Town Square

Friends rallying around drowned woman's children

Original post made on Feb 7, 2013

Friends are rallying around the surviving children of a former Mountain View resident who drowned last month.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 7, 2013, 12:19 PM


Posted by I just have to ask, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Feb 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Ok, fine, friends are rallying. I'm glad for that. But why is this a story? It sounds like an appeal to emotion to get readers to donate money based on limited facts. The deceased did not live in Mountain View, but rather Pine Grove, more than a few miles away. The father is apparently around and taking care of at least four of his children. He lives in Palo Alto. What does/did the father do for a living? Apparently neither thought life insurance was a good idea even though this 46 year old woman had a five-year-old? What qualifies for such a story in this local paper? How many others in need would qualify for a similar story?

Posted by Ron, a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm

@I just have to ask: I always hate these sorts of comments. Why is this a story? Because it is. Not all stories are about world news. This is an appeal for assistance for the children of a former resident. It is an appeal for the community go assist a family. And why does it matter that there are others in need too. If we cannot help them all immediately we should help none? Should we stack rank ALL in need, prioritize them by time in the community, and send all help to all or none?

A woman and her small child died. Her other children could use help. Either help, or politely close the story and move on. Nothing wrong with that. But let's not demand that each appeal meet each community member's value of merit.

Posted by Mary, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Comment by "I just have to ask" is so revealing or his arrogant "not my problem... why should I or anyone care?" stance vav this single mom and her dying with her 5 yr old daughter.

The fact that he can't see why the story is valid as news and as a concern for our community speaks volumes about who he is. His blind and willful ignorance about how much of this story is true in too many women's lives is very convenient for him I bet, but a disaster for human well-being in our community.

Overall, women and children's needs are way down the priority list of concerns in this country vav boys club financial and industrial welfare which we subsidize with $$$B's every year. It's men like this who perpetuate this crazy "we rule the world" nonsense and it's time that the rest of us who detest boys club rules make it our purpose to change that paradigm.

Posted by Mountain View Mom, a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm

First of all, not all the facts in the story are accurate (what else is new MV Voice?).....

However, @ "I just have to ask". I know this family, and I know the children. It breaks my heart to look into her daughters eyes every day knowing that she won't being taking that long drive on Friday to spend the weekend with her mom, or play with the little sister she loved so dearly. Three of Karens children are very much part of our community in Mountain View/Palo Alto and this loss touches all of us who knew Karen and Amelia and who care deeply for the children she left behind.

I only pray that when the time comes (and it will), when you lose a person or people that mean the most to you on this earth, that you will have the support of your friends, family and community to help you grieve an unthinkable loss, you heartless soul.

Posted by CT, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I'm with you Ron in your suggestion for "I just have to ask" to help, or politely close the story and move on. I felt sorry for that person, actually. I found it interesting, however...Mary, you said the response "speaks volumes about who HE is". There was no evidence that the responder was a male. I'm female myself, so i'm not defending, but it was an awfully large assumption.
Here's to joining together as a community--male, female, young, old, support each other thru the challenges of this tricky thing called life.

Posted by Julianne, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 7, 2013 at 4:45 pm

I'm glad you will all be contributing funds as a result of this story.

And maybe this makes a story in the paper because she was a white middle-class women. There are plenty of people hurting and in need in this community (and still living here). Ok, maybe they're not white and middle class, but they should get equal attention in the paper.

Posted by What, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Feb 8, 2013 at 12:55 am

So Julianne - tell us about some of these other suffering people. I don't doubt they exist, but your comment does not help them much, does it? So why say it? Are you trying to make people feel guilty for caring about this case? If you don't want to contribute, then do like the people above suggest - politely close this article and move on. If you have a better story to tell, then go out there and tell it. Write a blog, send an editorial to the Voice, or publish it here in the comments.

Posted by Sean, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 8, 2013 at 7:37 am

All feelings aside, let's not forget the tragic death this POOR (apparently) women and 5 year old daughter endured. Who the hell plays on a frozen over pond is my question, sounds very dangerous.

...and just for note I agree with Julianne.

Posted by Michael Anderson, a resident of another community
on Feb 8, 2013 at 10:42 am

This is Michael Anderson - one of Karen's surviving children.

First off - in response to "I just have to ask" (although I realize I probably shouldn't respond):
She didn't have life insurance because she couldn't afford it. She wasn't in the middle class - we were in the lower class. She moved to Pine Grove because she couldn't afford it here. While she was in Mountain View, however, she made several contributions to society - like at Foothill College.

