obituary header
Welcome to the memorial page for

Karen J. Durham

November 1, 1946 ~ November 23, 2017 (age 71)

Age 71, of Mt. Lebanon, originally from Homewood Brushton, then Swisshelm Park and Monroeville; on Thursday, November 23, 2017. Proud mother of Glenn P. Durham; devoted daughter of the late Joseph and Helen (Jesse) Schweibinz; sister of James, Joann and Norma Schweibinz; loving grandmother of Eliana and Leila.  Karen was a gem of a Pittsburgher, graduating from Saint Anselm High School in 1964, acquiring her Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Duquesne University, then earning her Masters in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. She married Paul Durham in 1970 and they remained good friends for the rest of her life.  Karen helped people, starting her career at Children and Youth Services where she  was known to bring kids who needed support to her family’s house for dinner.  Karen traveled all over Pittsburgh helping people recover from hospital stays.  She volunteered at countless organizations and historical societies around the city; was a member of the Carnegie museum, The Frick, the East End Food Coop, OSHER at CMU, The German Club, the JCC and more.  Karen was an avid movie goer - critic and she frequently won prizes for guessing every single winner of the Academy Awards. She wrote, produced, and performed a one woman May West themed show for senior centers and nursing homes all over Pittsburgh for several years.  She sang with The Harmony Singers of Pittsburgh, had several starring and supporting roles in theatre performances all over the city.  She filmed several scenes for movies with local filmmakers. She played ‘Kay’ on the television show “His Place” that ran on local TV station CTV for several years.  She was an athlete in her own right and won her age bracket several times when she competed in Pittsburgh’s Great Race for many years in a row.  She was an avid runner for most of her life. Karen cared deeply about Holistic Medicine and Health, and she spread her vast knowledge on this topic to everyone and anyone who would listen. Karen never missed an opportunity to send a friend, acquaintance, or family member a letter, package, or postcard in the mail with an inspirational note inside, or a news article, or a congratulations. She was inspired by all types of music and she had an extensive collection of musical performances ranging from Metallica to the Pittsburgh Symphony with some Bluegrass, Jazz and her own son’s rock band thrown in between.  She was a supporter and volunteer at WYEP radio station. Karen loved to read,  she usually had 5 books going at the same time, taking detailed notes on each, and often informing us what she learned. Karen traveled to Japan, Hong Kong, Paris, Toronto, and many other wonderful stateside adventures. A Memorial Service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon, on Saturday December 30, 2017 at 11 am. A Life Celebration will follow at 2:30pm in the Teutonia Mannerchor German Club, 857 Phineas Street on the North Side.  If you are interested in attending the celebration, please contact Glenn Durham at 412 583 2119.

Laughlin Cremation & Funeral Tributes

 Service Information

A service summary is not available

© 2018 Laughlin Memorial Chapel, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS