Abruptly, without warning, and certainly without our permission, Karen Annette Forseth was taken from us, and the music has stopped, her contagious laughter and wide smile gone, utterly stunned heartbroken family and friends left to mourn an irreplaceable loss.
Karen passed away Friday evening May 5th, just one day shy of her 50th wedding anniversary, at Benefis Teton Medical Center where she was briefly treated for pneumonia and respiratory difficulties that followed.
Karen was born in Chester Montana, on May 9th, 1947. She was a twin sister of Katherine and the last of 11 children born to Walter and Teresa Ward. She and Kathy were fraternal twins, and not identical, they just acted like it.
She grew up and attended schools all in this North Central Montana region, graduating from high school in Browning, Montana, in 1965. She attended the Northern Montana College in Havre and studied secretarial law.
Karen married Charles Steven Forseth, of Fairfield on May 6, 1967, at Grace Lutheran Church there, and they made their home on the Fairfield bench, in the Sunny Slope area where they raised their family. Karen and Steve had two children, Stacey born August 12, 1969 and Amie, born April 22, 1972. The family attended Grace Lutheran through the years.
Just a half mile across the road in Sunny Slope, Steve's brother Orville and Karen's sister Caroline had a head start on this Forseth Family of double-cousins, Stacey and Amie, and their neighbors Resa, Nadelle, Clayton and Dana Jo. They grew up knowing they had super powers because of this.
Karen worked at home full time for many years while the children were young. She took a temporary job at what would become known as the Russell Country Federal Credit Union, in 1989. In 2013 she retired as head teller with 25 years of service. She said her greatest love at that job, was meeting with and helping so many wonderful people.
She had many active years of involvement with the Golden Ridge School on Sunny Slope, and their PTA organization. She was also very active in teaching and training little seamstresses in the local 4-H club. She was known as an extremely patient teacher. She had many skills, was a talented baker, artist and decorator, and among her many productions was what has been described as an "epic" blue velvet sport coat she made for a nephew to wear to his prom.
Karen and Steve were legend with their catering service known locally as the #9 Chowline with a barbecue fashioned after a steam locomotive. They were busy almost every weekend through the summers, and catered weddings, farm auctions, school reunions, rodeos and sometimes corporate picnics with up to 1,000 people served. They prided themselves on speed and efficiency. Alongside, often, you would see the world's finest little lemonade stand, where their children, grandchildren and their cousins honed entrepreneurial skills. She loved her grandchildren to pieces and all small children adored her.
Karen is survived by her husband of 50 years, Steve Forseth, son Stacey Forseth (Barbie Morgan) of Great Falls and his daughter Treyann Forseth, 23, living in Arizona, her daughter Amie Wieder (Rob), of Augusta, and grandchildren Taylor Talkington, 17, Samantha Talkington, 13, Riley Wieder, 6, and Wyatt Wieder (4) as well as two step-grandchildren Justin and Korey Wieder. Also, the many nephews and nieces, children of the super powered. She has seven living siblings, Dorothy Rennick of Missoula, John Ward, of Peru, New York, Margo Hendrix (Ron) of Seeley Lake, Caroline Forseth (Orville) of Fairfield, Pete Ward (Nancy) of Pollock Pines, CA, Rita, of Missoula, and her twin Kathy Hammer (Robert) of Seattle, sister-in-law Suzanne Ward of Louisville, Kentucky, and all of the cousins who are their offspring.
She is preceded in death by two sisters, Sally Evans (Joe) of Browning, Norky Smith (Scott) of Peru, New York, as well as a brother, Joseph Ward of Louisville, Kentucky, and her parents Walter and Teresa Ward who made a home in Choteau.
The memorial service for Karen is scheduled for Saturday, May 13, at Fairfield Community Hall at 11:00 a.m.. Nephew Ken Loss will be officiating.
Interment will follow at a later date, private, to close family.
Funeral arrangements by the Gorder- Jensen Funeral Home, of Choteau
Condolences may be left online at www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com