Published On: Thu, Nov 21st, 2019

Obituary Keren Newman

BURLINGTON, VT – Karen L. (Stetson) Newman, 58, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday morning, November 13, 2019 after an epic 11-year battle with breast cancer.  


Karen was born in Denver, Colorado on April 12, 1961 to Jack and Roberta (Baker) Stetson.  She graduated from Jamesville-DeWitt High School in Syracuse, NY, where she lettered in track and field and was a member of the National Honor Society.  She went on to the University of Vermont, earning a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics, and achieved her master’s degree and RD at Rush University, ultimately serving as President of the Vermont Association of Nutrition and Dietetics (VAND), a proud capstone of her professional career. Her favorite place in the world was the family cabin on Lake Champlain in Charlotte, VT where she enjoyed many spectacular sunsets.


A gifted athlete, Karen excelled at all sports, but speed and endurance sports were her favorite.  She won a silver medal for the Masters Age Group at 2012’s Triathlon World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, and was the top American finisher.  In 2013, Karen won 4 gold medals for the USA, breaking the Huntsman Senior Games National record in a time of 1 hour eleven minutes (1:11), a symbol of the Holy Trinity to Karen.  Despite her diagnosis of stage-4 metastatic breast cancer, in November of 2018 she achieved a life-long goal of winning the national Age Group Aquathlon championships. 


A lover of Christ, Karen found Lord in the pits of despair, sharing a courageous story told through her book, Just Three Words, and in inspirational speeches, sermons, blogs and TV appearances (including NBC’s Today show and ABC’s Good Morning America).  


Karen leaves behind her husband of 29 years, Peter L Newman of South Burlington; her three beloved sons Stetson, Chase and Trent; her loving parents Roberta and Dr. John Stetson of Boca Raton, FL and Charlotte, VT; her ever-blessed brothers – David Stetson and his wife Samantha of Newtown Square, PA, and Dr. Steven Stetson and his wife Lisa of Williston, VT; her brother-in-law Bruce Newman and his wife Suki, of Birmingham, AL; and many beloved nephews, nieces, cousins, friends, fellow athletes and lovers of Christ.


Cremation to be performed by the Cremation Society of Chittenden County. Condolences and memories can be posted to their website, under Obituaries. Karen’s life will be celebrated on Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 10 am, at The Old Lantern in Charlotte, VT. The service will be available on live-stream for those unable to attend. Additional details will be posted at


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:

Healing Winds: either electronically at or by check to Healing Winds Vermont, 240 Battery St, Burlington, VT 05401; or 

The Cancer Patient Support Foundation at


Karen’s family knows its grief will soon be replaced with a deep and abiding gratitude for this amazing woman whose faith and love showed us all what it means be a good Christian.  Karen is now free to soar in heaven with her Lord and savior, as is promised to all in John 3:16.


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