I'd like to thank everyone else, however, for their support.

Posted by How many total kids?, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm

"Friends, colleagues and acquaintances of Anderson say she is survived by her four children"

"While Anderson had several other children, the younger ones are being taken care of by their father, Kramer said, while Michael has few adults he can lean on."

Question, how many total kids did she have? And where are the fathers in all this? They have to be paying hefty child support for them, especially if they live in California?

I also believe if you can't afford kids, do not have them.

Posted by Ron, a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm

@How many total kids?: Wow you people sure love to judge others. How many kids did she have (appearantly 5). How dare she have more than you think is a good number. And how about the fact that she is white and therefore not worthy of support either since appearantly all aide should only go to non-whites for some reason. "Where was the dad?". Well, since some of the kids live with him and there are different last names, you can assume they were divorced or separated. So what. How does that imply the kids are not worthy of help?

You all are what is wrong with people today. So often it is "they are not like me, so why should I care or help?". "She was white, her family must be better off". Pathetic really.

Instead of helping, or bringing attention to other stories of need, you just dump all over someone because someone tells their story. Rest in piece Karen and Amelia (what a sad way to die for such a young child). I truely wish comfort and solace for the rest of her family in future years.

Posted by Ron, a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm

By the way, has any sort of fund been set up? Posting the email address is one thing. But a link to a fund would probably make it easier for more people to quickly and quietly offer help.

Posted by SP Phil, a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 8, 2013 at 4:33 pm

I'm sad to hear of these deaths. I am concerned that the article mentions that Michael is under the impression that he must pay off his mother's creditors.

The info below explains the basics (copied from the internet):


In the case of little or no estate, the creditors get nothing.

Here's the simple part: If the card was yours alone, with no joint account holders, the debt is yours alone, too.

When you die, your estate is responsible for paying off the balance. If the estate goes through probate, your administrator or executor will look at your assets and debts and, guided by law, determine in what order bills should be paid. Remaining assets will be distributed to heirs by following your will (if you have one), or state law (if you don't).

Sometimes, the credit card company loses
If the assets don't cover the bills? "If there isn't enough money, credit card companies would have to, as my students say, 'suck it up,' " says Doug Rendleman, law professor at Washington and Lee University.

Creditors are notified that the estate is insolvent. They write off the bills, and often that's the end of it. Children, friends, or relatives can't inherit debt. A card company can't legally force someone else to pay.

The most critical question in whether the living still bear responsibility for a dead person's debt is: Was the account individual, or shared? If a spouse, family member, or business partner signed the card application as a co-signer (joint account holder), then that person will be held liable for the balance on that card, along with (or instead of) the estate.

If that second cardholder is merely an authorized user (didn't sign the application, isn't liable for bills and merely has charging privileges), then he or she isn't responsible.

Posted by Sean, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 8, 2013 at 11:27 pm

So according to SP Phil this sounds like a scam. Thanks MV-Voice for researching the articles that are posted, ridiculous.

My dad died in March nd creditors have called but have not been threatening, can I post my email or set up a PayPal account to help? I could barely pay my February rent and need help as well, by the way I have 1 child not 4-7 or however many this lady had. Walking on a frozen over pond in California is not smart, take note.

Posted by oscar, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 9, 2013 at 8:16 am

The Voice has done this family no favor and cast a shadow over a tragedy. I agree this sounds like a scam the way it is written and presented. The Voice did a terrible job of setting this appeal for donations up. More accurate information should be required before an article like this is printed, namely, what it the current employment and residential status of the father? That is the question begging to be asked. The article state "most of her children still live in Mountain View. How many, what age, etc. Are any of the other children not living with the father under eighteen? What are the other "estate-related costs" indicated in the article? How big or little an estate are we talking about here. I thought she was broke? The son, Michael, is now an adult. Did he sign on to some of the mother's debt?

Posted by Mel, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 10, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Really people? The bottom line 4 children lost their mother and a sibling. I am ashamed to say some of you are my neighbors.

Posted by Muriel, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

For those that might be interested in helping:

If you are interested in donating to either of these funds, you can do so
by following the instructions below:

To donate electronically to the "Anderson Family Emergency Fund", you can
use the PayPal "Transfer Money to a Friend" Service by going to Click on the tab that says "Send Money" and send your
chosen amount to: If you have a PayPal
account, there is no charge for the transfer.

