Kaarisa Karlten, originally known as Keitheen Nichols, has died at 57, and family and friends will gather soon in two cities to remember her. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:
Born Keitheen Ione Nichols on January 28, 1959, the middle child of five to Keith and Thomasine Nichols of Seattle, she passed away on January 12, 2017, battling breast cancer. Memorial celebrations will be held on January 28th at 3pm at Fauntleroy Church in West Seattle, and in LaGrande, Oregon on February 4th at 3 pm at LaGrande’s Marketplace, 1101 Washington Avenue.
A West Seattle High School graduate, Keitheen went on to study Interior Design at Bellevue College. She used her education in many creative endeavors from interior design, painting, drawing and murals.
Keitheen also attended Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington, and further studied Entrepreneurship, Business, and Multimedia. She lent her artistic talents to creating a backdrop and set for a local television production of “Storytime,” featuring local storytellers. And she put her education to use forming a business, Cottageware, putting her drawings and designs to work on aprons and kitchen dishtowels, selling them at local shops.
At 50 years old, she decided to change her legal name to Kaarisa Karlten, tired of her name being mispronounced her whole life.
She moved to LaGrande, Oregon in 2003, where she channeled her artistic talents with her husband, Wyatt Williams in their custom metal work business, Williams and Karlten Design and Fabrication. Their work can be seen among many businesses in LaGrande and surrounding areas.
Kaarisa believed in always leaving a place better than you found it, and her life is a legacy of that belief, whether you knew her for years, briefly, online or in person. She volunteered in many community events, even Delridge Day (photo at right) to help her daughter’s community. She was a vibrant soul who believed in living life to the fullest as your truest self.
She is survived by her husband Wyatt Williams; three children, Holli Margell, Hance Edwards, Hannah Jane Winn; two stepchildren: Garrett Williams and Kasey Lathrop; three grandchildren; her brothers Stephen Nichols and Michael Nichols; and sister Heidi Henry.
Photos by Holli Margell.
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