Karen Marie (Betscher) Gianonatti: 1966-2017
Karen Marie (Betscher) Gianonatti
Karen Marie (Betscher) Gianonatti was born in El Cajon, California, Dec. 31, 1966. Karen was a true “tomboy” and loved the outdoors and sports. Karen played fast-pitch softball and was the first baseman on the Granite Hills High School Varsity team. She graduated in 1985 and then earned her Cosmetology License.
Karen loved to cut hair and do nails and continued that profession while in San Diego, after moving to Palm Springs, and when she moved to Gillette, Wyoming, Karen was a busy girl. She loved waterskiing, riding motorcycles, off-road racing and spent endless hours on her horse riding all over El Cajon.
Karen was very successful showing and grooming lambs since at that time the wool was left relatively long. Her ability to comb, cut and sculpt was almost legendary! She entered her breeding ewe in the Los Angeles County Fair and her market lambs in the Southern California Exposition in Del Mar, California. Karen was so proud when she won both the Grand and Reserve Champion Market lambs at the same time!
Karen’s great love was spending time at the family’s ranch near Recluse, Wyoming. All of her vacations were spent either helping to calve, brand or hay. She enjoyed the hard work and the new friends she made. Karen loved animals whether it be a dog, cat, horse, or cow. She discovered the Belted Galloway breed and was positive the ranch needed a few because they were so “cute.” Within months, the ranch was home to her beloved four belted’s whom she named Snowy, Panda, Oreo and Oprah. They were the first to receive her own Wyoming brand.
Karen adored her nephews, Ryan and Ty. She spent countless hours attending their various sporting activities, programs and events. In her heart she knew she was their second mother, and definitely their “favorite” aunt.
In early 2014 Karen married Jon Giannonatti and they moved to his family ranch near Ludlow, South Dakota. They enjoyed going to all of the family events together – they adored her and she loved all of them. In late 2015 Karen and Jon moved to Recluse, to help her parents and to build their own herd.
Friends and neighbors driving down Bitter Creek Road will continue to see her beloved “belted’s” on the ranch. Karen is survived by her husband, Jon Giannonatti of Recluse; her parents, Scott and Jodean Crockett of Recluse; her sisters and brothers-in-law, Kim (Aaron) Hamilton of Spearfish, South Dakota, and Nikole (Mike) Klink of Maui, HI; her nephews, Ryan Hamilton of Sioux Falls, and Ty Hamilton of Rapid City; her step-siblings Casandra Early and sons, Clayton (Traci) Crockett and their girls and Courtney (Tom) Parkinson and their girls, all of the San Diego area; and her step-children Chek Giannonatti of Rapid City, Alex (Reece) Jensen and their girls of Harding County, and Coy Giannonatti of Gillette.
Karen was the epitome of kindness. She loved and was loved by everyone she touched. Her ashes will be scattered in her favorite place on the ranch in Recluse, and in Harding County. The family requests in lieu of flowers that memorials be made in Karen’s name to Recluse Community Trust or a charity of your choice. Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel 210 West 5th Street, Gillette, WY 82716. Condolences may also be expressed at http://www.gillettememorialchapel.com