A dear friend and remarkable person passed away recently and I’m including her obituary. I hope to be like her. She was one of my favorite people to talk with at church and I will always be grateful for her example to me. She was an accomplished woman who never regretted giving it all up to stay home with her children. She was and is remarkable.
The following obituary with a picture can be found here.
Karen Frances Parker Hatch died January 22nd from head injuries suffered in a fall on the ice on January 14th. She was born on January 9, 1935 to Edna Maughan Parker and Fred Cooper Parker at home on the ranch near Hall, Montana, the 7th of eight children.
She attended the two room school in Hall, graduating from the 8th grade in 1948, and then attended Drummond High School, graduating in 1952. She received a B.S Degree in English education from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, in 1956, and taught high school English in Oakdale, California, and Ely, Nevada until 1960 when she returned to BYU to pursue an M.A. Degree in English which she received in 1962. She then taught English at BYU until 1968.
In the summer of 1964 she attended the University of London, in London, England, for a six week course in 20th Century English Literature, and received a certificate of completion in August 1964. While in London she attended a play at which Queen Elizabeth II was also present.
For the academic year 1967-68 she studied at UCLA at Los Angeles, California, and successfully completed a specialized course of post graduate studies in teaching English as a second language.
On September 13, 1968, Karen married Carl A. Hatch in the Logan Utah Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and lived in Helena, Montana since then. For the next 30 years she focused on raising their six children, which she considered her most important work. Karen was an avid reader, and enjoyed traveling, opera, and classical and jazz music, but was always looking for an adventure whether it was riding in a hot air balloon in Albuquerque, on camels in China and Egypt, on elephants in Thailand and Myanmar, or snorkeling in the Caribbean at Cancun, Mexico, to celebrate her 80th birthday. However, she found homemaking, marriage and being a mother and grandmother the most fulfilling of all her life experiences. She loved her fifteen grandchildren and used her sewing skills to make each a unique blanket.
When her children were grown she worked for the Federal Government and the State of Montana in gathering labor and census information.
She and her husband taught English at Shandong Normal University in Jinan, China for the academic years 2003 and 2004. From 2006 – 2008 she and her husband were called by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve a humanitarian mission in the Thailand Bangkok Mission as country directors of LDS Charities in Myanmar, living in Yangon. During this mission she was involved in providing clean water to villages, education and medical institutions; in furnishing wheelchairs and prosthetics to the disabled; in having specialists from the United States, Japan, and other countries, train Myanmar doctors, nurses and other medical professionals neo-natal resuscitation; and in teaching English to governmental officials, young adults pursuing advanced education and hotel service employees.
Her devoted, lifelong membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided her opportunities to serve in many callings: teacher, choir director, Young Women’s President, Primary President and Relief Society President. Since October 2001 to the present she has served as an ordinance worker in the Billings Montana Temple. She followed the invitation of Moroni, the last of the Book of Mormon prophets, who wrote: “Come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him.”
Karen is survived by her husband, Carl, and their six children and fifteen grandchildren: Emily and James Lynn (Brendan, Connor, Ian and Erin) of Lethbridge, Alberta; Maureen Hatch of West Jordan, Utah; Jonathan and Tara Hatch (Caleb, Alyssa and Natalie) of Auburn, Washington; Jennifer and Christopher Childers (Ansel, Jonas, Owen and Sadie) of Richland, Washington; Lucy and Jay Johnson (Seth, Samuel, Henry and Daniel) of Durango, Colorado; and Sarah Hatch of West Jordan, Utah.