Karen Genovese, former owner of Not Just Paper in Fig Garden and former aide to onetime Fresno Mayor Dan Whitehurst, died Sept. 27. She was 58.
Ms. Genovese came to Fresno in 1980 to help with Whitehurst's re-election campaign, where she worked as his personal assistant. She met Whitehurst through her brother, Michael Genovese, who went to school with Whitehurst at St. Mary's College of California in Moraga. She also helped Whitehurst with his campaign in the Democratic primary for the United States Senate in 1981-82.
"To me, as great as she was as a political aide — smart, organized, thorough — she was even better as a friend and was really a part of our family," Whitehurst said Tuesday.
After serving as a political aide for Whitehurst, she worked as a development specialist and director of marketing for the Economic Development Corporation, where she would meet her husband, John Quiring, president of Fresno EDC.
In 1991, Ms. Genovese bought a business in Fig Garden Village called Not Just Paper and co-owned it for 16 years with partner Allyson Adams before the store closed for good in June.
"That's where Karen's heart was," Quiring said of his wife's business of more than two decades. "That was her niche."
Ms. Genovese is survived by her husband, John; their 13-year-old son, Christian; her brother, Michael; her sister, Judy Genovese; and many relatives and friends.
"Karen was warm, caring, loyal, honest — and sassy in a lovable way," Whitehurst said. "She was able to channel all those qualities into her business, which had a whole community of followers in Fresno who are feeling this loss."
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6165 or email@example.com.
Born: June 23, 1955
Died: Sept. 27, 2013
Occupation: Former mayoral aide and local business owner
Survived by: Husband John Quiring and son Christian
Services: 1 p.m. Saturday at Farewell Funeral Services, 660 W. Locust Ave., Pinedale. The family asks that remembrances be sent to Marjaree Mason Center or Community Food Bank.