Cover photo for Karen Virts's Obituary
Karen Virts Profile Photo
1945 Karen 2017

Karen Virts

November 30, 1945 — September 15, 2017

Obituary for Karen L Virts

KAREN BAKKE VIRTS, 71, of Missoula, passed away on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at her home of natural causes.
She was born November 30, 1945 in Missoula. Shortly after her birth, she was adopted by her loving parents, Al and Billie Bakke, whom she adored, as well as the entire Bakke family. Mom’s fondest memories growing up were Christmas with the entire clan and growing up on the family farm outside of Missoula. She graduated from Missoula County High School in 1963.
In 1964, she married Harold James Pickens, and of that union, her beloved son, Keith Pickens, was born. They later divorced.
She then married the love of her life, Robert Virts, who with his three children, Mark, Darla and Kristy, formed a special family with four kids. They extended their family with their loving daughter, Shandra, completing the family of yours, mine and ours.
Karen loved working for her friend and mentor, Ted Stetler, for approximately 28 years at Western Montana Monument, where she found her calling working with many families over the years in their time of grief. Upon Ted selling the company, she went to work for her generous friend, Rick Evans, at Cremation and Burial Society of the Rockies until her retirement in 2015. Karen worked hard for 54 years of her life.
She enjoyed many things throughout her life: arts & crafts, painting, and in her younger years, horseback riding. Karen and Bob spent many years at the Garden City Speedway, where she worked in the “Pit Booth”.
For many summers her greatest joys were camping at Lake Alva, where lifetime memories and special bonds were formed.
Later on, Karen and Bob developed a love for Nascar racing and spent many years going to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Once they stopped traveling, Sunday afternoons were spent watching Nascar Racing and Greenbay Packer games.
Karen touched many people when she formed her adoption group in order help families involved in adoption find their loved ones.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her spouse, Bob.
Survivors include her children, Keith (Kim) Pickens of Lolo, Shandra (Pat) Lindburg of Missoula, Mark Virts of Missoula, Darla (Brent) Nokleby of Missoula, Kristy Kominek of Frenchtown, and surrogate daughter, Misty Echevarria of Missoula. Grandchildren include Damon Virts, Jourdan and Amanda Nokleby, Kaden and Kody Pickens, Austin and Dylon Kominek, and Pebbles and Waylon Lindburg (grand-dogs). Also surviving is her brother-in-law Dale (Mary Ann) Virts of Missoula and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 7, 2017 at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home at 1:00 p.m. with a luncheon immediately following the ceremony. Feel free to wear Nascar or Packer attire to honor Karen’s greatest joys.
Mom, we will miss the spark in your personality and your big brown eyes…Love You More

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