Karen Peake

December 3, 1962April 29, 2019

Karen Gerasimowicz Peake passed away on April 29, 2019. Born in Salem on December 3, 1962 and raised in Danvers, Karen was a long time resident of Marblehead.

Karen raised two children; Nicole Sara Simpkins, a professor at Macalester College in Minnesota, and Christopher Peake a sophomore at UMASS Dartmouth. Sailing was her great passion. She was at times a competitor, mechanic, navigator, tactician, and leader. Karen was the founder of the Boston Yacht Club Youth Sailing Program and a licensed Coast Guard Captain. Karen knew how to navigate in pea soup fog, could reef the sails in squalls, and lead a crew through it all. As the owner and captain of several sailboats, she ran racing campaigns and also loved to cruise. She could jump on any sailboat in any position and take control.

Karen had several roles in her professional life. As a teacher, she was known to be caring and passionate. Working in Marblehead, Salem, Lynn, and Peabody, students loved her interactive and thought-provoking persona. Later she used her Master’s Degree and experience at several educational companies.

Karen was a member at the Rock and Row rowing club in Marblehead and the Skimos Ski Club in Jackson, NH, and was a past member of the Boston Yacht Club, Dolphin Yacht Club, and Marblehead Yacht Club. Karen was also a volunteer at Sail Salem and Heeling Winds encouraging others to follow her love of sailing.

Whether on land or on sea, her talents knew no bounds. She will continue to be loved and missed by her family and friends.

Karen will be remembered at a Memorial Service on Monday, May 6 at 10am at The Old North Church, 35 Washington Street in Marblehead. A celebration of life this will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to or Arrangements by Eustis and Cornell of Marblehead.


  • CRAIG PEAKE, Husband


  • Memorial Service Monday, May 6, 2019


Karen Peake

have a memory or condolence to add?

Chris Wilson

May 3, 2019

I will miss racing with you as a sometimes crew member of Wild Ride. and your presence next to me on the rail as we sailed along; chatting up whatever blew through our thoughts while we were biding our time till the next tack.

Rachel Lemieux

May 2, 2019

Karen was my boss for a few months and a coworker for two years. Karen was passionate about education and making a difference in the lives of children. She is the reason many kids from all over the world have had amazing educational experiences that have changed their lives forever. She was passionate about affording kids from over, and all backgrounds, educational opportunities the would have never had before. She has changed many lives for the better, and her legacy will live on. Aside from being a kind, compassionate boss, she was someone I looked up to. She will be missed and the office will not be the same without her.

Joan Thayer

May 2, 2019

I knew Karen through sailing. She was a terrific teacher to young girls in our AdventureSail program in Charletown as well as to adult women at NWSA Women's Sailing Conference and NWSA Winter Workshops for Women. She is a great loss to our sailing community.