Rodman, Karen Baxter Long time Dallas resident Karen Baxter Rodman was born on 23 July 1956 in Houston, Texas to Robert Curtis Ellis and Lydia Norma Ellis. She was married and had one daughter Emily Elizabeth Baxter. Being her mother was the greatest joy of her life. She passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on October 1, 2012. Karen grew up in Houston, Texas where she became a member of the Episcopal Church at a young age. Her Christian faith was the foundation and the formation of her life work and career. In her youth at St. Francis Church she would tutor inner city children from the 5th Ward. It was her first exposure to the great need of the poor and it profoundly affected her life work. She studied Biology at The University of Texas and was able to attend Stanford University as a Fellow in the GSB for Nonprofit Executives. She also studied Montessori Education in Bergamo, Italy. She worked in the field of philanthropy for over 30 years beginning as the first Development Director of East Dallas Community School then as the Executive Director of the Redman Family Foundation and The Dallas Foundation as Associate Director where she co-founded and served as the Executive Director of Dallas Social Venture Partners. She ended her career as the CEO of the International Psoriasis Council, which she considered a great honor to work with an amazing group of physicians dedicated to advancing psoriasis research, treatment and education and her staff which considered the best of her career. She was also an active community volunteer serving as a Board Member for The Shelton School, Children of Uganda, Dallas Children's Theater, Gilda's Club of North Texas and Bridge Breast Center. Karen had a great love of the visual arts and hiking and skiing the mountains of Northern New Mexico where she lived in Santa Fe for several years. However, Africa was the greatest passion of her later life. She went many times as a Board Member of Children of Uganda and also as a consultant with Uganda Christian University. She was planning to serve the Batwa Pygmies in far western Uganda as a Community Health Worker the summer of 2012 before she was diagnosed with cancer earlier that year. The extreme poverty and suffering was something she could never forget and she wanted to spend her later years serving as she could. She was a dedicated Sunday school teacher at Saint Michael and All Angels and Church of the Holy Faith in Santa Fe. She was also a Children's Leader at Bible Study Fellowship. Karen most recently joined All Saints Dallas an Anglican fellowship of the Scriptures, the Spirit, and the Sacraments. Karen was preceded in death by her father Robert Curtis Ellis. She is survived by her immediate family, daughter Emily Elizabeth Baxter, her mother Lydia Ellis, her brother and sister in law Richard and Debbie Ellis of Fredericksburg, Texas; her sister and brother in law Cindy and Tim Roach of Devon, Pennsylvania and her precious nephews Garrett Charles and Justin Lee Roach. The memorial service will be held at All Saints Dallas, 2733 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, TX 75219, ph 972-755-3505, on October 5, 2012 at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate that memorials be directed to Children of Uganda, P.O. Box 659 Charles Town, WV 25414; The Kellerman Foundation-Providing Hope & Health in Uganda, P. O. Box 832809 Richardson, TX 75083; or International Psoriasis Council/Genetics Research, 1034 S. Brentwood, Suite 600, St. Louis, MO 63117.
Published in Dallas Morning News on Oct. 3, 2012.