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Author: Karen Sota
Nickname: Karen






Another transplanted Yankee! I grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, married after graduating from Pitt and immediately embarked on an odyssey of six corporate moves with my darling husband (of 34 years) Ed. While living in Greensboro in the 1980’s, we discovered Topsail Island and knew it was where we wanted to “end up.” So we did the smart thing: bought land on the waterway before Sneads Ferry got discovered. We visited our “dirt” every year, envisioning the house that we would some day build.

In 2000, I retired after almost 30 years in the publishing industry and a battle with breast cancer. In an incredible stroke of lucky timing, my husband received “the package” when his company was sold. We happily packed our belongings for the last time and got out of Dodge (actually, Morristown, NJ.)

Halleluiah! I was freed from corporate bondage to do the things that I love – and I love our sea turtles! That’s why I’ve been at the hospital since we moved here, and why I’ll be there until my flippers are cold and stiff. I love “talking” to our patients and sharing a behind-the-scenes look at our work in my weekly column. “Ms. Bernice” (one of Sneads Ferry’s most loved and respected residents) likes to call me “the turtle whisperer.”

When I’m not taking care of turtles you might find me on stage (Sneads Ferry Community Theatre) or running the Beer & Wine Garden at the Shrimp Festival (of course, Ed is there, too!) or counseling other breast cancer survivors as Onslow County’s Reach-To-Recovery Coordinator. So, if you see me around in my turtle jacket, just tap me on the shoulder and say “hey” – many people do.


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