Kara Lee Schwend was born December 5th, 1971 in Billings Montana. She passed away December 10th, 2017 at home on the ranch in St. Xavier surrounded by family. She was the mother of two boys, Steven and Conner Schwend and the wife of Cody Schwend. Her parents were Robert Koyama and Nadine Hanks Koyama. She was raised and attended school in Hardin. She was a straight A student and a member of the National Honors Society. She was also a multi-sport athlete. She played volleyball, basketball, and tennis. She participated in many clubs such as: FFA, BPA, 4-H, student council etc. After graduating from Hardin in 1990, she continued her schooling at Washington State University in Pullman. She finished her schooling in 3 years and received degrees in Ag Business and Economics.
Kara came back home, worked, and helped manage her Dad’s (Robert) Farm. Soon after she came home she started dating Cody Schwend and gave birth to Steven Robert Schwend on April 14th 1994. They bought a home right out of Hardin and she continued to help her Dad on the farm and also helped Cody and his Dad Corky Schwend on the Lazy SY Ranch. Cody and Kara dated for 5 years and Cody proposed to her Christmas day 1999. They were married on June 17th 2000 at the Royal Bighorn Lodge. That same year, Corky Schwend passed away on October 1st. He was a very influential part of her life and was until the day she passed. She thought of him before every decision she made. Conner Glen Schwend was born March 27th, 2001. After Conner was born they moved out to the lazy SY in St. Xavier and took over the ranch where she lived the rest of her life. 6 years ago Steven brought Tonnie into the Schwends lives. They have 2- soon to be 3 children.
Kara loved spending time with Carlos and Zayleigh and teaching them about ranch life. They loved playing with Grandmas goats and chickens, and how she always bragged up her cows. Kara also enjoyed helping Steven and Tonnie fix up their home. She was always supportive of Tonnie adapting to living in the middle of nowhere.
People who knew her say that Kara was the hardest working woman around and the best business partner Cody could ever have. Her friends referred to her as wonder woman. Kara was also known for her “resourceability”. She believed in upcycling and could literally make treasures out of trash. Just ask her family about their dumpster diving adventures.
Her boys Steven (23) and Conner (16) were the most important things in her life. (And her cows). Her favorite thing to do was to watch her boys have fun playing football and wrestling (her favorite sports). During their activities she touched many lives along the way. Kara became like a mother to all of the boys’ teammates and friends. Kara took kids to anything from football camps to wrestling tournaments. It didn’t matter if was to town, across the state or another state completely. Kara was always proud when people would compliment her on what good and respectful young men Steven and Conner are. That was the most important thing to her-that her boys were respectful, treated right and made sure they were surrounded by good people. Her whole goal in life was to make sure her boys became good men and live happy lives.
We will be “doubletough” Mom. Written by Connor
Memorial Service will be Sunday December 17, 2017 at 1:00 PM in Hardin Middle School Auditorium. Following the services there will be a reception held at the Big Horn County Fairgrounds. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Big Horn County Historical Museum or send contributions to the family for the Kara Lee Agriculture and Student Athlete Scholarship. Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.