Karen Monaghan

Obituary of Karen C Monaghan

Karen C. Monaghan (85) of Vestal, NY, neé Kennedy, passed away peacefully on December 4, 2023 after a brief illness with her family by her side. Born on November 23, 1938 to Harold and Olga (Mikridge) Kennedy in Carbondale, PA, Karen grew up in Scranton and Jermyn, PA. After graduating Jermyn high school (1956), she matriculated at Keystone Junior College and then Marywood College, graduating with a B.A. in 1960. She was the valedictorian of both her high school and college classes. After college, Karen taught at Vestal High School for 5 years. There, she met her husband, James J. Monaghan (Jim), whom she married in 1962. Jim and Karen made Vestal their home where they raised their 2 children. In the mid 1970s, Karen took a position at the American Civic Association in Binghamton where she oversaw the local re-settlement of Vietnamese and Laotian refugees from the Vietnam War. Apart from her roles as wife, mother and grandmother, she considered her work with the Broome County Vietnamese and Laotian communities to be her most important and fulfilling accomplishment. Later, she joined ACCORD, a non-profit community dispute resolution center, as the executive director. She was instrumental in growing the organization. Karen deeply loved her hometown of Jermyn, PA where she still owned the family home built by her grandfather in 1906. She was a founding member of the Jermyn Historical Society. She is survived by her children, James P. Monaghan (Jennifer Purcell) of Summit, NJ and Anne Elizabeth (Betsy) Monaghan Kocik (DJ King) of Apalachin, NY, her grandson, Collin Kocik of Vestal, NY as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. She is pre-deceased by her husband, James J. Monaghan, her sister, Elizabeth Kennedy Memmott, and brother, John Kennedy. Karen's family would like to thank Lourdes Hospital and UHS for their wonderful kindness and care. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Jermyn Historical Society in Karen's name. The viewing and memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 30 at Coleman & Daniel's Funeral Home on Main Street, Vestal, NY from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. Burial to follow on Saturday, January 6 at the Jermyn Cemetery in Jermyn, PA.
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