Karen Sue Schneider (née Ellsweig) was one of the most beautiful, caring, and friendly spirits you could have ever met. Her smile was infectious and she had a gift for making everyone feel special and loved. She looked for the good qualities in people around her and within herself, believing that everyone was unique and expressed their spiritual side in their own way. She maintained a compassionate attitude towards anyone that she engaged with and would always offer help whenever possible. She cared deeply for all living things and had an everlasting commitment to her children and grandchildren.Karen was born in Far Rockaway, NY and spent her early life in Hewlett, NY. She attended Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA and graduated from Hofstra University. She taught elementary school in New York City and at the Be'Er Mordechai School in Brooklyn. Her greatest professional contribution was directing Jewish Community Center’s preschool in Springfield, MA from 1978 to 1987. After living in Greensboro, NC and Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, she relocated to Chapel Hill, NC, where she actively volunteered at the Orange County Rape Crisis and Women’s Centers for over a decade.Karen passed peacefully on September 28, 2016 after an eight-month battle with cancer, joining her parents, Mel and Evelyn Ellsweig. She is survived by her husband and companion of 18 years, Reto Schneider; son and daughter-in-law, Jon and Ginny Meyer; daughter, Kim Meyer; grandchildren David and Nicholas Meyer, and brothers, Robert and Steven Ellsweig.A memorial and celebration of her life will be held on Sunday, October 9th at 2:00 PM, followed by a reception at the Doris Duke Center in Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham, NC. Please inform the family if you plan to attend.Memorial donations in memory of Karen may be made to UNC Cancer Center.