A doting mother. A dedicated worker. A trustworthy friend.
That's how co-workers of Karolyn Encarnacion, the Bay Shore woman who police say was fatally shot by her ex-boyfriend, remembered her Friday, two days after her death.
According to employees at the Islip Town Hall clerk's office where she worked for more than five years, Encarnacion, 42, was a hardworking mother who did everything in her power to provide for her daughters, 14 and 12.
"Karolyn's life revolved around her children," said co-worker Roseann Lyons. "She'll never rest easy because she'll be worrying about the girls."
Those girls are daughters who Encarnacion put in dance classes, whose soccer games she attended and whom she ran endless errands for, co-workers said.
Encarnacion's life came to a tragic end a little before midnight Wednesday when James Snead, 43, fatally shot her and himself as Encarnacion's children and three of their friends were in the next room, Suffolk police said. Minutes after the shooting at Encarnacion's home at the Fairfield Eastbrook Gardens in Bay Shore, the girls, who discovered her body, pounded on a neighbor's door to say their mother had been shot, a neighbor said Friday.
"It's just an absolute shock," Lyons said.
While working for the Town of Islip, Encarnacion, a neighborhood aide and marriage officer, performed hundreds of marriages, processed fingerprints and kept records of the board of appeals' minutes, co-workers said.
Patricia Curci, Islip Town deputy clerk, also worked with Encarnacion. "No matter what, she always had a smile on her face," she said. "She was always nice to our constituents."
Co-workers said they felt comfortable confiding in Encarnacion because she would give good advice and be discreet.
Curci said Encarnacion had a special touch with people. Six months ago, Curci said, Encarnacion began taking pictures of couples during wedding ceremonies and mailing the photos to the newlyweds. The town followed her lead and three months ago decided every ceremony should be photographed and gave the photos as a gift.
Encarnacion loved taking care of her girls, Curci said. Encarnacion kept photos of them at her desk, handed out their school photos every year to co-workers and kept handmade flowers her girls made at her desk. To earn extra money, Encarnacion also sold handmade soap, jewelry and crocheted items.
"She's definitely a model for single parents," said Lorraine Fitzpatrick, who also worked with Encarnacion.
The day she died, co-workers said Snead called her more than five times at work. He sent her flowers every other day, but the two broke up three weeks before the shooting, Curci said.
Encarnacion's co-workers are raising money for her daughters. Donations can be made by contacting the Islip Town Hall.
Encarnacion leaves behind her daughters, her mother, Maria Encarnacion, and her sisters, Mikki and Zari.
Memorial services will be held Saturday at the Overton Funeral Home, 172 Main St., Islip, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.