A banner that hangs across Route 206, in front of the store Carolyn Kazar created and loved, says it all: “Rest in Peace. We love you Carolyn.”
Carolyn Kazar died unexpectedly last Sunday. Where there is great grief, great love also emerges. This couldn’t be truer as a community mourns the loss of a true icon
Two years ago, Kazar learned of a family in need of food and clothing and toys for their children. She didn’t hesitate. She installed a drop-off at Andover Hunt & Fish, the family-owned store. Community members learned of this effort through Facebook. When Kazar was discovered to be the wind beneath this drive’s wings, she showed her true colors.
“I simply want to help people; I don't want any recognition for it,” she told a local newspaper.
That was Kazar: humble, giving, compassionate, and a true mama bear when it came to the welfare and happiness of her family. She was active in the Andover community, a pillar at Andover Hunt & Fish, and someone who could effortlessly engage a stranger in conversation.
She leaves behind her husband, Edward; three sons, Brian, Garrett and AJ; and her mother, Julia Heid.
“I Love you Mom,” her son Garrett said. “I’m so blessed to be your son. You are the absolute best mom I could ever ask for: always making sure everyone was happy and taken care of. I’m so grateful for everything you have done for me and our family.”
Kazar’s son, Brian, posted, simply, “Name a better Mom. I’ll wait.”
Her husband called her the love of his life.
“Her sudden loss is devastating,” Edward Kazar posted on Facebook. “She was beyond beautiful and her one-of-a-kind personality and charisma will always be remembered. Her devotion to her family, especially our three boys, was so special and we are so genuinely lucky to have been blessed with her love.”
'A huge void'
Kazar touched so many in the community.
“On behalf of the Andover Township Police Department, Andover Township Fire Department and on behalf of President Mike Haggerty of FOP Lodge #177 we are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Carolyn Kazar,” said Andover Police Chief Eric Danielson. “Carolyn was a bright light in the community and would always support the local emergency services. Whether it was to buy a ticket for an event or provide donations of sporting goods to be raffled off, Carolyn was always willing to help the cause. During the years Andover Hunt & Fish would donate items for the Andover Township Fire Department's annual Venison Dinner as well as for the Andover Township FOP Lodge 177 Toys for Tots and annual golf outing event. Carolyn's passing will place a huge void in our lives in both her caring spirit for the many contributions she made throughout the community but also for being the face of Andover Hunt & Fish.”
Kazar graduated from Morris Hills High School in 1977. She loved Pure Barre, in Denville, and her favorite color was pink. Her favorite places were Long Beach Island and Sheridan’s Restaurant & Tavern in Newton.
Tim Trudgeon works at Sheridan’s.
“She and Ed started coming in as patrons and we just clicked,” he said. “I hunt, they own the stores, they just fit in with our locals...friendly and social, and became one of the family. Carolyn was very family-oriented. Her mom is 90, and they had her on weekends so they would have family dinner at the restaurant. Carolyn and her mom would dance all night. And Carolyn was very supportive of our business, sending many customers our way as well as helping anyone she came in contact with -- police, firemen, local businesses. Losing Carolyn, we just lost a member of our family. You can never replace that.”
Tiffany Richardson, Garrett’s girlfriend, became very close to Kazar over the years.
“My heart is so broken: the most beautiful soul went to heaven and I am so completely devastated,” she said. “Since the moment I met you I knew we’d get along. What I didn’t know is that you’d become one of my biggest role models, supporters, care taker, shoulder to lean on, and best friend. Your positivity radiated throughout any room you’ve ever entered. There’s not a single person you’d come across without leaving a huge smile on their face.”
“Carol was some athlete,” said Peter Terranova who knew her through running and a local gym.”
And she came by it honestly as her father, the late Jack Heid, was an American cyclist who competed in the time trial and the sprint events at the 1948 Summer Olympics. Kazar was very into sports including water skiing, running, softball, golf and especially skiing.
Love of family
Kazar passionately cared for her mother.
“She’d take her on trips to the Bahamas, Paradise Island and Barbados,” Terranova said. “I think the highest compliment you can give someone is to be a caregiver. She cared for everyone around her. She’d do things like make a cheesecake from scratch and then ship it overnight so it wouldn’t go bad out to her son in Colorado. When a neighbor passed, she put together a huge spread for the family. She was just an amazing person.”
Hundreds of Facebook comments attest to that.
“My beautiful Mom I will always love you and appreciate everything you did for me and our family,” Garrett Kazar said. “We miss you so much and are so lost for words. I have the best memories with you and I’m so lucky to have been able to be your son. I’m going to make you proud.”
Carolyn Kazar had the uncanny knack for taking the ordinary and making it blossom into a thing of beauty, and it’s no wonder: she was, herself, beautiful both inside and out. She was all about small acts of kindness and making people feel special.
“She and Ed started coming in as patrons and we just clicked. I hunt, they own the stores, they just fit in with our locals...friendly and social, and became one of the family. Carolyn was very family-oriented. Her mom is 90, and they had her on weekends so they would have family dinner at the restaurant. Carolyn and her mom would dance all night. And Carolyn was very supportive of our business, sending many customers our way as well as helping anyone she came in contact with -- police, firemen, local businesses. Losing Carolyn, we just lost a member of our family. You can never replace that.” --Tim Trudgeon