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Karen M. Colquhoun, retired social worker

June 15, 1955 – Jan. 21, 2015

Karen M. Colquhoun, a longtime social worker at Erie County Department of Social Services, died Tuesday in her North Buffalo home after a battle with cancer. She was 59.

K.C., as she was fondly known, was a Buffalo native but spent her teenage years in Central New York, where she graduated from Clyde-Savannah Central High School in 1973.

She earned a degree in art education in 1977 and then a master of science degree in human services management from SUNY Buffalo State. She also received a certificate in trauma counseling from the University at Buffalo School of Social Work in 2008.

Ms. Colquhoun began working with children and families in Wayne County, teaching in the Clyde-Savannah Central School system and later with an early childhood program serving rural migrant worker families.

After settling in Buffalo, she worked at Baker Victory Services and later at Haven House, a shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Ms. Colquhoun began her 25-year career at the Erie County Department of Social Services as a child protective services worker and later served as a member of Family Court’s drug court planning committee. She was also given oversight of the first child-welfare unit within Social Services to use welfare-to-work funding.

As the child protective services court liaison unit supervisor, she was recognized in 2006 by the Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network for her dedication and commitment to families and received the 2006-2007 William B. Hoyt Award for her efforts in the fight against family violence.

She served as coordinator with the domestic violence unit from May 1999 until her retirement in December 2014.

She was a frequent visitor to Buffalo’s galleries and art museums as well as many of the live music venues in the city.

She is survived by her parents, J. Richard and Mary Ellen Colquhoun; a sister, Marcia; and three brothers, Rick, Terry and Peter.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Delaware Chapel at Amigone Funeral Home, 1132 Delaware Ave.

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