Karen Regina Romine Chandler
Karen Regina Romine Chandler, 83, with her weak body and strong will waited until her children were able to see her one last time before moving on to her next journey, Jan. 19, 2021.
Karen was born on Nov. 10, 1937, in Billings, Montana to Dan and Dorothy (Graham) Romine. In her younger years, she split her time between living at her father’s ranch in Hysham, MT, and her home in Billings. She had many fond memories of being outdoors, helping her father tend to the daily chores, and going on adventures with her horse, Wings. She spent her time in Billings, with her mother and Grandmother Graham. She also enjoyed traveling and staying in nice hotels with her mother and stepfather, who was a chef. She would recall dancing in the large dining halls and eating fine food. As a child, Karen was quite shy and would spend hours immersing herself in books and was particularly drawn towards stories of life on the homestead.
After high school, Karen began attending college at the University of Texas and Montana State University, where she graduated with her bachelor’s degree. The once shy little ranch girl, found her confidence, becoming a member of the Phi Betta Cappa Sorority. She even attended a school dance where she was voted ‘Dream Girl’. It was towards the end of her college years that this beauty queen met Dave Chandler. Dave and Karen were soon married and went on to have three beautiful children of their own – Dan, Lance, and Trina.
She and her family relocated to the Northwest, where she decided to continue her education, receiving her master’s degree in Education from Seattle Pacific University and was a proud straight-A student. Karen established a program known as Career Counseling at a few Kent Washington high schools, which would later be replicated throughout schools across the state. Karen felt immense joy in helping teenagers discover their aptitudes and careers options that they may have not known to exist. When their eyes lit up, her heart filled. She enjoyed her time working in education, but after she retired, Karen moved back to her family’s ranch.
After her divorce, Karen spent much of her time designing, renovating property, and traveling across the United States to discover more about her ancestry. She continued to be a lover of fine food with a mastery of turning even the blandest food into something fabulous. She had a knack for aesthetics, glam, and interior design and her eyes would light up whenever she saw something that needed her creative touch. She was always determined to find the best of the best, whether it was food, clothing, jewelry, etc (i.e. – President Butter is the winner of the butter category). Karen never lost her love of horses and pets, and always felt a close bond with her ‘favorites’.
To her family, she was a rock, a friend, and the one who instilled ethics, morality, truth, and integrity. Her progressive mind was certainly entertaining and always kept them laughing.
Karen is preceded in death by her dad and stepmom, Dan and Angie Romine, and her mom and stepdad, Dorothy and Thomas ‘Tex’ Middleton. She always felt blessed to have such close relationships with her stepparents. Surviving are her children Dan (Katrina) Chandler, Lance Chandler, and Trina (Joe) Soria. Grandchildren Jake Tague, Mark (Rachael), Jack, David, Danny, Grace (Aaron) Chandler, Chandler, Micailee, Haven Soria. Great-Grandson Oliver Chandler. Brother Bard (Gayle) Middleton.