Althea Ann Karr
May 11, 2017
After a rich, long life, Althea Ann Karr, age 94, died on May 11 at
Addison Gilbert Hospital. She had been living in The Residence at
Riverbend in Ipswich for the past two years, after more than 50 years
on Summer Street in Rockport, Mass. Althea is survived by her brother,
Althea Karr was born to Alfred and Thelma Tapley Karr, on September
11, 1922, in Newark, N.J Althea completed her bachelors in art at
Colleges of the Seneca in 1944. She furthered her studies at Columbia
Teachers College and Harvard School of Education. For 17 years, Althea
headed the art department at The Cambridge School of Weston. When she
moved to Cape Ann, Althea managed the art programs for the Gloucester
Public Schools for six years, followed by another six years as an art
teacher in the schools.
In the 1950s, Althea illustrated a series of books about Native
American tribes. In the 1960s, she was one of the first lay-people
chosen to study at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge. Her thesis
included vivid modernist paintings of the days of creation. In 1967,
Althea won a grant to illustrate the Psalms by studying in Israel. In
the 1970s, Althea’s brother Dan constructed a solarium/studio in their
home on Summer Street, so Althea could continue to paint, sketch, and
print her work.
A prolific painter, Althea taught classes at the Rockport Art
Association for decades. She painted religious icons, as well.
She became a member of The Society of the Companions of the Holy
Cross, an Episcopal women’s society based in Byfield, in 1985. She
attended St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Rockport, where she served as
a lay-reader and a vestry member. Althea was active in the Cursillo
movement for much of her adult life.
Althea will be deeply missed by her community in Rockport and by the
Memorial services will be held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in
Rockport on Friday, June 2, at 1 p.m. The service will be followed by
Gifts in Althea’s memory may be made to Adelynrood Retreat and
Conference Center of Newbury, Mass.
Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington Street,
Gloucester. For online condolences, please visit