Karen Lee Sotherland

Albany - Karen Lee Sotherland, of Albany, NY, was born January 6, 1950 to Donald W. and Marjorie J. Sotherland (nee Pannier) and passed on June 24, 2022 at the age of 72 after a long struggle with Multiple Sclerosis.

She was born in Salem, OH and spent her younger years in Columbus, OH.  Her family moved to New Salem, NY when she was in eighth grade and she graduated from Voorheesville High School in 1968.  She is survived by her daughter, Heidi Hiemstra, and her grandson, Ian Pinkerton, of Frankfort, KY; her sister, Jan Trautwein (Richard) of Venice, FL; her niece Katie Bloomer (Matthew) and her nephew, Sam Trautwein (Taqiyya).

During her time at Voorheesville High, she and her dear friend, Sharon Johnson, founded the Dionysians, a drama club that is still active to this day.  She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from SUNY Binghamton and studied Political Science at the doctoral level at SUNY Albany.  She worked as a policy analyst for the NYS Assembly Program and Committee Staff for several years.  She also worked at Hartley House in NYC, a non-profit organization which provides services to the Hell’s Kitchen community.  She was a true life-long learner.  

She loved her shelter cats and gardening.  She enjoyed visiting art museums and was an avid reader, amassing an extensive library covering a wide range of subjects.  She was a passionate observer of politics and contributed to many social causes.  Her big smile will be missed by those who knew her.

A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, July 9, 2022 at the Reilly and Son Funeral Home, Voorheesville.   Calling hours will begin at 3:30.  In lieu of flowers a donation can be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or Whiskers Animal Benevolent League.