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Karen Elizabeth Dugan



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It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved Karen Elizabeth Dugan. We ask that you celebrate her life. Karen was the eldest child of Roselyn and the late Edward O’Rourke. She was born in Manhattan, N.Y., on August 15, 1961.

She is survived by her husband of 33 years, Jeff Dugan; daughters, Jessica Florio and Chelsea Dugan; her brother, Edward; sisters Evelyn Whelton, Arlene Ajami, and Jeanne Hinson; her four much adored grandchildren, Gavin, Callie, Charlie, and Blake; and her nieces and nephews, Samantha, Amanda, Tori, Jaime, John, Dylan, and Ella.

During her 25 years of living and working in the Town of Newtown, she made many friends and worked to help the community with her tenure at Newtown Board of Education. Karen was well-known, liked, and respected around town.

Karen was a cheerful, strong, and independent woman who was fiercely loved by family and friends alike. She was a mom’s mom who influenced not only her own daughters, but their childhood friends and those bonds remain until this day. She was the “favorite auntie” to her friend’s children who hold near and dear memories of spending time with her throughout the years.

She spent her time being nona to her grandchildren, staying fit with her spin classes and nature walks, and enjoyed cheering on WTA tennis, football, and UConn basketball.

Some of her most cherished time was spent out in the sun at the beach or poolside with her loved ones. She looked forward to her yearly trip to Coco Beach, Fla., and her family vacation to Half Moon Lake in Barnstead, New Hampshire — we all knew this as her “Happy Place.”

Karen had a distinctive laugh and beautiful smile that was infectious. Her positive outlook translated to all aspects of her life and amazed her family and friends during her two-year-long fight with her illness. She fought with both grace and dignity until her final day, June 23, 2022.

We ask, in lieu of flowers, you donate to the Glioblastoma Foundation, glioblastomafoundation.org, for additional treatments and much needed research of this rare cancer. Karen would have loved to know that others can not only live, but also thrive, after diagnosis.

A service of celebration will be announced at a later time.

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