A memorial service for Karen Wardell will be held Saturday, May 27, at 10 a.m. at the LDS Church in Burlington. Karen, 82, passed away May 12; a family burial took place at the Otto Cemetery on May 13.
Karen was born March 18, 1935, in Lovell, the daughter of Henry Lynn and Velma Lucille Eikenberry. Karen grew up on the family farm at Mantua, Warren, Montana, and spent time with her family on the Pryor Mountains. She also lived in Worland, Oregon, North Dakota and Nebraska before the family settled in Lovell where Karen finished her schooling and graduated Lovell High School in 1953.
She married Merlin J. Wardell Oct. 19, 1954, in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. The couple spent a lot of time moving from job site to job site as Merlin’s work often took him out of town. When their children began school, the Wardells established their family home south of Otto where they spent the next 50 years.
First and foremost a housewife, Karen also took on jobs throughout the years as a cook, route bus driver and worked on the first Big Horn County emergency numbering plan. The couple was instrumental in the beautification of the Otto cemetery, planting the grass and trees and taking care of it for many years.
After Merlin passed away in 2009, Karen sold her home in Otto and moved to Burlington. Karen was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and faithfully served in many capacities. She was kind-hearted and compassionate. She was always looking for someone laden with a burden knowing that a visit and a good meal were good medicine. Karen was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Richard Henry and her husband Merlin.
She is survived by her children Monty and Dede Wardell of Lovell, Jim and Marla Wardell Isbell of Cody; Tyler and Donna Wardell of Burlington; Brady and Holly Wardell of Burlington, Lee and Jackie Wardell Payne of Molt, Montana, and Richard and Ruth Wardell of Burlington; 33 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Memorials can be made to South Big Horn Senior Center or the general missionary fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.