To donate electronically to the "Michael Anderson Education Fund" follow
the instructions above, but send your chosen amount to:

If you'd prefer to make a payment via check, you can make the check
payable to Michael Anderson, and mail it to: 3629 Bryant Street, Palo Alto
94306. Indicate in the memo line whether you'd like the money to go to the
Anderson Family Emergency Fund, the Michael Anderson Education Fund, or if
you'd like to split it between the two.

Both the Anderson Family and I wish to stress that you're under no
obligation to donate to this fund. Whether or not you make a donation, we
hope you'll keep these young people in your thoughts.

And for those of you that don't appear to have a heart or soul in your body, or think this is a scam don't bother reading. This is where our world is going today? God help us all.

Posted by Muriel, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 11, 2013 at 10:36 am

I just wanted to clarify my last post. I do not know the Anderson family and the instructions for donating money came from a post on the Old Mountain View yahoo website. I added the last three sentences and I meant every word of it. And to Michael Anderson, one of Karen's surviving children: You owe no explanation to anyone about your situation or what your mother's situation was at her and your sister's untimely death. All you need to know is that she was your mother, she obviously loved you and your siblings very much and she would want you to pursue your dreams, whatever that might look like. Don't allow bitter, poison people to make you feel like you have to justify anything about who you are or who your mother was. Stay strong Michael and know that there are many of us in this community that will do what we can to help. We care.

Posted by Sean, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 11, 2013 at 11:29 am

"for those of you that don't appear to have a heart or soul in your body, or think this is a scam don't bother reading."

...Should of been the first line of your post. In today's world can you blame people for being skeptical Muriel? I mean every word of this.

Posted by Muriel, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Skeptical is one thing, I get that. Maybe all of you skeptics out there should contact Robin Kramer directly at Mountain View High School. Michael Anderson participated in the band at Mountain View High School and Robin Kramer had him as a student. But then again maybe trying to get the "real" scoop is too much work and people would rather publicize their rather harsh skepticism without caring that a family member, like Michael Anderson might be reading our comments.

Posted by Muriel, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 11, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Sean - Should "have" not "of" been the first line of your post.

Posted by Mountain View Mom, a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 11, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I have never been so ashamed to be part of a community. The posts here that show absolutely no support or empathy for the Anderson Family sickens and disgusts me. Thank you to those of you that have shown that not all humanity is going down the toilet.

I remember the day that I found out about Karen and Amelia's deaths. I could not contain my sorrow for a woman that I found to be funny, positive and so friendly. The last time I saw Amelia she was holding her sisters hand high over her head as she spun around, dancing and laughing. She was a beautiful little girl.

No one knows exactly what happened, but I imagine that Amelia probably got curious or was chasing one of her animals around, and while her mom's back was turned (which any parent knows, anything can happen in the blink of an eye) and she wondered out on to the ice. I can only imagine the panic Karen felt as she looked around for her daughter, or perhaps foresaw the danger and told Amelia to stand still as she grabbed the nearest thing (the Llamas rope) in an attempt to guide her back to safety, but ultimately had to go in after her baby, only to become trapped. I can only speculate because I was not there. How dare ANY of you make flippant remarks about 'it not being safe to play on thin ice'.

What does the color of Karen's skin have to do with ANY part of this story? What does her station in life matter? What does it matter what the 'father does for a living' or how much child support she gets? I'm a single mother who lives in Mountain View. I get $397 a month for my child support. You think that is a lot of money?? You think I'm living high off the hog on $397 a month? I'm white, I have a good job. I don't have life insurance. I can't afford it. I'm lucky to be able to pay rent in a housing market bursting with inflated, greedy housing costs.

Karen's two youngest surviving children are blessed that they had two parents that provided two stable, loving homes. Even though their mom is gone, they still have the love and support of their dad and his wife. They are even more blessed to have friends from church and from school that have come together to reinforce their love for them.

And most of all, shame on you Mountain View Voice for once again doing such a shoddy job reporting another story.

Posted by Googler, a resident of Gemello
on Feb 11, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Maybe Google can step up and pitch in since this all seems to be about raising funds.

Posted by Sean, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 11, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Omg, mountain view mom, you knew them so your feelings get in the way ...understandably. But flippant remarks? C'mon lady, you are taking this way to personal. People die every day and of everybsetbup a sob story fund then what? It is a sob story! Go watch lifetime please. Who are you to judge how anybody reacts? Again, you knew her, most didn't ..society is corrupt but quit the hate please!