The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

Karen Izelle (Gallion) Tinkham


Last updated 12/10/2020 at 8:40am

Karen Izelle (Gallion) Tinkham, born on March 8th, 1944 in Ritzville WA, died peacefully and unexpectedly on November 19th, 2020. Karen lived a life of hard work, dedication and loving her family and friends. Karen grew up in Ritzville and attended Lind High School. After high school, Karen moved to Spokane in the late 1960’s where she met and married her late husband Donald F Tinkham.

She was an extremely hard-working woman not afraid of any job. This is what lead her to career in truck driving alongside her husband. They traveled the country from coast to coast. They drove for many years together, loving the adventures and site seeing opportunities. Her travel passion didn’t stop when she stopped driving truck. She continued with her love of travel taking smaller road trips, especially to visit the ocean beaches.

Her extreme organization and amazing time management lead to jobs in kitchen management and waitressing. Her love of people and cooking didn’t stop at the job. She loved to open her home to cook and bake for her family and friends. She would welcome anyone into her home that desired a good home cooked meal.

Karen loved to stay active attending events, celebrations and milestone gatherings with her loved ones. She had the biggest, giving heart. She was very quiet and never wanted to be the center of attention. Karen was the most dependable, loyal person, always the first to offer a helping hand and the last to leave any event, making sure everything and everyone were taken care of. She had a true gift and love of gardening. She spent most of her free time, weather permitting as she’d say, enjoying and caring for her large beautiful yard that was full of flowers, plants and vegetables. When not outside, she loved spending time doing complex, mind blowing puzzles.

Another true passion of Karen’s was the love of her friends and their time together. She would frequently host dinners followed by late night cards games or trips to the casino. Karen’s time and loyalty didn’t stop with her friends and family. She was extremely dedicated to saving the lives of many homeless dogs and cats by giving hundreds of hours of her time volunteering at SpokAnimal.

Amongst everything she loved and cared about in her life, Karen would tell you that her biggest accomplishment, joy and pride were her family. There were no limits to the love and support she provided them.

Karen is survived by her two sisters, Darlene Abney, Pendleton, OR Sharon Englehart, Lind, WA, four daughters, Tami Shaffer (Brad), Debi Carden (Tim), Kimi Van Hout (Joe) and Niki Conner, grandchildren, Torrey Riley (Ashley), Blaine Riley, Austin Barto, Amber Hull (Kevin), Andrea Smith (JC), Makenzi, Michael and Emily Carden, Kendyl and Berkley Van Hout, Jaydn Tinkham, and 5 great grandchildren.

Karen is preceded in death by her father, William Gallion, mother, M. Lucille Gallion, 2 brothers Wilbur and Roy Gallion, and late husband Don Tinkham. A celebration of life will be held at a later time yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation to SpokAnimal 710 N Napa St, Spokane, WA 99202.


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