June 13, 1963 — Jan. 8, 2020
TRUMBULL, Conn. — Karen J. Backus, 56, of Trumbull, Connecticut and longtime resident of Westport, Connecticut, passed away at her home on Jan. 8, 2020.
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Karen was born in Stamford, Connecticut on June 13, 1963 and was the daughter of David and Sophie (Uzar) Bender. She graduated from Hadley-Luzerne High School in Lake Luzerne, New York and then went on to receive her bachelor’s degree from Cortland State College. Karen worked for the YMCA for many years. She spent 30 years as a YMCA profession director, starting as an aquatic director at the Wilton Family YMCA in 1987 and was the former executive director of the Fairfield YMCA. She spent eight years as the girls youth basketball coach for the Westport Recreation Department. Karen was an avid competitive softball player as a member of the Slate Rock softball team winning 10 Town of Westport Coed Championships and two ASA Connecticut State Championships.
Survivors include one son, John Edward Backus III “Tripp” of Westport, Connecticut; one daughter, Jillian Backus of Westport, Connecticut; her mother, Sophie Bender; one brother, David Bender of Guilford, Connecticut; one sister, Toni Riola (Ralph) of Silverdale, Washington; and two nieces, Gabrielle Riola of Washington and Michaela Russell of Branford, Connecticut; and one nephew, Noah Bender of Ansonia, Connecticut. She was predeceased by her father, David W. Bender; and one brother, Keith M. Bender.
Friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian burial at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, meeting directly at Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave., Westport. Interment will be private. The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East, Westport, Connecticut. Condolences for the family may be left on line at www.hardingfuneral.com.