Betty Karen Ihfe

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Betty, passed away peacefully August 5, 2010, at her home, with her children and closest cousin Amy by her side. She was 76.
Betty was born Sept. 15, 1933 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She grew up with her parents Berniece Downie Ihfe and Roy V. Ihfe, in Aurora, Illinois and moved to Carson City in the early 1940s. She graduated from Carson High in 1951, and then graduated from UNR in 1956 with a BA in physical education. After her marriage she then graduated from the University of Utah with a MFA in 1979, while raising her children, Bruce and Karen. She did extensive work with the Oklahoma Arts Council until she moved back to the family home with her daughter, Karen, in Carson City in 1983. Then she really got busy.
While constantly improving the house her parents had built, she first became Director of Development and Community Relations for the Carson-Tahoe Hospital. She then started her own company, Creative Events Unlimited, and also worked as Marketing Director for Reno Diagnostic Center. She loved the hospital, and so returned as Director of Public Relations and Director of Volunteer Services, followed by Director of Development, at Carson-Tahoe. Betty retired from the hospital in 1995, she then worked for the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California as Administrative Secretary in the legal department.
Betty, at age 70 after having a full career, still wanted to serve others. She was ordained as a deacon in 2003, and faithfully served at St. John's in the Wilderness Episcopal Church, Lake Tahoe, until 2009. She really had found her calling. Her love and devotion were an inspiration to all. In 2007 Nevada's Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA and Betty was asked to participate in the installation service at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. She had a wide range of interests that included hosting her class reunions and being active with the Capital City Red Hatters as well as the Red Hat Book Club. Recently she also worked as an attache for the State Legislature for Senators Wiener and Washington, for two sessions and a special session.
Betty had an unequaled spirit for life, and lived each day to the fullest. She lived a full, well-rounded life: spiritual, intellectual, arts, garden, friends, church, children, and extended family. She was a loyal, honest and devoted mother, employee, volunteer, friend, and servant to God. When she took on a project it would be done right no matter how difficult.
Betty is survived by her daughter Karen Elizabeth Michael, and her son Bruce Roberts Michael, her cousins Amy Morse Bilich, Patricia Bilich Huehn, Ivica Bilich, Barbara Downie, Betty Bucholtz, many other cousins, her "almost-daughter" Erinne O'Hara Aboytes and her "German daughter" Jessica Gienow-Hecht.
A memorial service and celebration of her life will be held at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Carson City, NV, Aug. 23, 2010, at 11:30 AM. Her ashes will be interred at Roselawn Cemetery in Madison, Wisconsin, at the Downie family gravesite.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made in her name to St. Mary's Hospice, Reno-Carson City, and the Galilee Episcopal Camp and Conference Center at Lake Tahoe.
Mom, you will always be in our hearts, and dearly missed. You left us an example to be proud of, and we will always honor and cherish your memory. You will live forever through us, and in our hearts. God bless you, and thank you so much for everything you did for us. Arrangements entrusted to Walton's Chapel of the Valley, Carson City, NV.

Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Aug. 18, 2010