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Karen Deann Nelson Cristler

March 29, 1947 - June 16, 2024

Karen Deann Nelson Cristler peacefully left her earthly home, surrounded with love and the grace of God, on June 16, 2024 in Spokane, WA.

Karen Deann Nelson Cristler peacefully left her earthly home, surrounded with love and the grace of God, on June 16, 2024 in Spokane, WA.


Karen was born on March 29, 1947 in Corning, California to her parents Lowell Wight Nelson and Joan Bernice (Rosenbaum) Nelson.


Karen was a talented painter and artist, an immense lover of nature, the mountains, lakes, streams and any ocean beach she could wander to collect shells.  She never met a unique rock that she didn't love and want to bring home with her.  She enjoyed long, scenic rides to the mountains and any place where she could enjoy God's creation with her family and friends.  As a pioneer for her time, Karen served as the first female Emergency Medical Technician on the Brigham City Ambulance crew and worked for many years in the emergency room on the trauma response team.  Karen shared her talents and life generously as a devoted mother, grandmother and friend to so many she met along her journey.


Karen is preceded in death by her parents Lowell and Joan Nelson, her son Joseph Cristler, and youngest sister Connie Ritter. 


Karen lives on in the hearts and memories of those she left behind; her three sisters, Holly Lewis (Larry), Lorraine Nelson (Greg) and Nina Adams (Eddie); six children Bartimaeus Alan (Rachel), Kimberlee Sample, Melissa Nelson

(Christina), Joshua Burke (Amanda), Elizabeth Johnson (Caleb), and Lisa DeLorenze (Tim); along with thirteen grandchildren Crystal, Emily, Anders, Jordan, Jakob, Amber, William, Alden, Isaac, Avery, Rebecca, Caitlyn, Oliver and twelve great-grandchildren.


A private celebration of her life and legacy will be held in July on Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho.


Her family wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks and immense gratitude to her entire care team at the Spokane Providence St. Joseph's care center, for their compassionate care, and loving service.


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PNW Cremation & Funeral is a Spokane funeral and cremation provider with three Spokane area locations. 

Each of our stores are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm, but are available 24/7 for emergencies.

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