Karen Marie Ludwig Dufour

March  19th, 1954 April  13th, 2024
Riverside, CA
Karen Marie Ludwig Dufour

Those who touch our lives, stay in our hearts forever.


Karen Marie (Ludwig) Dufour passed away peacefully on April 13, 2024 after a stroke brought closure to her journey with Alzheimer's and dementia. Throughout Karen's 70 years, she was known for her overflowing kindness, grace, artistic talent,  her love of family and friends, and most of all her love for the Lord.

Born in Hollywood, California, Karen spent her early years in Anaheim living with her mother Maxine, father Ken and her brother and sister Craig and Linda. She began drawing and painting at an early age, a talent acquired from her father, and she was part of the drill team at Villa Park High School.

When Karen was 18, she met and married her first husband and soon after in 1973, her first daughter Shannon was born. Karen's marriage ended, but God had other plans for her. While out square dancing with her sister in November of 1974, Karen met Michael Dufour and the two were enamored with one another. Married on December 24th, just 6 weeks after meeting, Karen and Michael maintained a long-lasting marriage of almost 44 years up until Michael's passing in 2018. In 1977, Karen welcomed her second daughter, Alicia. Karen and Michael together raised their two daughters while building a home filled with both challenges and blessings, teaching their daughters how to be strong and independent women.

In 1992, Karen was baptized at Victoria Community Church, and became an integral member of the church. She volunteered her time as a costumer for their theatrical productions, was involved in many bible studies and served as a Stephens Minister to provide care for others who were hurting.

While Karen was primarily a homemaker, she did work briefly in a medical office. Her passion, however, was her sewing and textile crafts. Karen was a expert quilter and seamstress. She knit, crocheted, made porcelain dolls, made her own lace, dyed silks, and the list goes on and on. She pursued her Master Craftsman through the Embroiderers' Guild of America , as well as fashion design at Chaffey College. Her cherished friendships often blossomed through similar interests and those she held with Bonnie, Connie and Heidi continued across the years and Karen's relocation to Texas in 2006. It was in Texas that she also built new, lifelong friendships with Martha, Helena, and Francis, plus countless others through her knitting and Mahjong groups. 

Once Karen and Michael arrived in Texas, they started to travel. They frequented Paris, but also took multiple cruises throughout Europe. Karen's travels included many trips with friends to places like England and Cape Cod. She also traveled with family, often Janine and Jerome Dufour, to places like Thailand. Some of her favorite trips were those she took with her daughters, traveling to Italy and Paris with Alicia, and climbing a Mayan temple in Belize with Shannon.

In 2023, Karen relocated back to California to be closer to family and to transition into Pacifica Senior Living, a memory care community in Riverside. It was here that she continued to pursue her art, as well as share her kind, caring and nurturing spirit. Her loving and vibrant personality affected the lives of the other residents and their families, as well as the caregivers. After grieving the passing of Michael for several years, Karen also found love again at her community and was truly happy at the time of her passing.

Karen is survived by her children, 3 grandchildren, 2 step-grandchildren, 1 great granddaughter, 2 step-great granddaughters... and 3 grand-puppies. Karen's legacy lives on through the countless lives she touched, the values she upheld, and the love she shared. She will be deeply missed but forever cherished.


March 19th
Karen Marie Ludwig is born.
Hollywood, CA
Karen graduates Villa Park High School.
Villa Park, CA
Birth of Shannon
Birth of Shannon, Karen's first daughter.
December 24th
Marriage of Karen and Michael Dufour
Las Vegas, NV
Birth of Alicia
Birth of Alicia, Karen's second daughter.
Moves to Iran
Karen, Michael and their two daughters move to Iran as part of Michael's job with Bell Helicopter. They returned to the US before the war started.
Tehran, Iran
Moves to Moreno Valley
After living in Mission Viejo for several years after returning from Iran, Karen, Michael and the girls move to Moreno Valley where they would live until long after the girls had moved out on their own.
Moves to Texas
Karen and Michael buy a house in a gated community called Bentwater, in Montgomery TX.
Montgomery, TX
November 27th
Becomes a Widow
Karen becomes a widow when Michael passes away.
Moves to California
Karen moves back to California and moves into Pacifica Senior Living.
Riverside, CA
April 13th
Passes Away Peacefully
Karen passes away peacefully with her daughter, Alicia, and son-in-law, Tony, by her side.
Riverside, CA


In Memoriam

Memory Wall

"A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds. Through us, they live on."

Karen will be interred with Michael at Houston National Cemetery in Houston, Texas (Section N5, Site 497). Due to the diverse geographic locations of Karen's friends and family, a formal memorial service will not be held. Instead we invite her loved ones to share your your memories or condolences for the family by clicking the SHARE button below. Please feel free to include photos or videos to help keep Karen alive for all who visit this page.

