Karen Jean Wagner of Driggs, Idaho, passed away suddenly on March 26, 2021, from an extended illness at her home in Driggs. Karen was born on July 10, 1971 in Arcadia, California, to Paul K. Wagner, Sr. and Kathleen J. Wagner. She lived in Temple City, California, until October of 1980 at which time she moved with her family to Driggs.
All of her life, Karen was a superb athlete involved in as many sports as possible; however, her participation in Little League Baseball, High School and Church Baseball/Softball was her expertise, always following in her brother Paul Keith Wagner, Jr.’s footsteps and much to his envy. Karen was always chosen first for any team she enlisted in and was as good or better than any of her male teammates. Karen was the first girl ever permitted to play baseball for the Temple City (California) National Little League Association where she, again, excelled and led her Redlegs Minor team to the City-Wide Championship in her first year.
Karen graduated from Teton High School in 1989 and briefly returned to Temple City, California, where she enrolled in advanced nursing classes and subsequently graduated with honors in the Certified Nursing Assistant program in Pasadena, California. Upon graduation, Karen applied to and was hired by the medical clinic office of Louis H.V. May, M.D. in Temple City, California, coincidentally the same physician that attended her own birth thirty years earlier. During the time Karen was employed by Dr. May, she received many commendations for her work with patients.
Upon Karen’s return to Driggs, she was briefly married and had a son, Paul Keith Wagner III, whom she loved dearly and was the highlight of her life. When Paul III entered elementary school, Karen became inherently involved in his education to include being a teacher’s aide for several classes. Karen was employed by Grand Targhee Ski and Summer Resort in Alta, Wyoming, as an Assistant Housekeeping Director, until she was injured while performing her duties in 1995. As a result of that injury, she contracted a severe Staph. infection during treatment which almost necessitated the amputation of her left leg. Subsequent to many years of diligent treatment and therapy, Karen’s leg was saved, but she was left with a noticeable limp and dramatic scar. Karen was also an invaluable aide to Santa Claus when he visited Teton Valley, Idaho and Wyoming, as well as other areas, for the past more than thirty-five years during the Christmas season.
Karen was an exceptionally good girl, daughter, mother, sister, aunt and friend. If you were Karen’s friend, there wasn’t anything at all that she would not do for you. Karen was preceded in death only nine months ago by her loving brother, Paul Keith Wagner, Jr. of Fort Collins, Colorado and Driggs, Idaho, from an extended illness unrelated to hers. She was also preceded in death several years ago by her loving grandfathers, Stanley L. Wagner of Driggs, Idaho, John William Allender of Temple City, California and her grandmother, Jean O. Allender of Temple City, California.
Karen is survived by her loving and caring parents, Paul Keith Wagner, Sr. and Kathleen Jean Wagner, Sr., her son, Paul Keith Wagner III, her sister Kristen Kathleen Wagner, her nephew, Stanley Wagner, her nieces, Kathleen Jean Wagner, Jr., Karye Kristen Wagner, all of Driggs, Idaho, and a very special friend, Carissa Cook who spent many days assisting her, running errands, taking her to doctor appointments and physical therapy sessions.
A memorial graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on April 8, 2021 and burial will be conducted at the Darby Cemetery in Driggs, Idaho, by the Flamm Mortuary in Rexburg, Idaho.
Condolences may be sent to the family at Post Office Box 796, Driggs, Idaho 83422 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.