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302-478-7100 Wilmington & Hockessin, DE

Karen Bengston

Karen (Conti) Bengston, 62, of Avondale, PA, passed away on September 10, 2021.

Karen was born in 1958 in Harrisburg, PA. She was a graduate of Bishop McDevitt High School and the University of Delaware, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and marketing.

Karen had a 33-year career in marketing and public relations with Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE, and made a name for herself and her way with words. She oversaw media relations, speechwriting, special events, and publications for the hospital and the prevention division – most recently contributing to Nemours Children’s Health. She was highly regarded for her ability to connect with patients and their families to share their story in a meaningful way.

As an engaged member of the community, Karen served on the Wilmington Health Planning Council, the IMPACT Tobacco Prevention Coalition, the Advisory Board for Child, Inc., and the Delaware SAFEKIDS Coalition. She also served on the Board of Directors for Girls on the Run Delaware and PAWS for People. Karen was a volunteer with the adult literacy program at the Bayard Taylor Memorial Library, and a long-time member of St. Mary of the Assumption Church.

Outside of her professional work and volunteerism, Karen was the heart of her family, a proud wife, mother, and grandmother. She was spirited and enjoyed celebrating even your smallest triumph. In her presence, she had a way of both inspiring you and putting you at ease. She was also a listener but still loved to tell a story. While she was smart and well-read, she also appreciated life’s simple pleasures – trying out a new recipe, walking her dog, Betty, or solving a Sunday crossword. Though she received a cancer diagnosis in 2016, she remained incredibly selfless and continued to put her family and dear friends first. She would humbly never take credit for it, but her undeniable strength was present through it all.

Karen was predeceased by her father John L. Conti, and mother Rosalie V. Conti. She is survived by her loving husband of 40 years, David P. Bengston; daughters Jana C. DeNobrega (Patrick) of Towson, MD and Sara K. Malloy (Ryan) of Mt. Pleasant, SC; grandson Jackson DeNobrega; brother Michael A. Conti (Christine) of Potomac, MD; aunt Virginia G. Serafini of Camp Hill, PA, and three nieces.

A public service will be held at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Hockessin, DE, on Friday, September 17, 2021 at 3:00PM, visitation will begin at 2:30PM with the family beforehand. In lieu of flowers, her family suggests donations in her name to the Nemours Fund –

Funeral Services

A public service will be held at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Hockessin, DE, on Friday, September 17, 2021 at 3:00PM, visitation will begin at 2:30PM with the family beforehand.


