CHARLESTOWN, N.H. – Karen Ann McCormick-Putnam, 60, passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her family and friends Monday, June 25, 2018 after a brief illness. Karen was born in Bellows Falls, Vt., Sept. 25, 1957 to the late Robert H. and Jeanne E. McCormick. She graduated in 1975 from Fall Mountain Regional High School, where she was a member of the 1973 State Champion basketball team. Karen worked at The Shopper in Bellows Falls, The Prompt Image in Brattleboro, The Message in Londonderry, and Lentex in North Walpole. Most recently, she was the bookkeeper for Putnam Farms in Charlestown, N.H., where she lived with her husband Morris “Rocky” Putnam, her two dogs Cooper and Bina, and her horse Ted.
Karen was an avid bowler for many years from her youth to adulthood. Her professional career spanned from 1988 to 2004. During those years, she appeared on television, won many tournaments, state titles, and bowler of the year awards, as well as holding many house records. She met some lifelong friends throughout her bowling career. On May 25, 2018, Karen was inducted into the International Candlepin Bowling Association’s Hall of Fame for the class of 2018.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was a passion for Karen. She was named Vermont State Elk of the Year twice, in 2007 and 2016, and has held various positions of office at the state and local level. Again, making lifelong friendships along the way. Her Elks family held a special part of her heart. Most recently, she was the state treasurer. She was a part of many committees such as Americanism chairman. Also, she participated in many Elks National Foundation Grant committees such as Winterize Kids Program and worked diligently to get a new pool for the Silver Towers Camp in Ripton, Vt., a camp for mentally and physically challenged people, the chief charitable project for the Elks. The 36-by-36-foot pool will be named in her honor as they break ground in the fall.
Karen’s fondest memories were those of her childhood in North Walpole. She always said she had the best upbringing. She learned the difference between right and wrong – and had to be reminded of that on a few occasions – she learned to respect her elders, it was always “Mr. or Mrs.,” plus she had grown up and played backyard games with some of the best athletes in the area.
Karen and the neighborhood “kids” were constantly playing some sort of game…. whiffle ball, PG, and basketball down at the courts. They were always doing something whether right or “sometimes” wrong. Whatever the circumstance, it made her and everyone else the people they are today.
Karen also loved working on the Bellows Falls Alumni float each year. In 1978, she became Honorary Member of the Class of 1973. Her first year was the “Flintstones”…paper mâché and painting all the heads of the characters at Pickles and Sue Stacks’ house. Her last float being the Big Grey Elephant, created in honor of ceasing use of elephants in the circuses, appropriately named “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
In the 17 years with her husband Rocky, they travelled to Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Ireland, and the Caribbean. They made many acquaintances along the way. Karen helped out on the farm, not only keeping the books, but also doing field work as well. When short handed, she would either harrow fields, getting ready for planting, or rake hay, which she really enjoyed. Another memory of hers was the “excursion” she took with Rocky, canoeing from the Canadian border to the Springfield boat landing, which, after putting several holes in the canoe, took six days to complete.
Karen was predeceased by her parents Robert H. and Jeanne E. (Porter) McCormick. She is survived by her husband of 17 years, Morris O. (Rocky) Putnam Jr. of Charlestown, N.H.; her son Ethan Langdon of Wilder, Vt.; brother Gary and his wife Faye McCormick of North Walpole, N.H.; sister Pam and her husband Andy Patnode of Charlestown, N.H.; nieces Karli and Hannah McCormick; nephews Robert McCormick, Ryan Patnode, and Justin Patnode; plus her Aunt Marcia; and many cousins from Vermont to California.
Per Karen’s wish there are no calling hours. A mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 7, at St. Peter’s Parish in North Walpole, N.H. A reception will follow at Trapshire, 1434 Bellows Falls Road, Charlestown, NH 03603. A private burial will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Silver Towers Camp Pool Fund. Please mail checks to Silver Towers Camp Pool Fund, C/O Brian Gaura Secretary, Vermont Elks Assoc., 241 Lincoln Ave. Rutland, VT 05701.