Albany Law School mourns the loss of distinguished alumna Marjorie Karowe, Class of 1974. She was a Kate Stoneman Award winner in 2014 and a founding member of the Capital District Women’s Bar Association and the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York.
“Marjorie Karowe was a pioneer, a mentor, and an inspiration. She made a meaningful difference for so many people, especially the women lawyers who followed in the path she carved and those of us lucky enough to benefit from her wisdom. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her,” said Albany Law School President and Dean Alicia Ouellette ’94.
“Marjorie's immense intellect, her heartfelt sense of justice, and her passionate desire to make the world a better place, will be her legacy,” her obituary reads.
After graduating from Brighton High School and Smith College, then Marjorie Spitz married Dr. Harris Karowe in 1954. They moved to Schenectady in 1960.
While she attended Albany Law School, starting in 1971, she was a member of the Albany Law Review and Justinian Honor Society graduating cum laude in 1974.
Beyond being admitted to the New York State Bar and various U.S. District Courts after her time at Albany Law, Karowe was admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar in 1978.
She went on to teach at Albany Law School, Union College, and Cornell leading classes and workshops on sexual harassment law and enforcement.
She was a founding member of both the Capital District Women’s Bar Association in 1978 and the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY) in 1980. She was the second president of WBASNY (1982-84) and the first recipient of both the Jean M. Coons Award in 1984 and the Marilyn Menge Award in 1988. Read more here.
"Marjorie helped to expand to entirely new levels, the horizons of what women could dream of and hope for within the law profession," her obituary reads, "Marjorie sought compassion and commitment to justice in every aspect of her life."
These efforts led to Albany Law recognizing her with a Kate Stoneman Award in 2014.
Marjorie’s 2014 Kate Stoneman Award Speech
Beyond the law, she hiked in Nepal, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, safaried throughout Africa, travelled to India, led hikes in Norway, and enjoyed hiking in the Adirondack mountains.
Karowe was predeceased by her husband, Harris; and her four siblings, Madeline, Werner, Doug and Jim. She is survived by her six children, Mark, David, Amy, Steven, Matthew, and Julie and their families, including eight grandchildren.
A memorial service will take place in July. Details will be available at anthonychapels.com.
Albany Law School sends its condolences to Marjorie’s family and friends.