Karen Ellis Pico
Dec. 14, 1944-Oct. 13, 2016
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A great lady has left this world but her legacy lives on. In her professional life she took on the task of ending child abuse in this world and while the task continues, there are countless children and families that will never know how much she contributed to their breaking the cycle of child abuse. Her life was lived to the fullest. She was solo backpacking in her late 60's and introduced her family and many of her lady friends to the experience.
Two major accomplishments were her completion of the 211 mile John Muir Trail, and work to create the Antioch Primrose Sand Dunes Preserve. Her motto was "Don't hold back."
Karen was born in Los Angeles to Louis and Leola Pusina and lived most of her adult life in Pleasanton and Antioch. She graduated from Cal State East Bay and with a Masters degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University. She was a Marriage and Family Therapist and worked for 21 years at Parental Stress Service (Family Paths), a child abuse prevention agency, the last 11 as Executive Director. She is survived by her husband former Pleasanton Mayor Tom Pico Jr., children Adam and Mathew Ellis, step-children Tom Pico III and Jennifer Moy, seven-grandchildren, sister Frances Elsner, brother Jan Pusina, aunt Laura Smith, cousin Barrie Hafler, and former husband Robert Ellis. Karen was an avid reader, active in local politics, and a seeker of hot springs. She loved traveling in their motor home and traveled extensively overseas. She loved and was deeply loved by her family and circle of friends. She died of a rare brain disease, Progressive Supra Nuclear Palsy (PSP), while at home, surrounded by family and friends. A memorial service and reception will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 19 at St Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, 678 Enos Way, Livermore, CA.