    Ed Woomer lit a candle and writes,
    Karen and I were in new hire orientation together in 1987 at what was then known as the Alfred I. DuPont Institute. We became fast friends and shared many laughs, stories and “good gossip”over the next 30 years. She always greeted everyone with a warm smile and a kind word. Her wit and humor seemed so natural as was her gift of writing heartfelt stories of the patients, families and events of Nemours. I considered here a true friend and confidant. RIP my friend.
    09/14/2021 07:48 pm
    Stephanie Jean Boblooch lit a candle and writes,
    So sorry for your loss. So glad I got to visit with Karen when she visited Jana, Pat and Jack in Towson. My thoughts and prayers are with all, especially her daughter, Jana, who I am blessed to work with. My deepest sympathies to her husband, David and Karen's beautiful family. Karen touched so many lives and will be missed and remembered by all who knew her. Cherish the beautiful memories.
    09/14/2021 08:05 pm
    Sharonda Lang lit a candle and writes,
    Sending my deepest condolences to the Bengston family. Jana , you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Sharonda Lang
    09/14/2021 11:49 pm
    Sarah Kenney-Cruz lit a candle and writes,
    Karen was a light in this world. Simply one-of-a-kind. I don’t believe people ever really “leave”… and I’m sure Karen won’t. Her spirit and her legacy are too strong. My condolences to family and friends. I hope you feel her continued presence every day. I feel blessed to have known her, even for just a few years.
    09/15/2021 05:29 am
    Kimberly Howell lit a candle and writes,
    My deepest condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
    09/15/2021 07:59 am
    Debi Salvucci lit a candle and writes,
    So very sorry for your loss My thoughts and prayers are with the family
    09/15/2021 09:06 am
    Donna Kelly lit a candle and writes,
    Karen and I were colleagues for 29 yrs at Nemours. We worked closely together on events and teams over the years. Many a time, she was my sounding board and a great listener offering feedback and suggestions. We laughed, cried, joked and celebrated together over the years. She was a true friend and one of a kind. I will forever cherish our friendship. Karen, I know your spirit lives on in your daughters and especially little Jack. I’d say Rest In Peace but if I know you like I think I do you’ve got your hand in something up there in heaven writing stories across the sky.
    09/15/2021 02:53 pm
    Christine Barabasz writes,
    Karen was one of the first people I met when I came to work for Nemours. We served together on various committees through the ten years I was there and I always found her to be calm, helpful and enthusiastic. I especially remember her sense of humor. I am so sorry for the pain her death has caused for her family and many friends, but am grateful that she saw her two beautiful daughters get married and experience the joy of being a grandmother. May her memory be a blessing to all who knew her.
    09/15/2021 03:16 pm
    Katrina lit a candle and writes,
    Sending my Deepest Condolences and Prayers of Strength and sympathy to the family!!🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
    09/15/2021 08:24 pm
    Natalie Salvucci
    09/15/2021 08:52 pm
    David MacCord lit a candle and writes,
    Karen was truly a remarkable n wonderful person. I knew Karen from Nemours-A.I Dupont. My heart is very sad. I will pray for the family. May they find peace n strength through each other and the beautiful memories that were made. One time while at work, Karen asked me if I wanted to be in a video that she was making for the hospital, I did. What a privilege n honor to know someone as Karen.
    09/15/2021 11:36 pm
    Anita Zeccola RN lit a candle and writes,
    My sincerest condolences to the Bengston family. I had the opportunity to work with Karen at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children for many years. She will be dearly missed not only by her family but many whose lives she touched during her career and her contributions to so many organizations. Rest in Peace Karen .
    09/16/2021 01:14 pm
    Cheryl Jumps writes,
    I worked with Karen at AI DuPont. She was a wonderful person. She was friendly and kind to everyone she came in contact with in her day. Praying for her family. Cheryl EEG
    09/17/2021 06:51 am
    Karen Curran writes,
    Dear Bengston Family, I had the pleasure of doing Karen's hair over many years. As she spoke of many of the families milestones. Engagements, weddings, grandchildren, travel and holidays that you shared. We shared many laughs and a few tears. I will miss her smile, our chats and little things we laughed about. She always spoke highly of her family. May fond memories bring you comfort. Fondly, Karen Curran Chesapeake Hair Studio
    09/17/2021 05:17 pm
    Terri Heavens writes,
    🙏🏻Karen was one of the most talented and smartest people I know. Some are born with an innate ability to play music or have an understanding of physics, fo 🙏🏻Karen was one of the most talented and smartest people I know. Some are born with an innate ability to play music or an understanding of physics, for example. Karen was a keen writer…with a natural skill to use her love of language to weave a witty story, like a slow, fine dance. She noticed the subtleties of her environment and hades superior use of vocabulary to describe any situation. We worked together at Alfred I DuPont Children’s Hospital. She and I tagged teamed in writing about the families there, and the children whose lives were impacted by chronic illness or injury. My dear friend died after a 5 year battle with cancer. She was a modest yet fearless warrior, who battled this war inside of her while living her life to the fullest. She is survived by her beloved David, Jana and Sara, her treasured grandson, Jack and their families. Please think of her today in your daily routines and say a prayer 🙏🏻 for her and those of us left behind who loved her and will miss her. #RestPeacefully✨🌟💛
    09/17/2021 05:39 pm
    Barbara Wilson writes,
    I am so grateful to have known Karen during my nearly 15 years with Nemours. My role evolved over the years with more or less opportunity to interact with Karen. Nevertheless, whenever our paths crossed, it was memorable. Karen's creativity, dedication and passion for bringing the Nemours mission alive through patient stories were extraordinary. I was so inspired by Karen's periodic emails during her courageous battle with cancer. I was struck by her optimism, balanced with realism and her zest for living, balanced with the need for rest and reflection. Important lessons for all of us. Without a doubt her love for her family and cherishing every moment with you came through her messages as priority number one. The Prayer of St. Francis, included in yesterday's beautiful service, speaks to me in so many ways and has always been one of my favorite prayers/hymns. In reflecting on Karen today, I found a rendition by Sarah McLachlan that I think she would have appreciated. Look online and take a listen...may this bring you peace. With sympathy and gratitude, Barbara Wilson
    09/18/2021 01:51 pm

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