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Karen Birch- Bidwell Funeral Home of St. Anthony, Idaho
Karen Birch

   Mary Karen Birch 81, a long time resident of the St. Anthony area passed away April 26, 2015 in the Idaho Falls Lincoln Court Retirement Center.

Mrs. Birch was born Feb. 21, 1934 in St. Anthony, Idaho the daughter of Mary Ina Douglas Johnson. She was the older of two daughters in the Johnson family and spent much of her childhood helping to raise her younger sister Ina Kay Johnson (Bolland). The family lived in Rexburg for some time where Karen attended Rexburg Elementary School. When she was older the family moved back to St. Anthony where she attended high school and graduated from South Fremont High.

Karen met Norval Birch while she was working at the Thriftway Drug Store in St. Anthony and they were married in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple on March 14, 1952. Karen and Norval lived their first few married years on the farm in Wilford and then bought a house in St. Anthony on Main Street. They remodeled and built onto their home several times over the years and this home is where they raised their family and spent the remaining years of their lives. Karen and Norval had two children Teresa (Patrick) Horkley and Michael (Lyn) Birch, both of Idaho Falls, Idaho. They were also the very loving grandparents of 5 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. Karen’s grandchildren were the light of her life and she showed her love unconditionally for each and every one of them.

Karen worked many jobs throughout her life to include the St. Anthony Laundry, Grant’s Drug, First Security Bank, Key Bank, and ARTCO. Karen was a history buff and the money she earned from working was exclusively used for her favorite hobby, which was to travel. Karen and Norval traveled around the world to include most of the states in the U.S, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and many oriental countries including China and Japan.

Karen was known for her excellent cooking, immaculate house keeping, and immaculate yard. Her yard contained some of the best flower displays in St. Anthony. She also raised tomatoes and everyone that came to visit left with a bag of the best tasting tomatoes around. Her home made syrups and candies were second to none. Karen was a very active person throughout her entire life and loved to be involved in activities with her family, especially around the holidays. Everyone in St. Anthony seems to remember going to the Birch’s home for Halloween because Karen always had the best candy for the taking.

Karen is survived by her daughter, Teresa (Patrick) Horkley; son, Michael (Lyn) Birch; sister, Ina Kay Bolland; 4 grandchildren; and 9 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Norval Wayne Birch; mother, Mary Ina Douglas Johnson; and grandson, Jared Michael Birch.

Funeral services will be conducted Saturday May 30, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. in the St. Anthony 2nd LDS Ward Church with Bishop Brent Thompson officiating. Friends and family may call at the church Saturday morning between 9:30 – 10:45 prior to the time of the funeral services. Burial will be in the Wilford Cemetery.

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