Cover photo for Karen  M. Thomas's Obituary
Karen  M. Thomas Profile Photo
1936 Karen 2018

Karen M. Thomas

November 23, 1936 — February 17, 2018

Karen Mihlfeith Thomas, born on November 23, 1936 died on February 17, 2018. A celebration of Karen's life with a reception will be held May 5, 2018 2:00 pm at Buck Miller Hann 825 E 17th Idaho Falls. Graveside services at the Plano Cemetery will be held on June 23, 2018. Karen spent her early years in Pocatello until she was 10 when her parents Melvin and Josie Mihlfeith moved to a 40-acre farm outside of Rexburg. She was the second daughter in a family of four girls and three boys. Her early life on the Plano Farm was filled with hard work and adventure. She and sister, Jylene worked during the summer months picking green beans for neighbors, cleaning houses, baby-sitting, and helping Dad and brothers (Max and Neil) with farm work. Three more siblings, Lisa, Patricia and Merrill joined the family. High adventure beckoned from the desert when playing pioneer on the high sagebrush country surrounding the irrigated farmland was a popular pastime. She attended schools in Plano and Sugar City and graduated from Sugar City High School in 1955. Upon graduation, she moved to Idaho Falls with some girlfriends. Karen worked for the Idaho State Tax office until her marriage to Jim Thomas in 1957. They moved to Sugar City where Karen found work at Ricks College. While working at Ricks, Karen took the opportunity to attend classes and work towards a teaching degree. She completed requirements at BYU Provo in 1967, during the summer months. She and Jim moved back to Idaho Falls, where Karen began her 32-year career as a 2nd Grade Teacher at Templeview Elementary. Karen spoke of her students as her kids. After those many years teaching, she had kids and grandkids. She always loved running into those students and having them remember their second-grade teacher, Mrs. Thomas. During summers off, she pursued her yard. She loved feeding the birds and watching her yard blossom from May to September.
Her love of music was clear when she always had a song for any occasion. She spent years singing with the Sweet Adeline's and traveled to compete with the group. Liked those sparkling costumes! Karen loved the civic life of Idaho Falls and enjoyed the fine arts, musical performances and summer concerts on the Green Belt. Karen enjoyed traveling. In her early adult years, she took a Barefoot cruise and enjoyed the sailing life on a windjammer. Especially the dancing on deck with the crew. Upon retirement, she continued her travel. Her travels took her to Australia, Antarctica, Africa and South America. Cruises to Alaska and through the Panama Canal were great fun. She loved the natural world. Karen's loves in life also included some dogs, Mitzie, Baby and Elsa. She never turned down an opportunity for a visit from a dog. Please feel free to make donations on Karen's behalf to the Snake River Animal Shelter. She will be missed by her friends and family. Arrangements are under the direction of Buck Miller Hann Funeral Home. Online condolences can be left at

Service Details.


When: Saturday, May 5th, 2018
Location: Funeral Home

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