Karmen Berzins, 89, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 9th, 2017, surrounded by her family and loved ones.
Karmen was born on January 12, 1928 in Latvia to Henrietta and Rudolfs Kondrats. During WWII, after her adored father had been arrested by the invading Russian army, Karmen, her sister Inta and her mother fled Latvia. They were directed to the American Sector of Germany where they lived in a Displaced Persons Camp for over 6 years until they finally secured work visas and immigration status to enter the United States. Leaving their former lives and possessions behind they travelled to their work assignments in North Dakota where Karmen and her mother worked to support the family.
Several years later, they moved to Philadelphia where Karmen married her beloved husband Guntars. They were together for 54 years until Guntars’ death in 2008.
Guntars and Karmen owned a fine art gallery and specialty store in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, called Vendo Nubes. They sold fine art, crafted wooden toys, modern furniture, and objects d’art. They were both very artistic and well rooted in the art community. They enjoyed promoting local artists and sculptors holding many openings for art exhibitions followed by elaborate parties catered and hosted by Karmen herself.
Karmen was the life and soul of the party. She created a warm and welcoming world around her, she loved to entertain, to cook and enjoy endless hours dining by candlelight with music playing, she loved to dance and ensure that everyone was having a wonderful time. She surrounded herself with beauty. Whether it was a fine painting, an elegant bookmark, a lovely quote or poem, a beautifully designed item of clothing, or the smile of a grandchild, she loved to live among exquisite things.
Karmen loved animals and had many dogs throughout her life – all were treated like royalty. In later years, while residing at Lakeview-Pine Run, she kept in touch with her love of animals by watching shows on Animal Planet and admiring pictures in magazines or that friends would share with her. She was a voracious reader and read close to a book a week right up until the end of her life. She was a keen game player, engaging family with Rummikub, Pinochle, Gin Rummy, Chinese Checkers, Chess and Poker, but she also loved puzzles, crosswords, Sudoku and Cryptograms. Karmen lived a very full and complete life, enriched by love, friendship and laughter as well as a bottomless supply of good chocolates. She would want all of us to make sure we stop and smell the roses.
Karmen is survived by her sons, Rudy and his wife, Ingrida, and Peter and his wife Lucy and six grandchildren, Anna, Mara, Aleks, Mikus, Isabelle and Juliet.
The family would like to extend our special gratitude to the warm and wonderful staff of Lakeview for making Karmen feel at home, comfortable and loved.
The family will receive friends Saturday September 2nd from 2pm-3pm, followed by a memorial service at Varcoe-Thomas Funeral Home, 344 North Main Street, Doylestown, PA 18901.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Humane Society of the United States, 1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20037 or www.humanesociety.org
Send condolences to www.varcoethomasfuneralhome.com