Karen L. S. Dutkowsky, DM

1956 - 2016

COOPERSTOWN - Karen Lynn Sluder Dutkowsky, 59, of Cooperstown, passed away Saturday, March 5, 2016, at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

Born June 26, 1956, in Ardmore, Oklahoma, Karen was the daughter of Lawrence ("Lefty") and Mary (née Fisher) Sluder.

A devout believer in our Lord Jesus Christ, Karen began practicing her faith as a young child in the pentecostal Protestant tradition. Her faith journey took a turn leading to her reception into the Roman Catholic Church during the celebration of Easter in the Jubilee Year 2000. Karen retained an evangelical zeal to share the Love of Christ and the Truth of the Church in a gentle way.

In November of 2009, Karen was invested as a Dame of Malta in the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta. With her husband Joseph, she hosted malades during the 2013 and 2015 Order of Malta Pilgrimages to Lourdes, France. She founded and twice co-chaired with her husband the Order of Malta Pilgrimage for Life. This Pilgrimage includes assisting people with disabilities during the Vigil Mass for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in addition to participation in the March for Life in Washington, DC.

Devoted to her faith, she organized and, for over twenty years, led Sisters in Christ, an ecumenical women's Bible study and fellowship. Karen served as a Eucharistic Minister at the Columbia University Medical Center through the Chaplaincy Office. A member of the Board of Directors of Holy Cross Family Ministries, she provided hundreds of Rosaries for patients and families at Columbia University Medical Center.

True to her humble and quiet nature, not many people knew that she was a teacher of the blind and visually impaired. She served local children through BOCES and was recognized in the field of disabilities as international expert, conducting academic workshops in the United States, Canada, and Peru.

In her leisure, Karen enjoyed assisting her husband in teaching junior ballroom dance for Cooperstown seventh and eighth graders. After twelve years, the Dutkowskys stepped down as dance instructors at the 2013 Cotillion.

A woman of humble character who possessed a great faith and love for the Lord, she will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Karen is survived by her husband of 36 years, Joseph P. Dutkowsky, MD, KM, of Cooperstown; three daughters, Kendra Zaborowski and her husband Stephen of Shawnee, Oklahoma, Allison Lipari and her husband Austin of Hyattsville, Maryland, and Christen Dutkowski of Washington, DC; four grandchildren, Joseph, Anne Rose, and Augustine Lipari, and Francis Zaborowski (expected in June); her parents, Lefty and Mary Sluder of Exeter, New Hampshire; and her brother Kevin Sluder and his wife Stephanie and their daughters, Rachael and Emily of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Friends may call and pay their respects at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown from 4 - 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10, 2016, when the family will be in attendance. An honor guard representing the Knights and Dames of Malta will be present during the visitation.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Friday, March 11, 2016, at The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, corner of Madison Avenue and Eagle Street at the Empire State Plaza, Albany. The Most Reverend Edward B. Scharfenberger, D.D., Bishop of Albany, will be the Celebrant. Parking is available in the Cathedral Museum lot behind the Cathedral and in the Madison Avenue lot above the Cultural Education Center.

As an alternative to flowers, Karen's family would appreciate donations in her memory to Holy Cross Family Ministries, 518 Washington Street, North Easton, MA 02536-1200, or the Sisters of Life, 38 Montebello Road, Suffern, NY 10901.

Karen took great consolation and strength in The Lord and patterned her life on the following: "Oh God of wisdom and of love, you have made us as fragile as the flowers in the field, yet you have made us strong in the hope of life everlasting. Teach us to see this day as gift enough, that we may live it for your glory and render it back to you in praise when evening falls. Through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, Amen."    Magnificat, Morning Prayer

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.