Kara Lee Schwend

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.


22 thoughts on “Kara Lee Schwend

  • December 12, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    What an absolutely amazing obituary. Thank you, Conner. We’ll miss Kara. She lives on in all of you and all the people she touched.

  • December 12, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    My heart goes out to the Koyama family. Will keep them in our prayers from North Dakota.

  • December 12, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Koyama and Schwend family,
    You are in our prayers and our hearts are hurting for you all.

  • December 12, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Our hearts are heavy for the Schwend Family.
    I don’t know any mother that cheered harder for every boy on the football field. Her love and pride for her boys and our Bulldogs was such a joy to see! Kara, You now have the greatest seat in the house. God Bless you sweet lady.

  • December 12, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    My thoughts and prayers for Cody and the boys and tge Koyama and Schwend families. My GOD comfort and guide you during this very difficult time. Kara was a beautiful person inside and out.

  • December 12, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    I knew her briefly, but from the first moment we met at the lake, she took me into her loving heart & counted me a friend. You knew the minute you met her she was something special. She made an impression on my life & is truly an unforgettable person. My prayers are with her family, close friends & everyone else she ever met.

  • December 13, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Deepest sympathies to the Schwend and Koyama families. Prayers going out to you all. Beautifully written Conner.

  • December 13, 2017 at 6:55 am

    From the Trusty family we want to send our thoughts to the Koyama and Schwend family.

  • December 13, 2017 at 8:42 am

    We are so sorry for the loss of beautiful Kara. Our sympathies to all her families. What a wonderful story of her life to share with others. Our prayers.

  • December 13, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Koyama and Schwend families. We will always remember Kara’s beautiful smile and loving heart she had.

  • December 13, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Deepest sympathies to the Koyama and Schwend families. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  • December 13, 2017 at 9:31 am

    I met Kara when we moved to Hardin and she was my 7th grade classmate. I was in awe of her toughness, especially hearing her harrowing stories of lambing! Her beauty and strength will live on in all who love her. Prayers.

  • December 13, 2017 at 9:55 am

    My prayers and condolences to the Koyama and Schwend families.

  • December 13, 2017 at 10:22 am

    To all of Kara’s family,
    My heart is broken learning of the fight with cancer and the loss of a valiant fighter. Now in the loving arms of your Heavenly Father you are running free of pain and burdens.
    My heart goes out to Cody, your sons and grandchildren, you will forever live on in their hearts. To Nadine and Robert, my heart breaks as a mother, I can’t even try to imagine the loss of a child. I know you have great strength and with the help of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, you will be sustained. Kam, Rob, and Kellie, the memories you share with Kara will always be precious, keep them alive by sharing them with her boys and grandchildren.
    You are all in my heart and prayers.

  • December 13, 2017 at 10:26 am

    What a beautiful tribute to one of the strongest women I ever got the pleasure of knowing and worked with. Hugs and prayers to Cody and boys. Koyama and Schwend families. Kara you will be missed ❤

  • December 13, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Beautifully written about a tough and beautiful friend.

  • December 13, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Our deepest condolences to Cody, Steven, and Conner. Also to Robert, Nadine, Kam, Rob, and Kellie. Dale and I watched these kids grow up, so it breaks our hearts to see them taken in the prime of life. Kara was such a beautiful soul; inside and out. She certainly lived life to the fullest and made sure everyone around her knew they were loved. A life well lived. Prayers and hugs to all of you in the coming days.

  • December 13, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    My deepest sympathies to family and friends. She is an angel now heaven looking over her family and friends. May God bless.

  • December 14, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Kara was a very kind and gentile person. She loved to talk about her family. She always had a smile on her face. The Aldrich family sends our condolences to the Schwend and Koyama families. Kara will be missed.

  • December 14, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    My heart is with the Koyama family and what stupendous influence they have made in this small community. My deepest condolences for their loss!❤️

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