Karen Dean-Phillips

Obituary of Karen Elizabeth Dean-Phillips

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It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of our beautiful mom, Karen Elizabeth Dean-Phillips. She went to heaven very unexpectedly, on Thursday, April 25, 2024, while sleeping peacefully.

Karen graced the world 67 years ago, in Poughkeepsie, NY, born to Regina (Schiefen) Dean and the late Edward Dean. She is preceded in death by her beloved father, Edward Dean, her cherished brother, Timothy Dean, and dear friend, Cathy “Kwas” Kwasnick.

Left to cherish her memory are her four beloved daughters: Amy and Joe Barron of Horseheads, NY, along with their precious daughters, Elissa, Sophie, and Claire; Melissa and Keith Wood of Boston, MA, and their cherished children, Diana, Declan, and Adelyn; Julie Phillips of Sarasota, FL; Jamie Phillips and John Wright of Elmira, NY, and their dear children, Aniya and John Michael. Karen is also survived by her devoted mother, Regina Dean, and siblings Michael Dean (Carolyn), Debbie Horton (Bruce), Timothy’s surviving wife Christine Dean, Lisa O’Neil (Kevin), and Terry Dean. She leaves behind special nieces Heather Maio and Kathleen Sciolino, who were like daughters to her, as well as Julianne Parasiliti. Her lifelong companions, Rana Bennett, Spanky Smetanka, Marylou Harrington, and Dawn DeRigee held a special place in her heart. Also remembered is the father of her daughters, Dane Phillips, whom she spent 25 years with. In addition, she leaves behind numerous nieces, and nephews whom she adored beyond measure, and her beloved cat, Cali Marie Calico (whom she might have loved, more than her daughters on somedays).

Karen graduated from Southside High School in 1975. She spent her early years enjoying adventures with dear friends before embracing her greatest joy: motherhood. She spent the early years at home, taking care of her girls. When her girls reached school age, she followed them to Riverside Elementary School, and later to Southside High School. Most remember Karen from Mandell’s Restaurant in Elmira, where she was everyone’s favorite waitress. Karen poured her heart into every aspect of her life. Her infectious laugh filled the restaurant on Friday nights, endearing her to all. After her daughters finished school, she embarked on a journey to support her shopping habit, by working for Cornell Cooperative Extension. That career led to Chemung County, at Child Protective Services, and later retiring from Children’s Integrated Services.

Karen's love knew no bounds; she was a beacon of light, bringing joy and comfort to all who crossed her path. Though she may be physically gone, Karen's love and laughter will live in the hearts of all who were touched by her grace. May she find eternal peace, as her laughter is now a gentle melody in the heavens above…

Rest peacefully, mom, your love will forever live in our hearts. You taught us everything in life, except how to live without you…Love forever, your girls.

Family and friends are invited to pay their respects at McInerny Funeral Home, 502 W. Water Street, Elmira, on Friday, May 3, 2024, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Karen’s Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at 11:00 a.m., at St. Mary’s Church, 224 Franklin Street, Elmira.

In lieu of flowers, we kindly ask that you honor Karen's memory by sharing a meal with a loved one or spending precious time with family and friends.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Karen Dean-Phillips, please visit Tribute Store


3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Friday, May 3, 2024
McInerny Funeral Home
502 W Water Street
Elmira, New York, United States

Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Saturday, May 4, 2024
St. Mary's Church
224 Franklin Street
Elmira, New York, United States
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Karen Dean-Phillips

In Loving Memory

Karen Dean-Phillips

1957 - 2024

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