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10254 W. Carlton Bay | Garden City, ID 83714

Karen Louise Nelson December 27, 1937 - April 13, 2023

Karen Louise Nelson of Boise passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 13, 2023, after spending several hours surrounded by family, friends, and the very special staff members at Overland Court Assisted Living.

Karen was born December 27, 1937, to her parents Lloyd “Bus” and Bernadine Day.  Karen was raised in Boise’s north end and attended North Junior High, and Boise High School, graduating with the class of 1956.  Karen was active in school and enjoyed traveling on frequent trips with her parents to her beloved Oregon Coast.  She spent many happy days as a girl roaming the beaches at Yachats and Depoe Bay.

After high school, Karen took vocational training at Links School of Business, to gain skills in office management and administration, and began her career in finance and banking.  Karen met and soon married former USAF airman William “Bill” Jones, after first meeting at Murray’s Drive-In in Boise.  Karen’s two children Randy and Renee were born soon after.  Karen’s family was very active in the outdoors with snow skiing, boating, camping, fishing, and riding motorcycles.  The family lived together in Boise and at times, Pocatello.  They returned to Boise in the early 60’s and Karen began working full time at Pacific Finance, and in 1967 accepted a position at Idaho First National Bank, where she served as executive secretary to the VP and GM of the main office in downtown Boise.  Karen worked for IFNB for nearly thirty years, where she became active in the Professional Secretaries Association (PSA), which provided opportunities for networking and travel to association conferences.

Karen met her second husband Arlen “Oz” Nelson in 1978, and the two were married soon after.  Arlen had three adult children from a previous marriage, and he also worked in banking.  They worked for different banks in Boise and Idaho Falls before re-settling in Boise.  Upon their retirement from banking, Karen and Oz purchased and operated a luxury motel on the beach in Lincoln City, OR.  They were the proprietors of the Baywest Motel for several years, enjoying life on the coast, despite the workload of operating a 7-day, 24-hour operation.  Ready for a little slower pace, and missing the Idaho mountains, Karen and Oz gave up the motel and returned to Boise.

Karen’s family loved the Sawtooth Mountains, and in 1970 purchased a rustic cabin in Lower Stanley.  It was the destination for many family weekends and vacations.  That was their home away from home until 1996, when they found a ranch house and acreage on a bluff in Corvallis, MT, sold the Stanley property, and began splitting their time between Boise and Hamilton area.  Upon the death of Arlen Nelson in 2021, the Montana property was purchased by his daughter Kim and her husband Pete, keeping the ranch and those beautiful views of the Sapphire and Bitterroot Mountains in the family.

Karen also loved her many adopted dogs and cats who joined the family over the years, coming from shelters in the region.

Karen was preceded in death by her husband, her mother and father, her younger sister Mary Kathleen Bale, half-sister Marie Byrd, and half-brother Sherman Day.  She is survived by daughter Renee Jones and son Randy (Lisa) Jones, their sons William and Matthew (Jaime) Jones of Boise, stepson Rick Nelson of Challis, Rick’s daughter Crystal (Brian) and their children, of Oxford, MI, stepdaughter Kim Nelson Gysling (Pete) of Corvallis, MT, and Kim’s son Joshua (Kaitlyn) Stephens, and their children, of Boise.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that we all remember people who are in need, and pets that deserve care and adoption, and would ask that you make donations of any kind to the Idaho Humane Society, Moonsong Malamute Rescue, or the animal shelter of your choice, where they provide essential care and adoption services for fur-babies everywhere.

There will be a celebration of life held on May 20, 2023, 2:00 pm at Overland Court Senior Living, 10250 W Smoke Ranch Dr., Boise.

There will be a celebration of life held on May 20, 2023, 2:00 pm at Overland Court Senior Living, 10250 W Smoke Ranch Dr., Boise.

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In lieu of flowers, the family asks that we all remember people who are in need, and pets that deserve care and adoption, and would ask that you make donations of any kind to the Idaho Humane Society, Moonsong Malamute Rescue, or the animal shelter of your choice, where they provide essential care and adoption services for fur-babies everywhere.