Karen Peterson, 57, of Billings, passed away on Nov. 4, 2008, with her sisters and one of her best friends by her side at the Horizon Hospice House, after a courageous, graceful and dignified battle with cancer.
Karen was born Aug. 16, 1951, in Red Lodge, to Norman and Frances Peterson. Karen was the second of her three siblings, Sharon (Ron) Stein of Oregon, Rick Peterson of Ennis and her little sister, Darlene Peterson of Billings. Karen was also blessed with a loving stepsister, Sally (Rulon) Wardell and stepbrother Tommy (Jean Ann) Kirk of Helena.
In 1970, Karen married Skip Meier of Columbus and together they had three wonderful sons: Brian (Karen) Meier of Absarokee, Kristofer (Kamae) Meier of Townsend, and Jamie (Shannon) Meier of Absarokee. Karen's boys were her pride and joy.
Karen had a beautiful smile that left a permanent mark on the hearts of many. Karen was a very free spirit who loved the outdoors, her favorite place to be was at the river; and it was not unusual to find her and two of her dearest friends, Tami Reimer and Lori Loegering, floating down the Stillwater together. Karen was blessed to have her own guardian angel here on earth in her friend, Marie "Moie" Gass and her "honey," Rick Gass. Moie spent many nights at the Hospice House with Karen's sisters, sleeping beside Karen's bed in the recliner. Moie, you are a Godsend.
Karen's greatest joys came from being "Nana" to her 11 grandchildren: Kimberly, Hunter, Sierra, Lexi, Morgan, Mercedes, Memphys, Justin, Claytan, Haylee and Tanner. Her grandchildren were her inspiration and strength she had to fight the battle which was before her. Nana, we will never forget you, we love you.
Karen was preceded in death by both of her parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles. She is survived by her children, her sisters and brother and her very special Aunt Darlene who was like a mother to Karen, and her stepfather, Doug Kirk and numerous nieces and nephews.
Karen, our loving mother, sister, daughter, "Nana" and friend, you gave so much, never asking for anything in return. Your sense of humor, your wits and wisdoms you shared up to the very end, your love for life and adventure, your laughter and your smile have kept us all going. We are humbled by your strength, determination, grace and courage you put forth to fight this battle. We love you, whole hearts and souls, always and forever. You are with us always.
A very special thank you to Dr. Tom Purcell, Diane Jones and the entire Oncology Department at Billings Clinic for your unending support, compassion, dedication and love you gave to Karen. Also, to the staff at the Horizon Hospice House for your care, compassion and dedication to Karen in her last journey here on earth.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.