Karl Lee Hossner, a long time resident of Colstrip, Montana, passed away on January 22, 2024, at the age of 73. Karl was born on June 7, 1950 during a snow storm to Earl and Yoland Hossner.. He was the first of their 6 children to be born in the hospital in Ashton, Idaho.
He had a great ear for music and would pick out songs on his brother Lynn’s guitar when he was barely as big as the guitar, so for Christmas, his father made him a guitar that would fit him. He and brother Lynn would play and sing at family gatherings, serenading their grandparents on their 50th wedding anniversary when Karl was 8. Lynn bought a banjo one summer and his parting words to his mother as he went out to work on the farm was “Don’t let that Karl mess with my banjo!”. He knew Karl would figure it out easier than he would.. Karl attended schools in Ashton where he was on the football team, a member of the ski club and on the Bear Gulch Ski Patrol. He played tenor saxophone in the school band. He played guitar and saxophone in a rock band called, “The Nightwalkers”. They played for dances all over Southeast Idaho. At the J.C.’s Battle of the Bands contest in Twin Falls, Idaho, he won the award for “Most Outstanding Musician”.
Karl attended the University of Idaho the fall semester after graduating from high school. By Christmas break he was sure his grades weren’t going to be what his parents were expecting, so upon returning to Moscow and taking his finals, with the aide of his sister Janet, he caught a plane to Hawaii where he lived with Janet working as a bus boy at the Hilton on the island of Maui by night, and at a car rental place by day. By spring, this experience had made his love for the farm even stronger than ever so he returned home. He spent a semester at Idaho State University but farming seemed to be his focus. He, father Earl and brother Larry ran the farm together raising grains, hay and certified seed potatoes.
He liked adventure so one fall after the fields were cleared, he and a friend made their way across the US and ended up in St. Petersburg, Florida. They worked at various jobs but he headed home come spring visiting old friends in Arkansas and family in Nebraska along the way. This was the early 70’s and his longish blonde hair got him pegged as a “hippy”so he didn’t tarry long,.
Karl married Brenda Kessler March 29, 1974. They were blessed with two children, Heather Lee and Joshua Earl who joined big sisters Chari and Donna. Heather and Josh would accompany Karl to the farm and liked nothing better than to be a part of whatever adventure was taking place each day. Heather was killed in a car accident along with her aunt Karen November 30, 1982. A few years later the family moved to Bozeman, Montana. While living there, Karl enrolled in Montana State University where he received his masters in business administration. He was one of the first to receive a certificate to work with certain computer programs.. While going to college he held various jobs. In 1994 he ran for county commissioner but wasn’t successful. The summer of ‘96 he and son Josh sprayed noxious weeds on Ted Turner’s ranch outside Bozeman. They had access to the beautiful mountains and he and Brenda would ride their horses on trail rides and campouts. He and Brenda divorced in 1996.
Karl moved to Helena where he taught business at a high school there. He met Patricia M. Hiwalker playing music along the streets by the capital building. Their love of music brought them together and they were married and moved to Lame Deer, Montana where Karl had procured a job teaching History and social studies at Lame Deer High School. Patricia passed away after 5 years of marriage. His technology certification and further training prepared him for an opening as director of technology, a position he held until his retirement.
Karl would travel to Arizona, Alaska, Florida and South Carolina, visiting his sisters. He also would take month long trips to the Philippines. He met Janelu Alegria. They were married February 18, 2011. Janelu was unable to get a visa at that time to come to the United States, so Karl returned to his job in Lame Deer, returning each year for a month visit. In the fall of 2012 Karl was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He flew to the Philippines and returned with Janelu and then received treatment. In October of 2012 their son Benjamin Karl was born. Janelu’s daughters Diana and Daniella joined them in Montana after 2 years. After retiring Karl enjoyed his time with family.
Karl is survived by his wife Janelu; Sons Joshua Hossner of Hauser, Idaho, and Benjamin Hossner, step-daughters Diana and Daniella Mandajoyan of Colstrip, Montana, Chari Milligan of Murphy, North Carolina, and Dawna Salter Farfan of Seal Beach, California; grandchildren Lancaster Hossner, Chloe Taylor, Brody Taylor, Nicholas Milligan, Brooke Milligan, Ian Venzon, and Kiah Venzon. He is survived by two sisters, Janet Mason of Ketchikan, Alaska and Diane Marzen of Aiken, South Carolina plus numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his beloved daughter Heather Lee, grandson Cobi, and his three older brothers Larry, Lynn and Fred.