Kellee Lynn Saunders
March 21, 1960 - September 21, 2010
It all revolved around family.
Our dear Kellee was taken from us after a too short, eight month battle with cancer.
Kellee lived life to its fullest – surrounded by those who meant the most to her; her loving husband of 25 years, Dean; her children Niqi, Dani, Anissa, and Shane, as well as their spouses and families; her mother, Patty; sisters, Kim and Kathy; a large extended family; and many, many wonderful friends.
Kellee is survived by her loving husband, Dean, who has been her faithful companion, travel partner, left shoe to her right, care taker in her time of need, and shoulder to cry on in times of sorrow. They fatefully met at a bowling alley in Everett many years ago. Kellee wasn’t too sure at first, who was this guy who ran into her at the jukebox spilling her drink, but somehow Dean’s unrelenting spirit and charm grew on her and they have been together ever since.
Kellee can be remembered for her unmistakable smile and contagious laugh. She was up for any challenge, even enduring skiing and snowshoeing because Dean loved the winter activities and she wanted to share those experiences with him. She loved to travel around the country, always looking over the next horizon for her next adventure with Dean. They were “two peas in a pod” – sharing the same interests and values of family, adventure, and living life to its fullest.
Children – Kellee’s kids brought her much joy. They all have fond memories of their mom throughout their lives and share these thoughts:
Niqi’s thoughts: My mother wasn’t a woman who had many real hobbies or interests. She didn’t ski unless she went with my dad. She wasn’t much of a dirt bike rider or in to sports or hiking, but was up to anything if it meant that she got to spend time with somebody she loved. Her main hobby was nothing really more than family. Anywhere from vacations to holidays to just coming over for dinner, it all revolved around family. I don’t think my parents hardly had a night alone because she always wanted me or my siblings, cousins, whoever to come over and spend time with them. She would be there in a second if we ever needed anything. She was there at the hospital at 2 am when I thought my water broke, even though it was nothing more than a bladder malfunction. She barely left the hospital when I did have baby Kale, and that was usually to get Kurt and I food. She would’ve let me or any of us kids move back in home if I wanted just so she could see us more. Let me tell you, you did not want to tell her you couldn’t make it over for Christmas or Thanksgiving or any family event because you would be in big trouble…. And now all these people that she always wanted to see will miss her dearly. The nice thing about her being so family oriented, is that even though she did die much too young, we have a ton of great memories with her. I probably spent as much time with my mother in my 25 years as some people have in 50. For that I am grateful. I love you mom, and I will miss you more than I could ever tell you. We will all remember you for your endless supply of love.
Dani’s thoughts: My fondest memory of my mom was family dinners where everyone was welcomed. I don’t think my mom was happy unless everyone was so full that they couldn’t breathe. As a kid the house always smelled like home cooking but it was also at least 90 degrees inside all winter…Let’s just say my mom loved her wood fires. When we went camping my dad had to bring his generator so she could have her coffee in the morning. All of us knew not to talk to her before she had at least one cup of coffee. My mom loved to sing. She would have her iPod on most of the time and would sing out loud, not caring who heard her. She also loved drinking red wine with ice in it, she loved shopping, and even the snow even though she hated being cold. Our trips to Hawaii and St. John, enjoying the beach and the rum punch in St. John. Most of all, my mom just loved her family.
Shane’s thoughts: One of my fondest memories of Kellee was while on vacation in July 2010. We were at the dune house down in Oregon and we had a bunch of family out playing in the sand. It was a pretty sunny day with a nice breeze, a little chilly but almost perfect. Dean and Kellee had bought a new side by side ATV called a RZR (Razer). I had never ridden in one before and Dean piloted the first outing with me. It was great. He knew the limits of the machine already so he knew how far he could push it and still be in the safe zone. Mt second ride was myself as pilot with my wife, Kayla, sitting shotgun. Pretty calm ride but fun at the same time, just cruising around. Third ride, Kellee was in the driver’s seat. She had her iPod on and she was singing her little heart out, putting along like a little grandma while I was waiting for her to step on it. Never happened. She was singing some God-awful country song but she had the biggest smile on her face, laughing as we plodded on our own trail through the bumpy part of a little grassy bump singing that same song. I can’t remember what she was singing but it was a standard country song, yuck. She was singing, laughing so hard, and yelling at me to hold on. No need for that thought I humored her and laughed as hard as I could as well. That was just a great day and a great trip.
I remember her as being a drill sergeant when she needed to be, sympathetic to any problem you had, but most importantly your friend, a friend above all else. That’s what I see when I remember her. She just had the biggest heart. She wanted to help whoever she could, listen to whatever problem you had, and she’d try her hardest to give you sound advice. That’s a friend anyone and everyone would want. Nobody ever made me feel so loved, so wanted.
I still to this day cannot imagine why, maybe I thought I was never capable of receiving love like the love she gave. No matter what type of crap I’d get into, no matter what I said or what I did, it didn’t matter, I always had her unconditional love. It baffles me. It saddens me. I took that for granted for so long. Sitting here in tears typing this out, I hope she can see this. I hope she can hear my thoughts and prayers. I love her so much it physically hurts. I can with all my heart, I miss you and I’m sorry.
Lyrics from Shania Twain’s – Forever and Always In your eyes I can still see the look of the one who really loves me The one who wouldn’t put anything else in the world above me I can still see the love for me in your eyes
Anissa’s thoughts: What I am going to miss most about Kellee is being able to call her day or night and talk about anything. She had the amazing ability to turn a 20 minute conversation into an hour and 20 minutes conversation. I loved talking to her, you could tell her anything. She would give you her opinion, but not judge you if you didn't use it. She also had the ability to love unconditionally. I was not her daughter, but I never felt like an outsider with her. She always made me feel comfortable and loved.
Grandchildren (Ethan, Andrew, and Kale) – Besides her own children that she loved so much, her grandchildren brightened every day. She enjoyed visiting with them every chance she got, looked forward to visits at Kellee & Dean’s new retirement home in Arizona, vacations with the families, birthday parties, and holidays. They all loved their Grandma Kellee and she found great joy in being a loving grandma to them all.
While we all have our own special memories to share of Kellee, they all seem to have a common theme – a kind, generous spirit who made an impression on every person she encountered. We will miss your smile and your laughter but your spirit and memory will live on with all those who knew you.
Just as the Wave Cannot Exist
Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me. It is an uncomfortable doctrine which the true ethics whisper into my ear. You are happy, they say; therefore you are called upon to give much.
Looking into the portals of eternity
Looking into the portals of eternity teaches that the brotherhood of man is inspired by God's word; Then all prejudice of race vanishes away.