

Capt.Robert Bernard(ret.)

May 13, 2018

We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Karla Rose. She and Tuffy were constant participants in our C.I.S.M. team responses in the field, as well as caring support of our responding members. Karla will be dearly missed.

Ann Kelliher

May 12, 2018

So sorry for your loss
Karla was a wonderful lady
Gave wonderful kind care to all
She is now a special angel with God