Floral 12

Judith (Anderson) Karam

April 13, 1947 ~ November 6, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old

Judith Karam Obituary

Our family announces, sadly and with a broken heart, the death of our beloved Judith Lynn Karam (nee Anderson) - Judy, Mom, Halimeh, Teta - on the morning of November 6, 2023, after a long struggle with Alzheimer's Disease.
She is survived by her husband, Ghassan (Gus) Karam, her three children, Kristopher, Michelle, and Nicole, and her three grandchildren, Grace, Oliver, and Meta.
She is preceded in death by her parents, John and Madeline Anderson, her sister, Janice Usher, and her brother, Norman Anderson.
Judy was born and raised in Minnesota, and graduated from Anoka High School in 1965. Her love of learning about other cultures led her to join the Peace Corps in 1966, at age 19, where she served in Micronesia until 1968. After returning briefly to the United States, she then worked with the US State Department in Laos until 1972.
In the midst of these adventures, she met a young Lebanese immigrant at a bus stop in Dallas, Texas, in the summer of 1969. She and Gus would get married two years after that serendipitous moment, on New Year's Eve in 1971, and their marriage lasted until her death 52 years later.
Gus and Judy spent most of the 1970s living in New York City and Dallas, Texas, raising their young children and making memories with lifelong friends. By the early 1980s, they were back in the New York area, and Judy joined the United Nations as a secretary to American Under-Secretary-General William Buffum. Her boss and friend at around this time, Giandomenico Picco, wrote a succinct and fascinating summary of the subsequent trajectory of her career in his 1999 book, Man Without a Gun: "When she took the UN examinations for a promotion from General Service to Professional Level, she placed first, but at the time there was no opening for her in our office. She went on to serve a brief stint in the Protocol Department before joining our office as my assistant. Judith was the first American woman to be received by President Rafsanjani during the war as a member of the UN team, and after I left the United Nations in 1992, she became the UN desk officer for Iraq and Yemen and was the first woman to lead a UN mission, to the border of Iraq and Kuwait after Desert Storm." Judy's work at the UN was always exciting and involved lots of international travel, and this work was deeply important to her. She would remain at the United Nations in increasingly high-level positions, until her retirement in 2007.
At home, Judy valued time spent with her family, spending many of her weekend days doing activities with her children- reading books, cooking and baking, listening to loud music, and instilling in them a love of The New York Times crossword puzzle, NPR, and old movies. As teenagers, she encouraged their independence and countercultural attitudes with warmth and understanding, which they acknowledge now as a rare and special gift they received during those formative years.
Services will be held for the immediate family only on November 8, 2023, at Ballard-Durand Funeral Home in White Plains, New York. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to either the Alzheimer's Association (alz.org) or the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (ifrc.org).

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Memorial Visitation
November 8, 2023

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM


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