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Front Page » February 27, 2007 » Scene » The queen of popcorn
Published 3,653 days ago

The queen of popcorn

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Huntington resident wows everyone with her caramel popcorn

Karren Justice multi-tasks as she takes orders for the Meat Shop and makes popcorn.

Karren Justice is famous around Huntington for her caramel popcorn. It's unique flavor is like none other. Karren said, "My friend gave me a recipe for the caramel corn and you use brown Karo syrup in it and that makes the difference." Karren has sold her popcorn at the Meat Shop which is the family owned meat cutting business. She also makes her popcorn for family and friends and has marketed it at various stores in Emery County. She also said having an old-fashioned popcorn popper makes the popcorn taste even better.

Karren is married to Orson Justice and they have been married for 48 years. They have six children, 35 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Karren said, "We have one more grandchild due in April and one more great-grandchild due in May.

"I am going to Europe this summer with my granddaughter Tifani and I'm really excited about that. My granddaughter Melissa also went to Europe on the school trip when she was in high school. I've been to get my passport and I'm getting ready.

Karren is also famous for her ability to cook. Her father served in World War II and won medals a fact that Karren is pretty proud of. She said she hasn't been in any wars, just family fueds.

"I was born in 1941 in Huntington in a granary, my Dad had purchased the granary from Hiawatha and he made it into two rooms. I was married in Huntington and when my son Wane was a baby our family went through and was sealed in the temple. I love to sew and do genealogy work. I have sewed all my life and we used to take flour sacks and make skirts with them. I love to haul my grandkids around and I'm always taking something to school they have forgotten. I like to work at the Huntington Elementary doing substitute teaching. I also like to clean.

"When I was 16 years old I went to work for Walt Mortensen for 25 cents an hour at his restaurant. He was a neat guy and I really learned a lot from him. I liked to play ball when I was younger and I really like to sew.

"My family likes to scare me because I jump into the air. One family tradition that my grandchildren think is really fun is at Easter I will take a ball of yarn for each grandchild and string it around the yard and at the end of the string is their Easter basket. I just hand them a tangled ball of yarn and they have to work their way to the end to find their gift.

Karren Palmer Justice as she was as a high school senior.

"I also really like to take pictures. I took photography in school and I continue to take a lot of pictures," said Karren.

Karren has one granddaughter named after her and she thinks that is pretty special, her name is Karren Amber.

"I have four brothers and one sister. When my kids were younger we did a lot of camping, fishing and hunting together and a lot of work. The family business is meat cutting and there is always work to be done. My sons used to wrestle and we always went to all their wrestling meets. I just hated it when they tried to lose weight for wrestling.

"When we were younger I remember the ice skating and sleigh riding and riding down the hill on an old tobaggan. We also were pulled on the hood of a truck up Huntington Canyon. We did a lot of ice skating and roller skating. We had to wear dresses to school back when I went and we were always walking to school in the snow. We still had outhouses and my brothers always tried to tip me over when I was in the outhouse. They would really shake it and make it rock.

"My husband Orson worked at the state prison for four and a half years and he taught the inmates how to cut meat. One time I put a love note in Orson's white shirt pocket while he was working at the prison and one of the inmates happened to wear his shirt that day, so he took the note out of his pocket and read it outloud to everyone.

"I have lived in Huntington, Hiawatha, and after I was married we lived in Layton for three years and Lehi for four and a half years and then we moved to Price. I was in the band in high school and we traveled to California. When my daughter Peggy came off her mission we traveled to Pennsylvania to pick her up. I have also been to Alaska. I went on the trek with the youth to Wyoming a few years back and that was a lot of fun. My children also had stockshow animals when they were growing up. I have worked with the achievement day girls in our ward for years and I really love them.

"Our family bought out Maurice Jensen's meat business.

"I was born into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have been active in church for my whole life. At first my Dad wasn't active but then he became active and we were sealed to our parents in 1957. My Mother was a Larsen from Castle Dale and comes from a very religious family. We have a Larsen and a Palmer reunion every summer. I would just hate to think of what my life would have been like without the church. It has been a foundation for my whole life.

"I love to collect spoons and turtles. I have had a lot of spiritual experiences doing my genealogy work. I also helped take care of my parents when they were getting older. They have both passed on now. I just love my family and don't know what I would do without them. When my grandkids turn 16 then I give them a homemade quilt top for them to finish. I also help them finish the quilt which helps teach them a little about sewing. I also make a lot of baby quilts.

Karren Justice serves homemade bread at the Castle Valley Pageant each summer. She also makes her famous honey candy for the tourists to pull.

"I like to go to the volleyball and basketball games and watch the grandkids play. I like to do embroidery and crochet and knit. I was taught these skills by Tempe Childs and Helen Brown. In one year's time I lost both of those dear old friends and my Mom.

"I would like to advise kids today to keep themselves morally and physically clean. Don't date anyone that you wouldn't want to be the father of your children. Talk with respect. It just seems like these days there is so much disrespect for parents and others. Kids need to watch how they treat each other. Kids shouldn't talk back to their parents and parents shouldn't argue in front of their kids. Young people need to watch their language and use clean words. Remember to be modest," said Karren.

For a special gift for her brothers and sister Karren made copies of her parents love letters that her Dad had sent while he was in the war. She presented these booklets of long ago memories to her family.

Karren has also been involved with the Castle Valley Pageant making her honey candy for the tourists. One year she even caught her long skirt on fire. "I really like doing the pageant, you meet a lot of people. Another thing I do with the grandkids is have them pull honey candy and at Christmas we always make sugar cookies.

"When we were picking up Peggy in Pennsylvania, we were able to meet President Kimball. That was a neat experience," said Karren.

Karren said she really likes to garden and play outside in the flowers and she hates spiders.

A lifetime of love and service makes Karren Justice a jewel to know and her caramel popcorn helps to make the world just a little sweeter.

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February 27, 2007
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