Betty Karen Ihfe |

Betty Karen Ihfe


A memorial service and celebration of life is 11:30 a.m. Monday at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Carson City for Betty Karen Ihfe, 76, who died Aug. 5, 2010, with her children and cousin Amy by her side.

Born Sept. 15, 1933, in Milwaukee, Wis., to Berniece Downie and Roy V. Ihfe, she grew up in Aurora, Ill., before moving to Carson City in the early 1940s.

She graduated from Carson High School in 1951, and then graduated from the University of Nevada in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education.

After her marriage she graduated from the University of Utah with a master’s of fine arts 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.

While constantly improving the house her parents had built, she first became director of development and community relations for Carson-Tahoe Hospital. She then started her own company, Creative Events Unlimited, and also worked as marketing director for Reno Diagnostic Center.

She returned as director of public relations and director of volunteer services, followed by director of development at Carson-Tahoe.

Mrs. Ihfe retired from the hospital in 1995, she then worked for the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California as administrative secretary in the legal department.

Mrs. Ihfe, 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.

In 2007 Nevada’s Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church USA and Mrs. Ihfe 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 Sen. Wiener and Washington, for two sessions and a special session.

Mrs. Ihfe 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.

Her ashes will be interred at Roselawn Cemetery in Madison, Wis., at the Downie family gravesite.

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.

Arrangements entrusted to Walton’s Chapel of the Valley, Carson City.