Steve Karren celebrated his 80th birthday on October 9, 2020, with his family.
Steve was born in Spokane, Washington, the oldest of six children to Ted and Lois Karren. He spent most of his childhood in Logan where he made close friends and fond memories. He attended Logan High and served an LDS mission in the British Isles. He went on to study Civil Engineering at USU where he met his wife, Johnnie Whitt. They were married in the Logan Temple on July 1, 1966. He completed his MBA in 1967 from Stanford and then moved to Falls Church, Virginia to fulfill his military duty. His young family returned to Logan, where he joined his father’s business, Karren Oil Company, and had a fulfilling career in the petroleum marketing business.
Steve and Johnnie raised their six children in a warm and caring home. He is a devoted father and taught his children to value education and appreciate, accept, and love each other. Family trips were always a highlight and included staying on a houseboat at Lake Powell, camping at National Parks, visiting historical sites in the US, and traveling across Europe.
Steve was an active member of his neighborhood, ward, and community because of his deep love of serving those around him. He was a mentor to youth with his involvement in scouting and other programs. He led various hiking, winter camping, and backpacking trips. Steve started dancing in his youth and kept in practice by taking ballroom dance lessons with his daughters, and in his later years, enjoyed attending Zumba classes.
He and Johnnie have always delighted in meeting new people, especially those of diverse cultures. If they couldn’t be traveling abroad, they brought the world into their home through interactions with international students and welcomed foreign exchange students into their hearts and lives. After retirement Steve and Johnnie traveled to Xian, China, to teach English and enjoyed being immersed in a new culture and the energy of the students they taught. They faithfully served a mission in Chicago in the employment office coaching people in their job search. Steve continued to teach conversational English to the spouses of university students and found this experience very rewarding.
Steve and Johnnie’s much loved children include: 2 sons, David (Shauna) and Jason (Shannon), and 4 daughters, Laura (David) Walton, Rachel (Jason) Murray, Emily (Doug) Cox, Maggie (Scott) Buccambuso, and 19 grandchildren.
His children and grandchildren feel fortunate to have been raised by such a loving father and grandfather. They are so grateful for the example of integrity, love, and service that he has shown throughout his life. Everyone who knows Steve would be glad to wish him a Happy 80th Birthday!