Karen Jay Stewart


Karen Jay Stewart was a loving mother, grandmother, teacher, friend, and wife.  Karen and her husband shared a deep love of Vermont, its four seasons and the unique character of its small towns.  She passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, May 18, at age 70.

Karen was the first daughter of Roger and Kathryn Greenslet, born in Burlington, Vermont on March 24, 1951.  Upon graduation from Manchester High School in 1969 she became reacquainted with William Stewart (they had attended elementary school together) waiting tables at Seven Central, a local restaurant.  Together they moved to Vermont, married, and raised two children together: Stephen and Andrew.

With a passion for learning and a desire to teach, Karen went back to university later in life, graduating from University of Vermont in 1993 with a B.A. in English Literature.  She continued to learn, ultimately earning her M.A. in English and Communication Science and Disorder with a teaching credential.  She would go on to teach literature and composition at Beliot College and Bentley University, finishing her teaching career at Norwich University as a professor in the English and Communications department.  She was a favorite of the students at Norwich where she was loved for her ability to make classics of literature accessible, and for her down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach to teaching.

She loved music, reading, and going to the movies.  She played the piano, traveled to see her family in California, Arizona, and Massachusetts and actively followed Boston sports teams, especially the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox.  She had a real ability to connect with young people.  Her grandchildren especially got to see her playful side as she would create elaborate treasure hunts, engage in imaginative play for hours, and bake her signature ginger cookies.

Karen is survived by her sister Beth Greenslet (and daughter Jen) and her two sons, Andrew (and children Dylan, Jonathan, and Lily) and Stephen (and children Miranda, Arden, and Dashiell). An informal memorial gathering will be held on Sunday July 11 at Long Trail Brewery Bridgewater, VT at 1 pm.  In lieu of flowers please send donations to The Thompson Senior Center 99 Senior Lane Woodstock, VT 05091.