Karen Boulanger-Folkes

Date of Passing:

March 26, 2018

Folkes-Boulanger, Karen, 74, of Booth Avenue, Riverside died unexpectedly at home on March 26, 2018. She was the beloved wife of Richard J. Folkes.

Born in Bristol, CT., a daughter of the late Charles and Barbara (Bullock) Klatt, she lived in East Providence since 1976.

Mrs. Boulanger-Folkes was a welder for Electric Boat for 10 years. She was a volunteer for Hospice and Literacy programs. A member of the Peace Corps, she was a teacher in Fiji for 5 years, where she continued to have pen-pals all over the world. She also was a member of the East Providence Community Chorus.

Besides her husband of 8 years, she is survived by her children, Ernest A. Boulanger of Brighton, Col., David M. Boulanger of Cranston, Lori A. Bellavance of West Greenwich, Diana E. Cullen of East Providence, Rebecca-Ann Nolan of FL and Jennifer Folkes of Newport, two sisters; Charlene Butler of West Greenwich and Cyndra Moniz of Exeter, two brothers; Kenneth Klatt of New Bedford, MA and Christopher Klatt of Niwot, Col, eleven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She was the sister of the late Tina Vidal.

A Memorial service will be held in the First Unitarian Church of Providence, 1 Benevolent Street, Providence on Saturday April 14, 2018 at 12 noon.

Online Condolences


  1. Dear Richard,
    I’m sitting here in Taipei and reading about the tragic happenings on the souther border, and for some strange reason Karen came to mind.
    Not having social media, I figured I would try to find her email and write her.
    When I searched her name, this site popped up on her passing.
    I last saw you both at my home in Providence, but I relocated to here in 2004.
    You must miss Karen dearly. She touched everyone with her wisdom and humor.
    She left a mark on me for sure.
    I’ve bern carrying her torch since I arrived in Taiwan, and the flame is still burning for justice for all.
    I hope you have found that indelible peaceful spirit in your soul.
    Paul Deery
    MMIII (Karen’s trademark)

  2. Dear Karen, you will so be missed—today when we register new participants at the Food Bank, when we make sandwiches and serve dinner at Emmanuel house, when we enter the meeting house on Sunday mornings…it will seem that you are just in another room, helping someone with your smile, your warm arms, your big heart. Deep sympathies to Rick and all of your family.

  3. We knew Karen as one of First Unitarian Church’s representatives to the board of directors for Loaves and Fishes RI, serving food and essentials to the homeless and others in need. Though we knew Karen together for such a short time, her passion for our shared mission, and compassion for those we serve, was always evident – she expressed it so simply, sincerely, and joyfully.
    On behalf of LFRI, we offer our sympathy and prayers of comfort to Rick, and all of Karen’s family and friends. May she rest in a blessed and everlasting peace.

    Jeff Manickas
    President, LFRI

  4. This was a dear soul. A woman of depth of character and compassionate kindness. She hds a deep spirit. Karen also enjoyed a good joke.

  5. Karen was such a lovely lady. Always so kind & friendly. My thoughts & prayers go out to her family.

  6. Sincere sympathy and prayers to the family. God’s blessings to Karen. We are all here on earth for a short time. You are at home now. Will miss seeing you at the Y exercise class and Senior Bingo in Barrington. Peace be with you.

  7. What a dear friend Karen was to me, I will miss her terribly! She was thoughtful, compassionate, creative, intelligent, and kind! Rest now my friend! You are fondly remembered in my heart!

  8. I am sad to know of Karen’s passing. I will not be able to attend her memorial service as the Y’All Come Lunch for the homeless in Providence is at the same time on the same date. Last year Karen came to volunteer, so I will be voluntering keeping her spirit close.

  9. Karen was very much involved with the work of the Neighborhood Social Justice Committee in helping the less fortunate, and in many other activities of the First Unitarian Church of Providence community.

    She would have been the chair of our Committee next year.

    Her presence, with her intelligence, humor and good spirits will be missed greatly.

    On behalf of the First Unitarian NSJ Committee I am sending our deepest condolences to her husband, and all her Family.

    Chiara Romano Van Erp, NSJC chair

  10. My dear sweet mother in law, you will be missed. I will always remember that beautiful smile and carefree, loving soul. I will always remember the conversation we had the day before your passing, it was as if you already knew.
    Thank you for all you have done and shared with our family, your light will shine on your children and grandchildren. Rest in peace Karen, you are home.

  11. I’m so sorry to hear of Karen’s passing. I met Karen at the Peck Center (Barrington Senior Center); I’ve only known her a short while but she seemed to be such a sweet woman. I pray for comfort for her family at this time.

  12. Karen was a neighbor to my mother Gert for many years and was always a friendly well liked lady. So sorry for your loss. Prayers to her family.

  13. I am so sad to hear about Karen’s passing. We recently reconnected on Facebook. I have known her for many years, since our kids were young, from my days in RI. I followed her many adventures in Tonga via recorded messages thru our friend Judy. I remember out fun vacations at Camp Ahimsa in Ct. Rest with the Angels, Karen! Blessings to your family and friends.

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