DALLAS - Karen Amanda (Walters) Drysdale, 48, passed from this life into the Church Triumphant on the evening of Sunday, December 8, 2013, shortly after arriving at Gaston Hospice's Robin Johnson House. She fought the good fight against breast cancer to her last breath.
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Born February 28, 1965, in Middletown, NY, to the late George R. and Betty A. Walters, Karen grew up in the Middletown area and achieved early success in music (piano and clarinet), academics, and marksmanship. She graduated with honors from Minisink Valley High School in 1983 and went on to Dickinson College where she graduated in 1987 with a double-B.A. in International Studies and Spanish.
Karen's career ranged from investment and commercial banking, information technology placement, and most recently in the financial software industry as a Senior Executive Account Manager for Informa Investment Solutions, Inc., of White Plains, NY.
Outside work, Karen's passions were opera, "retail therapy," friends and family, sharing in conversation with anyone she met, and much to her surprise last May: fly-fishing! Known for her charisma, innate fashion sense, high-energy, enthusiasm, vibrancy, beautiful smile, sparkling eyes, and expertise in "putting her face on," Karen delighted in teaching women about skin care and glamour. A Mary Kay Cosmetics Skin Care Consultant since 1989, Karen earned numerous prizes and two cars through the company – and helped hundreds of women gain confidence and see the beauty Karen saw in each of them.
A life-long Lutheran, Karen's strong voice sang forth from the pews as she enjoyed participating in worship and in church life with her congregational families of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, White Plains, NY; Faith Lutheran Church, Columbia, SC; St. David Lutheran Church, W. Columbia, SC; and Holy Communion Lutheran Church, Dallas, NC. During her four-year battle with breast cancer, Karen often spoke with others about her spiritual journey through illness and the challenges to her faith along the way; she was an inspiration to others and never failed to encourage others in their own life challenges.
Karen is survived by her husband of 24 years, Rev. David T. Drysdale II of Dallas; sister Erika Walters-Engemann and her husband Kenneth Engemann of New Providence, NJ, and their daughter Amanda Engemann of Charlotte, NC; brother George H. Walters and his wife Rachel and sons Evan and Eric of Pepperell, MA; her parents in-law David and Rev. Jessie Drysdale of Weston, ME; and sister-in-law Beth Drysdale Blue, her husband David, and their sons Douglas and Thomas.
A funeral mass celebrating Karen's life will be held at Holy Communion Lutheran Church in Dallas, NC on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 2:00 p.m., Rev. James Laurence, STS, presiding and Rev. Tommy Lineberger preaching. A second mass will be held at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in White Plains, NY on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 11:00 a.m., Rev. Eric Mathsen, STS, presiding and preaching. Per Karen's wishes: NO SOMBER COLORS! Time for conversation and refreshments will be after the services.
In lieu of flowers, Karen desired our support one or both of the following organizations: Alala
, 3400 Harden St. Ext., Columbia, SC 29203, (803) 569-4373, (alalacancersociety.org) or
, (800) 227-2345, (cancer.org). Alala ("Ah-LAY-la") is a small business that focuses on helping women dealing with cancer post-surgery. They are, in a word, phenomenal. They were often an oasis of hope and laughter for us in dark times and good friends throughout the journey. Their Society helps women who are uninsured or underinsured and need help obtaining post-surgical clothing, prosthetics, lymphedema gear, wigs, etc. The number of women in such need is increasing in light of recent changes to covered services and supplies under health insurance benefits.
Online condolences may be made at carothersfuneralhomedallas.com.
Carothers Funeral Home, Dallas is serving the Drysdale family.
Published in Gaston Gazette from Jan. 6 to Jan. 7, 2014