Karlynn Jo (Hester) Howard

Karlynn Jo (Hester) Howard

Karlynn passed unexpectedly in her sleep early Monday morning, March 18, 2013. Born in Everett, WA on May 7, 1960 to Leon and Janis Hester, Karlynn spent the first several years of her life living around the world as the daughter of an Air Force jet engine mechanic. After her father retirement from the Air Force, the family settled in Bellevue, where she graduated from Sammamish H.S. in 1978. After high school, Karlynn followed in her mother's footsteps and attended beauty school before starting her 34 year career as a hair stylist in Bellevue.

On July 3, 1979, Karlynn met the man of her dreams and on Oct. 17, 1981 she married Rich Howard. In 1983 Karlynn took on the name that would define her for the rest of her life when she gave birth to her oldest son, Tyler. Following Tyler were brothers Brian and Dan who were born in 1985 and 1987 respectively. Anyone in their early 30's or younger knew her simply as "Ma." Over the years, Karlynn's favorite things to do were sunbathing (her favorite sport) as well as watching her husband's and sons' athletic events. She was always there, from T-Ball through High School sports and eventually until she passed, watching her husband and sons play men's softball together on the same team, every summer. She also was a skilled cross stitcher, enjoyed reading, camping, playing cards and spending time with family and friends. What Karlynn will most be remembered for was her motherly charm. Her front door was always open and no kid was ever turned away for a dinner, a place to crash or a conversation that would last through the night.

Karlynn was survived by her husband Rich; her sons Tyler, Brian and Daniel; her father Leon; her brothers Kurt and Russell and several nieces and nephews. She was also survived by her pride and joy, her granddaughter Leighton as well as the hundreds of kids that she touched over the years that she thought of as her own. She was preceded in death by her mother Janis and Grandparents Ward and Doris Russell.

There will be a memorial service at the Vasa Park Ballroom on West Lake Sammamish Parkway on Monday, March 25th at 2:00pm. The family suggests that any donations be made to the St. Jude's Children's Hospital in her name.

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Guest Book at www.legacy.com.

Published in The Seattle Times from Mar. 23 to Mar. 24, 2013