Kirksey Funeral Home


Karen Denise (Lytle) Dula

November 27, 1956February 7, 2021

Karen (Kay) Denise Lytle Dula, passed away on Sunday, February 7, 2021 at her residence. Kay was born on November 27, 1956 in Burke County to the late Herman Lytle and surviving mother, Esther Mae Owens Lytle.

Kay attended Freedom High School and received her Associates in Applied Sciences in Human Services Technology from Western Piedmont Community College. She was a dedicated member of McElrath Chapel AME Church, where she loved singing in the choir. She was a Trustee, Usher, and President of the Lay Organization, as well as the Secretary for the McElrath Chapel Women’s Missionary Society and the Parliamentarian for the Western NC Conference Vera Holt Area Women’s Missionary Society. Kay was an active member of the NAACP and served as a volunteer at the Democratic headquarters in Morganton, NC. In her free time, she loved fishing!

Along with her father Herman Lytle, Kay is also preceded in death by her great granddaughter, Jordyn Glover.

Kay is survived by her three sons: Craig Lytle, Gregory (Candi) Dula Jr., and Christopher (Jamie) Dula; four sisters: Joycelyn (Ronald) Tate, Christine (Jerry) Thomas, Merrell (Fred) Kanipe, and Tawanna (Stephon) Carson; nine grandchildren: Joseph (Lauren) Lytle, Andrew (Lyndsey) Lytle, N’Kaila Dula, Noahlani Dula, Nadia Dula, Christopher Dula Jr., Jaxon Dula, Brycen Dula, and Gabrielle Dula; five nieces: LaToya (Terry) Sheffield, Roslyn Jackson, Yolanda (Jay) Holiday, Tyanna Carson, Adrienne Kanipe; four nephews: Darren Kanipe, Christopher Lytle, Justin Lytle, Dorren Carson as well as five great-nieces, five great-nephews and a host of cousins and friends.

Kay’s Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. at Kirksey Funeral Home in Morganton. The family will receive friends at the funeral home 30 minutes prior to the service. Interment will follow in the McElrath Chapel A.M.E. Cemetery on Jamestown Road in Morganton.

Funeral services will be live streamed via Facebook Live at Kirksey Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

Kirksey Funeral Home of Morganton has the honor of serving the family.


  • Receiving of Family and Friends

    Friday, February 12, 2021

  • Receiving of Family and Friends

    Saturday, February 13, 2021

  • Celebration of Kay's Life

    Saturday, February 13, 2021


Karen Denise (Lytle) Dula

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carolyn Rogers

February 14, 2021

We are so sorry to hear of the homegoing of Sister Karen Dula as we bow to God's will. We will miss this soldier who generously gave of her time, energy, and wisdom. Family, we pray for your strength and that your wonderful memories will soon replace your grief. God Bless you.
Carolyn Rogers
1st Vice President
Western North Carolina Conference Branch Women's Missionary Society

Audrey McCain

February 14, 2021

You will be missed by all especially your missionary Sisters. Family I am so sorry regarding you loss.


Nikki Lyons

February 13, 2021

The Western North Carolina Conference Branch Women's Missionary Society mourns and is deeply saddened at the passing of our dear Missionary Sister Kay Dula. Sister Dula was a faithful servant and an Area Officer. She was a dedicated Missionary and was always present for Conference activities and meetings. She was genuine and kind. Sister Kay had a quick wit and always a smile on her face. We will surely miss her presence. Rest Well Sister Kay.

Charles Conley

February 13, 2021

I had the very high honor of working with Kay at Burke County United Way for two great years. As you can imagine we had a lot of fun. We also had some serious in depth discussions as her politics were the same as mine. I will always treasure the memory of those two years. After she left United Way, we remained text buddies up until her untimely death. She was a truly wonderful person from a wonderful family. May she rest in peace.

Carolyn Fleming

February 13, 2021


Carla Kincaid

February 11, 2021

God has reached down and picked another Beautiful Flower from His Garden
Kay’s smile and hearty laughter that will always be remembered
Her love for Christ was reflected in Church, Family and Community. Always spoke her mind and stood boldly for what she believed in.
Sleep on Kay until that Great Getting Up

Artie McKesson-Logan

February 10, 2021

Kay 's smile and friendly manner will be sorely missed by many. Always greeted me with a smile, kind words and then a burst of laughter. Diligently served as a register for the Black History Festival, always having a big smile and conversation for everyone who passed the table. She leaves behind a wonderful mother and family. May she be accepted into the eternal place of peace and rest.

Angela Elam

February 10, 2021

Oh my! Death comes and will come to all of us, but still there are times when one experiences that initial shock. This is one of those times. Kay was one who always had a smile on her face and a laugh in her spirit whenever Bro. Elam and I encountered her. Never a dull moment! We could always spot her across the room and next thing you know there goes that SMILE followed by laughter! Always looked forward to chatting and hugging this dear Sister. Even though we were miles apart (Durham-Morganton), when we thought of our family and friends of McElrath (we miss ya'll!), Kay and her Mother were there in our hearts and minds. Sweet sleep my Sister Kay.

Love Angela and Dwyane Elam

Margie Alston

February 10, 2021

"May the work I've done, speak for me."
My prayers for the family are God's grace and mercy be with you. McElrath Chapel will truly miss Karen's dedication and service.
Rest well, my fellow Lay President.

Margie Alston
Johnson Chapel Lay President

Chris Ferguson

February 10, 2021

My cousin, my friend, & most of all my sista. Kay Lord knows I will miss you.. I feel like I’ve lost Raine & Kathy all over again. Rest in God’s Love you don’t have to hurt anymore.