Karen Burgess

1957 - 2022

HARTWICK – Karen Burgess (née Stefanachi) departed our world on July 19th, 2022, due to complications from heart surgery while surrounded by loved ones. She was 64.

Karen was born October 18th, 1957, in Rockville Centre to Eugene and Barbara Stefanachi. She grew up in Uniondale and attended Uniondale High School where she excelled in art and being that effortlessly cool chick. During a summer visit to Cooperstown, she met Mike Burgess on Main St., who she instantly recognized as ‘that cool guy she had seen around town.’ They married in 1977 and moved to Hartwick in 1983 with their three young daughters.

She started in the nursing profession as a young mom and found a natural talent for care-giving and the art and science of medicine. As a working mom in the 90’s, she valiantly went back to college and furthered her nursing degree. During her nursing career of 40+ years, she received awards and recognitions too numerous to list here. More importantly, she healed countless sick patients with her expert care and soothed hearts with her wisdom and kindness.

She saw beauty everywhere, honored nature, and was a daily inspiration to create art. Whether it be with her painting, jewelry making, or any medium that called to her, she was always making something gorgeous and giving it away to the delight of the lucky recipient. She was also generous with her thoughts and time. She loved to travel and some of her fondest memories were of epic trips with her super-friends, La and Amy. Yet, she always came back to Otsego Lake as one of her favorite meditative places on Earth (and Canadarago as the fun party lake). She found bliss when paddling in her kayak, drinking in an ocean view, or doting on her dogs. 

She loved being an ‘Oma’ to her three grandchildren; she never stopped being the cool chick, while also being a magical mom to yet another generation. While she was a mother figure to many, she was also the quintessential warrior woman, heroically fighting off cancer twice.

Karen was preceded in death by her father Eugene in 2020. She is survived by Mike, her husband of 45 years, her mother Barbara, her sister Debra and brother-in-law Stephen; her nieces and nephews: Stephen, Jackie, Erica, Gene and Joey; her daughters and their spouses: Heather and Justin; Rebecca and John; and Kari and Jeff. And of course, her grandchildren, Noah, Jasiah and Amelia who will continue to honor her legacy by making the world a kinder, more beautiful place, as she did.

Calling hours will be held Sunday July 31st, 2022, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Connell, Dow and Deysenroth, 82 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Susquehanna SPCA or a charity of your choice. A Celebration of Life gathering will be planned for September. 

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.