Originally posted at billingsgazette.com
Karen Egged was born on January 25, 1936, in Big Timber, during one of the coldest winters on record. She spent her early years on a ranch near Melville, where she lived with her parents W. Ora and Hazel Olson, where Ora helped run the ranch and Hazel was a school teacher. Ora was too old for the service during World War II, but worked on the Aleutian Islands and Hazel and Karen lived at Manhattan and Twin Bridges with other family members.
After the War the family bought a small ranch North of Gallatin Gateway. Karen attended a one room Rochambeau Country School for her first 8 years with her mother as her teacher. She graduated from Gallatin County High School in 1954. She attended Montana State College and earned a degree in home economics in 1958. While in college she met, and fell in love with Walter Egged and they were married on June 3, 1958, and then moved to East Peoria, Illinois, where Walt was working for Caterpillar Tractor company.
4-H was a was a big part of her life, she was a member for 11 years, and while in East Peoria they started the Springfield Road Clover Heads 4-H Club. Shortly after arriving in East Peoria, Karen was asked to teach home economics at Richwoods High School in Peoria. Walt and Karen moved back to Montana in the Summer of 1962 where Walt took a job with the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Crow Agency. They took over as leaders of the Sunshine Aggies 4-H Club, which they ended up doing for over 40 years.
Karen also worked at the Big Horn County Extension Office as 4-H Assistant for 12 years and she was an election judge and Registration Chairman for the Montana AAU for 23 years. She was the team leader for the Montana AAU Wrestling Team to Poland in 1979 and was a volunteer worker for the Hardin Wrestling Club and Hardin Sports Club for 40 years doing everything that needed to be done. After the children grew up and left home she became Walt’s rodman for his survey work and did this until she could no longer work.
She is survived by her husband, Walt, son Doug (Debbie), of Ohio, daughters, Denise (Brian Wolford) of Arizona, and Tanya (Bobby Tyra) of Arizona. Five grandchildren, Jasen and Garrett McDuffie, Madison Crye, Leah and Colten Tyra. One brother Larry (Sharon) Olson, nephew Scott Olson and Niece Leah Olson. As of Karen’s wishes she will be cremated and her ashes are to be spread in a field of Shooting Stars.
Celebration of her life will be on Sunday, July 2, at the Big Horn County Fair Grounds from 2-6 p.m. Memorials can be made to the Montana 4-H Foundation at P.O. Box 173580, Bozeman, MT 59717, Big Horn County Historical Society, P.O. Box 1206A, Hardin, MT 59034, Hardin Wrestling Club at 1112 Cactus Court, Hardin, MT 59034 or the organization of your choice. Bullis Mortuary of Hardin has been entrusted of funeral arrangements.
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