DEXTER — Karen Ann White (Hartford), born Oct. 11, 1945, passed away peacefully at her camp on Lake Wassookeag in Dexter on Wednesday, May 24, surrounded by family.

Karen attended Dexter schools, graduating in 1963. After marrying in 1965, she stayed at home and raised her children, enjoyed gardening, reading, sewing, all types of crafts, baking and putting on family meals.

Family was always important to Karen; the children and grandchildren all held a place in her heart. The days she spent at the beach, Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, camping overnights or over weeks were some of her fondest memories. She looked forward to family gatherings, especially at the camp where there was room for many to gather at once. She graduated from USM in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in education. The first job was as a reading assistant in Durham. A library position opened up in Durham and she was hired as librarian. In 1997, she earned her master’s degree in library science from the University of South Carolina. Durham Elementary School employed her as the school librarian until she retired, in 2008. Retirement found her volunteering in the library at school and substituting in classrooms, especially at the middle school.

Believing that every person should share their talents, she was a Girl Scout leader for 10 years, served on the Conservation Commission, started a Friends of Durham Library group, volunteered at the Durham School, served on the Building Committee for the new school finished in 2010, and was a member of Saint Jude’s Parish in Freeport. She was also an active member of the Dexter Lakes Association, and of the Maine Student Book Award committee.

There was a quote that she always loved: “ In 100 years, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I had or what kind of clothes I wore, but it will matter that I was important in the life of a child.”

She is survived by her husband of nearly 52 years, Norman E. White; son, Christopher White of Old Town; daughter, Nadine White Holden of Durham, grandchildren, Scott Christopher & Nicholas Leslie White and Lianna Faith Holden; sisters, Mary Ellen Hill and Patricia Jean Brawn; brothers, Richard Hartford, Dale Hartford and wife, Cheryl, and Thomas Hartford and wife, Robin; five nieces and nephews, and 12 great-nieces and -nephews.

She is predeceased by her mother, Francis Mary (Harrington) Hartford; and her father, Chester Hartford.

Condolences may be accessed online at

Karen A. White

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