Broadmead Welcomes New Resident, Karen Willig

by Jackie Mintz

Karen Willig moved to Broadmead from her beloved northern California town mostly because of the urging of her sister, resident Del Sweeney. Her arrival made them the fifth pair of sisters at Broadmead.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Karen has spent the last 45 years in a Marin County, CA, seaside town, Bolinas. The town shunned publicity to the extent of removing road signs leading to it. Full of artists and writers, Bolinas has two galleries and a museum. Karen says she found it very difficult to leave, but she hopes to find in Broadmead an equally compelling community.

Her first job was as a receptionist for the Lenox Hill Neighborhood Association, Inc., in Manhattan, where she met Curt Willig, whom she married in 1969. It was Curt who wanted to move to Bolinas. Karen was not so sure, but Curt promised her they could move back to New York if after 2 years she wanted to do so. Curt, who died in 2014, was a social worker and the founder of Toolworks, a training and employment agency for people with disabilities.

In Bolinas, Karen held a series of jobs, from investigating applicants for Medicaid eligibility to secretary for the Bolinas School District to the county juvenile probation office. She spent much of her time volunteering for Food for Families, which took over a local restaurant on Mondays, where the volunteers cooked and delivered food to local families. Karen and Curt were devoted to animals and always had dogs and cats. Karen is accompanied to Broadmead by her cat, Toula.

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