By Kenzie Day
MHS Student Writer
Karen Strong‘s life started at McKay Hospital in Ogden, Utah on March 21, 1956. Her parents are Willis and Dorothy Packard. She has five siblings: one sister and four brothers. Growing up, she was very close to her siblings and cousins. She and her cousins were very close in age, and all lived close to each other. She says she was always her dad’s favorite. Her favorite childhood memory was going to Como Springs daily with close family and friends. She wishes it were still open for her grandkids. Another childhood memory was backyard sleepovers with friends especially staying up all night just to go raid neighbors’ gardens. She still looks back at her childhood memories and is grateful for the small town atmosphere that she grew up in.
She was very successful in high school and enjoyed it very much. She finished her credits during her senior year, so she started college early. She received a business scholarship at Steven Henager’s. She went to college for two years. She graduated with an associate degree. A year after graduating, she married Kelly Strong. They went to school together growing up. She later had four kids. She has three boys and one girl. After 30 years of marriage, her spouse passed away from a heart attack. She now has eight grandchildren she puts most of her time into.
She started working at a young age. She was 12 when she started picking potatoes for her first job. Some of the other jobs at an older age were working for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. Her favorite part about it was working for Max Robinson, the sheriff. If you knew him, he took his time and was never in a hurry. She loved getting to know all the deputies and creating good friendships with them all.
She also worked at Morgan High School. She was a registrar. She loved the challenge of making certain everyone’s schedules worked including the teachers’. She loved getting to know all the kids and has lasting friendships with many students. She also loved working at McKay Hospital. She loved being in the E.R because of all the excitement. It was sometimes stressful to see her family or friends in the E.R. But she loved not ever having a dull moment in the day. It made her shifts go by very fast. She is very grateful for all of her job opportunities and all the memories she can hold onto.
In 1994, Karen and her husband started a Metal Company in Morgan. It is called Morgan Valley Metals. They have had ups and downs with the business. Some of their favorite jobs they worked on were making roller coasters and dragsters for Lagoon and other amusement parks. They do a lot of crash barriers for the side of the roads. They ship some of these to other countries. They also do a lot of projects for the cement plant. The business is now run by two of her sons. The death of her spouse Kelly made it difficult to keep the business, but is still successfully run. . Karen owns the business and appreciates all who have worked for her.
Traveling has always been a big part of Karen‘s life. She went on many vacations with her family. They enjoyed Disneyland, Bear Lake and many camping trips. One of her favorite places she has traveled is Hawaii with three of her friends. They learned to surf. They loved it so much they extended their trip a few days. She has been on a cruise to Mexico, but enjoys staying at resorts more than going on cruises.
One of her sons went to a specialized woodworking school in England. When he was finished, Karen traveled to England with some of her family. During this trip, she also traveled to France and Germany. While in France, she got locked in the elevator for what felt like forever, but in reality was only about 10 minutes. To this day, she still hates elevators. She now has property in Scenic, Arizona which is 10 miles from Mesquite, Nevada. She also has property in the Uinta Mountains. She feels like she has the best of both worlds.
Karen has always been known by most in Morgan. She is loved by many. She loves being a grandma. When people ask her what her hobby is she says “being a grandma”. She has had a very fulfilling life and has loved almost every second of it. She looks back at her memories as a child and is so grateful for growing up in a small town. She loves how the small town has affected her as a person and the people around her. She continues to support Morgan County as it grows and is still the owner of Morgan Valley Metals. She loves traveling and being with her close family and friends. She can’t wait to see what Morgan becomes. I am so lucky to call her my grandma.