by Karen Alberg Grossman

We at MR/Wainscot Media are saddened to report the passing of Karen Azzarello, a former Wainscot colleague and friend, on the morning of October 25th at 5:45 am. She worked at Wainscot selling ad space for our custom and regional magazines from 2015 to 2021. For all those years, she was silently fighting cancer, the disease that ultimately took her life. But not for a minute did it slow her down or diminish her positive energy. Her most recent goal was to stay alive long enough to attend her daughter’s October wedding; although she was too sick to fly across the country to physically attend, she was very much there in spirit. She then held on long enough to welcome her family back home.

ABOVE: Karen, Monica DelliSanti, and Shae Marcus.

Notes Wainscot president and CEO Mark Dowden, “Karen was a long-time salesperson on many of our custom and regional magazines. For all the years we knew her and for some years beforehand, she was quietly battling cancer. She loved her work and her family, had a very optimistic outlook on life, and refused to engage in self-pity. As a salesperson, she was persistent, pleasantly persuasive, and very well liked. I found her positive attitude to be marvelous and inspirational.”

Karen’s niece and close friend Shae Marcus, former Wainscot VP and publisher, knew the end was near but was nonetheless heartbroken. “Karen was a true warrior beyond anyone’s imagination. A woman who never stood down, took sh-t from no one, and did it all with style and grace. My aunt has been a pillar of strength, not just for me but for everyone who ever crossed paths with her. Her life was filled with love, laughter, and tragedy. She never backed down from the challenges of life but instead embraced them, never thinking she had it bad. Every day I strive to have an ounce of her tenacity, strength and courage. She was the most inspirational person I ever met.”

Karen (far left) with 2019 MR team!

Karen’s daughter Monica DelliSanti, also a former Wainscot exec, writes to her mom: “I knew the time left was short as I laid next to you these last two nights… I’m so happy you’re being welcomed on the other side by the loving hands you’ve been waiting to hold. But how can I go on without you: the best mama, grammy, MA, there ever was? Thank you for waiting…”

Karen is survived by her husband Alex Azzarello, her children and their spouses Ernie Delli Santi (Jodi), Monica Delli Santi (Federico), Caterina Azzarello-Nichols (Maxwell). Karen was pre-deceased by her children Joseph and Jacqueline Delli Santi. She is also survived by her grandchildren Joseph Delli Santi, Dominic Sabbatini, and Giuseppe Sabbatini, her brother Don Marcus (Nancy), many nieces and nephews, and too many friends to count.

Friends and family are invited to attend a visitation for Karen on Thursday, October 27th, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Galante Funeral Home, 2800 Morris Avenue, in Union, New Jersey. A graveside service will be celebrated at Fairview Cemetery, 1100 East Broad Street in Westfield, NJ, on Friday, October 28th, at 1:00 pm. Shiva will follow for three days following the graveside service at Karen and Alex’s home, 50 Jade Lane, Phillipsburg, NJ.

An online memorial page for Karen can be found here.

Rest in peace dear friend and thanks for being such an amazing role model to so many. You will be very much missed…



    1. I am saddened to hear this news. It was a pleasure working with her. It was just great being in the same room with her. She will be missed.

    2. Truly heartbreaking news. Only met with Karen a couple times, but she would call a lot and remind me of the ad to put through already! I will miss her tenacity, kindness and strength. Never knew she has this awful happening in her life, she was too good to ever show it. And I will definitely miss her calls. Fly high in peace, comforts and live of all those there to catch you, and know here you left a great hole.

  1. so very , very sad to hear this news. A wonderful, fun, vivacious woman. God bless you as you travel to heaven and be rejoined with those you love. Sending love and hugs to her children and family. She truly was a beautiful human being.

  2. This is so beautiful we loved working in this industry and she loved all her clients and work friends xo

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