Karen Donnelly

Obituary of Karen A. Donnelly

Karen A. Hurst Donnelly of the Harrietstown Road, Saranac Lake, passed into the hands of the Lord, surrounded by her family on Thursday, February 5, 2009 following a courageous eighteen-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Karen was born in Troy New York, the daughter of Richard S. and Ann M (Barneville) Hurst. She graduated from St. Mary's Elementary School in Waterford, NY and in 1962, graduated from Catholic High School in Troy, NY. She was employed by AT&T in White Plains, New York and Montgomery Ward's in Menands, New York for several years. On September 19, 1964, she married H. Peter Donnelly at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Waterford. Following a year's stay in Saranac Lake, she moved to Syracuse while Peter was working in that area. In 1968, she returned to Saranac Lake with her family and has made her home on the Harrietstown Road for the past 40 years. Karen was a stay-at-home mom until her daughter entered school. It was Karen's love for music that inspired her daughter Kathy to pursue a career in music. Karen never missed one of her daughter's concerts, nor did she ever miss Kathy's students' concerts once Kathy became a Music Teacher. Karen always had encouraging words for Kathy's students before and after concerts. Karen always loved working with children and volunteered at St. Bernard's as a classroom aide, and started volunteering at the Saranac Lake Day Care Center when it opened. She took a part time position at the center during its second season of operation and later became the center's director. She took pride in the fact that the center was the first state-licensed day care in the area. She later retired from this position and has enjoyed being an indispensable part of her grandson's life as well as being active in the family business, Crystal Spring Dairy/Donnelly's Ice Cream, until her death. Karen was a communicant of St. Bernard's Parish where, in addition to volunteering at St. Bernard's School, she taught CCD Religious Education classes, and served on the CCD Board and as Board President. She was a CYO adult leader in St Bernard's Parish, at the Guggenheim Center, and at St. John's in the Wilderness Church in Lake Clear. She was an early member of the Parish's Christian Family Movement group, and was chairperson of her parish Art and Environment committee. Karen also enjoyed her work as a volunteer for the Ecumenical Soup Kitchen at St. Luke's Church. She was a member of the AMC Hospital Auxiliary, and served as the Auxiliary Board President and as co-chairperson of the Holiday House Bazaar. She also served for several years as Chairperson of the Adirondack Antiques Show and Sale, one of Auxiliary's annual major fundraising events, and played an integral role in the design of AMC's Meditation Room at the time of the recent hospital expansion. Karen was dedicated volunteer for both the AMC Auxiliary at the hospital front desk, and at High Peaks Hospice. She continued her work in both organizations even during her illness. Karen has always gone out of her way to help others and remained active in her community volunteer activities until just recently. Karen's desire to help her community did not stop when her husband and she wintered in Florida over the past nine years. She was an active volunteer for the Daytona Beach Shores Chamber of Commerce, serving as a volunteer at the chamber's Daytona International Speedway food concession, and co-chairing the chamber's annual Easter Egg Hunt. For the past several years she help to organize an Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday for all the children who were visiting family members living in her Peck Plaza Condominium Complex. Her ecumenical spirit traveled with her as she volunteered at the United Community Methodist Church Food Concession during Bike Week to help raise money for the church. Karen loved walking with her friends, spending time with her grandson (traveling to watch him compete in area horse shows), cross country skiing, golfing, traveling, and crocheting. She was also an avid reader. Karen is survived by her husband of 44 years, one daughter and son-in-law, David and Kathleen Kokes of Mooers, NY, and one grandson, Christopher Kokes, also of Mooers. She is also survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Joyce Hurst of Waterford, and her sister and brother in law Anthony and Suzanne Smith also of Waterford. He is also survived by her maternal aunt, Mrs. Joseph (Rita) Dunn of Rensselaer, NY and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents. Funeral arrangements are being cared for by the Fortune-Keough Funeral home. Calling hours will be held on Sunday February 8th from 2 to 4 and from 7 to 9 with a Bible vigil at 3:45 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Bernard's in Saranac Lake at 12:00 PM on Monday February 9, 2009. Internment will follow at St. John's in the Wilderness Cemetery in Lake Clear. Friends wishing to make contributions in Karen's memory are asked to contribute to St. Bernard's School or High Peaks Hospice. Friends and family may also share their memories and sign the online guest book at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.
To plant a tree in memory of Karen Donnelly, please visit Tribute Store

Service Information

When Monday, February 9th, 2009 12:00pm Location St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church Address 27 St. Bernard Street Saranac Lake, NY 12983
Share Your Memory of