Karen McGrath Nay
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59, of Caldwell, passed away on Monday, July 15, 2013 after living a wonderful life and ending a 16-year battle with multiple sclerosis. She is survived by her parents, James Raymond and Myrna Jane McGrath of St. Johns AZ, her older sister Laura and Bob Humphreys of St. Johns AZ, her younger brother James Roger and Loretta McGrath of Flagstaff AZ, her husband of 38 years Bruce James Nay of Caldwell ID, her daughter Rachel and Derek Cheney of Caldwell ID, her son Porter James and Rachel Nay of Alpine UT, and 4 beautiful grandchildren, Cadence(3), Kaleb(3), Emma(2 months) and Temple Karen (born 2 days after Karen's passing).
Karen was born at home in Duncan, AZ on December 28, 1953. She lived in Snowflake, AZ most of her growing-up years. It was here that she learned what a happy family can be, and that special family closeness has continued throughout the years. Her parents are both teachers, which probably influenced Karen's choice of education. She attended Northern Arizona University, Eastern Arizona College, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Brigham Young University in the spring of 1975.
While attending Brigham Young University, she met and fell in love with Bruce. They were married in the Mesa Arizona temple on June 20th, 1975. Karen then embarked upon a lifetime of doing what she loved. That included being a wonderful wife, mother, and friend to all. She provided a loving and supportive environment in the various places that they lived while Bruce finished his education and moved her to Idaho, Michigan, Utah, North Carolina, and eventually back to Idaho (but it should be said that in her heart she was always an Arizona gal). She was so happy when her children came along and joined our family. She was born to be a mother, and was so happy to be a stay-at-home wife and mom. She was very grateful that MS didn't severely limit what she could do before her children were raised. And even right up to the end, the thing that would bring a sparkle into her eyes was to tell her about what her kids and her grandkids were up to, or to talk about the many happy experiences we had as a family (and there were many!).
Karen was a deeply spiritual person, with a powerful faith in her Savior. She manifested that in many ways, including an unwavering obedience to what she knew to be true, and perhaps most strongly in her desire to serve others. Karen served in many different callings in her church, some of them include teacher in the Primary (children's) organization, ward librarian, camp leader in the Young Women's organization, ward newsletter and bulletin editor, den leader in the Cub Scouts, and serving five different times as the president of the Relief Society (women's) organization. While in a wheelchair and suffering through the fatigue that accompanies MS, Karen also loved serving as a family services missionary in the addiction recovery program. But regardless of her official callings, Karen was always on the lookout for someone that needed a little help - be it a listening ear, or someone to take the kids for a few hours, or a meal, or whatever. Karen never felt like she was anyone special in this regard, but there are many that would testify otherwise. She has made so many dear friends at every stage and at every location that her life's journey has taken her.
Karen played the flute, was a talented seamstress, loved to dance, was an expert cake decorator, could throw a ball and swing a golf club as hard as a guy, was a great cook, loved to read, enjoyed camping, loved to be taken to a play, became adept at using computers, could cruise the neighborhood in her power wheelchair and make friends with any and all, and the list goes on... She loved to be busy and be involved in life.
Karen's infectious smile, her zest for life, her total dedication to her family and her faith, and her unconquerable spirit will be greatly missed.
To any who have touched her life, know that she loved you all! And to all who have had any part in her care these past many years, or have visited her, or have prayed for her (and there have been many in all of those categories) - we thank you so very, very much!
There will be a viewing held at Zeyer Funeral Chapel, 83 N Midland Blvd, Nampa, on Thursday, July 25, 2013 from 6-8pm. Funeral services will be held at 10 AM Friday, July 26, 2013 at the LDS Chapel, 4509 S. Montana Ave in Caldwell with a viewing from 9 - 9:45 AM.
Zeyer Funeral Chapel
83 North Midland Boulevard
Nampa, ID 83651
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on July 21, 2013