May 1, 2024
I met Karen 17 years ago, when she and Michael moved to Texas. We hit it off at once, as we discovered that we both loved crafts. I had met Michael way back in 1968 when he and my brother-in-law were stationed in Mineral Wells, Texas. We all three had fun times together. After Michael passed, Karen and I spent a lot more time together. Not only did we meet with the bag day girls, we spent a lot of time together without the other girls. We made many day trips to College Station, Navasota, Spring, Humble, and surrounding areas of Houston going to quilt shops and antique stores, and eating out. Karen was very supportive of everything I did. She was always there for me,
as I was for her. We spent hours just sitting and visiting in either house. One day she said that she thought of me as her sister. We decided then and there that we were "chosen sisters". The kind you choose not the blood ones. We loved each other very much. I will miss her until we meet again.
Frances Sanford
April 29, 2024
I have many memories of Karen and Michael. After My Mother passed away. Karen and I would get together quite often. I would help air the tires of her Car. We took each other to lunch on our respective Birthdays. Prior to Her move to California Karen enjoyed attending My E.A.A chapter meetings, And helping with Young Eagles events. Karen liked to associate with the aviation people. Karen Gone West Not alone into the sunset but into the company of friends who have gone before them.
Mark Haskell
April 28, 2024
I feel lucky that I got to know her for the short time that I did. She was a special person. We became friends the first time we met. I wish we could have spent more time together. She will be missed by so many people. It is a blessing that she had Alicia and Tony with her at the end. I'm sure she is smiling down on everyone that loved her.
Sally Flowers
April 25, 2024
"Karen was one of the sweetest people I've met in my life. As stated before, she took care of me several times when I suffered from PTSD as well as your father who suffered greatly. That is what I call a Christian, not a bunch of words but actions with love."
Richard P.
April 25, 2024
"I always could count on Karen being so kind and a peaceful presence to be with. Her sense of humor, easy smile delighted me. A lovely person she was."
Patrice F.
April 25, 2024
Photos of Karen shared by Janine and Jerome Dufour of various trips they took together throughout Washington Toronto, Hong Kong and greater Europe.
Alicia R.
April 25, 2024
Karen was so generous and always made her friends projects. Pictured here are just two of many. A Mah Jongg carrying case for helping hands and a yarn bag for knitting group. We miss her, but are happy she is in heaven, happy and whole!!
Barb O.
April 25, 2024
So many memories of Karen, an angel on earth and now angel wings with our Lord. About 50 years sharing life’s adventures as girl friend, sister in law, confidant and travel buddy. Memories roll down my cheeks as I scan photos of times gone by.. We had girls friend trips to Paris, Vancouver/Washington, New England, Charleston/Savanah, New Orleans and the local outings when we both lived in California. Couples trips to Greater Europe more than once, Hong Kong, Thailand, Ireland,,,and New York City. Oh what memories. Of all the good qualities a person can have our Karen had therm all….our loving caring Karen is missed by Paul (Jerome) and myself. Rest in Peace Dear Karen
Janine Dufour
April 23, 2024
I am very happy I had the opportunity to meet Karen. She was immediately kind and welcoming, full of stories and adventures! Karen was the type of person you may have just met, but feel like you have known for decades.
Katrina Flowers
April 23, 2024
I was lucky enough to have met Karen through her daughter Alicia. From the moment I met Karen it was apparent to me how devoted she was to Alicia and how loving a person she was. Karen always had a smile on her face and never hesitated to tell me how wonderful Alicia was. I already knew that, of course. I enjoyed watching the memorial video of Karen for it expressed how exceptional a person she truly was. I pray for comfort for both of her daughters and peace in the hard days ahead.
Dale Agostinelli

Family tree

Kenneth Ludwig
Maxine Ludwig
Michael Dufour
Craig Ludwig
Linda May
Alicia Ramirez
Shannon O'Meara
Craig Ludwig
Linda May
Michael Dufour
Alicia Ramirez
Shannon O'Meara
Karen Ludwig Dufour


What was Karen's favorite Travel destination?
While Karen was a world traveler, she loved Paris and visited several times with her husband and took additional trips there with her parents and daughter, Alicia. She also loved her trip to Thailand, and the many cruises she took with Michael, as well as the cruise she took with Shannon to Belize.
What was Karen's favorite Color?
If "bling" was a color, it was Karen's favorite. If it was sparkly, she loved it. From her bedazzled shirts to her blingy flip flops, Karen liked it if it sparkled. She also loved pink and green.
What was Karen's favorite way to exercise?
Karen loved the pool in her younger days. She would spend hours in the pool as a child in Anaheim and after having her girls, she would spend time in their above-ground pool in Moreno Valley. While in Texas and after moving into her memory care community in Riverside, yoga or going on walks were Karen's favorite way to exercise.
What was Karen's favorite Book?
The bible was Karen's favorite book of all time. Her favorite fiction book that she read most recently was "Where the Crawdads Sing."
What was Karen's favorite Food or Dish?
One of Karen's favorite dishes was Matza Brie. She also loved borscht, avocado toast, and anything chocolate.
What was Karen's favorite Drink?
Karen loved a good glass of milk, but her favorite drink was wine.
What was Karen's favorite TV show?
Karen loved The Crown, Virgin River and Reacher (mostly because of the actor, not the storyline...).
What was Karen's favorite flower?
Karen loved hydrangeas and always grew roses in her yard in both Moreno Valley and Montgomery.
What was Karen's favorite bird?
Karen always loved swallows as they came back to Capistrano on her birthday, but while in Texas she also became very fond of cardinals, which are known to mate for life. Karen and Michael had a pair of cardinals that used to visit them regularly, and they named one Lipstick.


In lieu of flowers and in honor of our beloved Karen, the family requests donations to the Alzheimer's Association, which leads the way in ending Alzheimer's and all other dementia. You are invited to contribute to a cause that was near and dear to her heart and that she personally supported. A tribute donation to the Alzheimer's Association can be made in Karen's name via https://act.alz.org/site/Donation2?df_id=39209&mfc_pref=T&39209.donation=form1

Your generous donation will serve as a meaningful tribute, perpetuating the spirit of Karen by supporting a meaningful cause. Together, let us continue the legacy of compassion and kindness that Karen embodied throughout her life.

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