Karen Adele (Tefft) Stevens, 77, resident of Scotland, Connecticut, passed on September 25th, 2021. Karen was born on December 13, 1943 in Stamford, Connecticut to Guy and Svea Tefft. Karen was a beloved daughter, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, and friend. Karen was the eldest of 5 siblings and graduated from Staples High School and the University of Connecticut. She married and divorced young, and prided herself on raising her daughter Caitlin as a single parent.
Karen worked in several libraries and served as a trustee on her local library board. She lectured locally on aspects of vanishing Americana, and had a special interest in the local histories, legends, and tales associated with Connecticut libraries.
She notably served as the Librarian at Abington Social Library in Putnam, Connecticut. The library, founded in 1793, is the oldest continuously operating library in the United States. At the time she began her role there, the library had no indoor plumbing. Part of her job was liming the latrine, which sparked a lifelong interest in the history of outhouses. Her outhouse lectures were painstakingly researched and were presented complete with historical and humorous artifacts, and ribald anecdotes.
Karen was a true storyteller who enjoyed spinning a yarn. Many of her stories grew out of her research on historical figures including General Israel Putnam, library founder Rev. Walter Lyon, Prudence Crandall who opened a school for African-American girls in 1893, and Sarah Williams who was the school’s first African American student). She helped to organize a play about Prudence and Sarah that told the story of how the school opened and was then closed by white mob violence. She also championed The Legend of the Israel Putnam Wolf Den.
Karen is survived by her daughters, Robin Stevens (Max Micozzi) and Caitlin Galimidi (Brett Galimidi), her grandchild, Dara Galimidi, and her siblings, Sue Jensen, Nancy Bridges, and John Tefft. Karen is preceded in death by her parents, Guy Tefft and Svea Tefft, and her sister, Theora Kirchoff. Her daughters credit her with their love of literature and expansive vocabularies.
A public memorial service for Karen will be held on Saturday October 9, 2021 from 1-4pm at The James Goodwin State Forest Community Pavilion, 23 Potter Road, Hampton, CT 06247. Prepared remarks will begin at 2pm followed by informal sharing of memories and music. This celebration will be outdoors. Karen’s daughters request that all attendees practice social distancing and caution to prevent transmission of the COVID virus. Please bring and wear your masks, particularly if not vaccinated.
The family does not wish to accept flowers, however those who wish to may make a donation to The Friends of Goodwin Forest ( www.friendsofgoodwinforest.org) or Connecticut Hospice (https://www.hospice.com).