Karen L (Caldwell) Hartman
May 31, 1955 - November 9, 2018
Karen L (Caldwell) Hartman, Born May 31, 1955 in Smyrna, TN., passed away to Heaven on November 9, 2018 peacefully from ALS.
Karen was born to loving parents James & Erna Caldwell & older brother Klaus. A few years later, younger brother Andy completed their family. She was raised in AR until her family relocated to Kingsburg, CA when she was 7 years old.
She met her lifelong best friends Debbie Ramirez & Ellie Quattrin in grade school & continued their beloved bond throughout her life. They shared childhood memories, marriages, heartache, births & grandchildren they adore.
Karen often babysat & became a part of several Kingsburg families especially Eunice Williams, Karl & Julie Finley and Tony & Hattie Lewis. The Lewis's became both of Karen's daughter's godparents which ensured our relationships were lifelong & tethered to Kingsburg. All of her fondest memories are of Kingsburg & her life there.
Karen's daughter Laura was born Aug. 19th, 1974 in Kingsburg. She doted on her like a doll & loved telling stories about Laura's cheeks, curls & cute personality.
Karen met her 1st husband Nick & they married a few years later at Holy Family Catholic Church where she had received previous sacraments. They moved together to WA state to settle down near his family. They had a daughter Diana born Sept 9th, 1981 in Aberdeen, Wa. Karen began her dream of becoming a nurse after being a devoted stay at home mom until Diana was old enough to attend school.
Karen became an LPN with honors from GHCC. When her family relocated to Olympia, WA in 1988. She continued her education at SPSCC graduating again with honors as a RN. Her favorite practice was pediatrics. Karen loved babies & pediatric nursing turned into a lifelong passion & career.
After a divorce & continuing to raise her family, Karen's 1st daughter Laura married Russ Milarch & his son Russell became her 1st grandchild. A few years later, their daughter “Amma's Baby” Brianna was born & she had a baby again to love, dress up, spoil & nurture.
Karen met her current, devoted, loyal & compassionate husband Ed who was with her during a bought of cancer. Once she was well & strong again, they married in a quaint ceremony in Lake Tahoe in Dec. of 2000. They made their home in rural Spanaway, Wa. until sunshine was calling her back to California. They enjoyed dining out, day trips & traveling together on cruise ships especially to Mexico.
Karen's daughter Diana had Mia, who became another of “Nammy's Baby” to spoil, help raise & fall in love with. Karen has always had a particularly special bond with her grandchildren. Ed's grandchildren would also join in on sleep overs, vacations, holidays & birthdays. Los Angeles was their home for 8 years before retiring to Lake Havasu City, AZ. Although miles away, they cherished every vacation their grandkids spent with them swimming, going to the beach, road trips & spoiling them with love, time, cuddles, food & memories.
Karen retired once her ALS diagnosis made it unsafe for her to work. It was very bittersweet to leave a career she was so passionate about for reasons due to an unrecoverable illness. Her physical body rapidly weakened but she never lost her warmth, sense of humor, love for her grandchildren, laughter or her dedication to her Catholic Faith & beliefs. She chose to live out the inevitable of ALS with grace, dignity & laughter at God's will.
Karen remained a dedicated & compassionate nurse for over 30 years. She finished her education later in life receiving her Bachelor's degree in Nursing. She enjoyed crafts, painting & collected red apple décor. Karen passionately loved family, friends, babies & God. May we cherish our memories of her in the same ways & by listening to a song Karen requested; Forever Young by Rod Stewart.
Kingsburg which will always be her home & she chose to be buried next to her father at Kingsburg Cemetery. Karen Leah Hartman is survived by Husband Ed HartmanDaughter Laura (Russ) Milarch, Daughter Diana Johnson,Grandchildren Russell & Brianna Milarch, Mia Gonzalez & Ed's children & grandchildren. Lifelong friends Debbie Ramirez Romine & Ellie Dodd & their families. Hattie Lewis & her family. Karl & Julie Finley & their family. As well as numerous childhood friends from Kingsburg, 2 brothers & their spouses, Klaus & Carmen Caldwell and Andy & Linda Caldwell as well as their children & grandchildren, First husband Nick Meins and his 5 sisters & their families in WA & OR states.
She was preceded in death by her parents James & Erna Caldwell, loving Mother figures Eunice Williams & Theresa Ramirez, Tony Lewis & many other friends she longed to reunite with in Heaven. Ed, Laura & Diana would like to extend our warmest regards to all who reached out with a visit, phone call, card, photos, shared memories & love to her while she was ill especially Shirlee & Tammy. As a nurse, she promised us to honor the nursing & hospice staff in the end who showered her with loyalty, open hearts, gentle words, prayers & dedication to their passion being caregivers.
Rosary will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church on Thursday. Dec. 6th at 6p.m. as well as a funeral Mass on Fri. Dec, 7th at 10a.m. A graveside blessing & burial to immediately follow at Kingsburg Cemetery close family and friends. Everyone is welcome to celebrate Karen's life at the church hall for refreshments & luncheon. In lieu of gifts, donations can be made at: http://www.alsa.org/donate/