July 30, 2023
|Karen Bingham Chesnut|
|Updated: August 19, 2023|
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Karen Chesnut, a beloved wife, mother and matriarch. Karen peacefully joined her husband, Barry, and oldest daughter, Shelley, in heaven on Sunday, July 30, 2023, just four months after Barry’s departure. Her journey in this world may have come to an end, but her spirit will forever remain in the hearts of those who knew and cherished her.
Karen’s journey on this Earth was marked by love, strength, and a passion for nurturing life. She was born July 7, 1946, in Spokane, to Richard T. Bingham and Elizabeth (Grant) Bingham before moving to Moscow in adolescence where she would spend her entire life in this close-knit community until fate led her to Central Oregon, where she resided with her daughter, Tracy, after the loss of Barry, and she ultimately crossed over to join her husband, oldest daughter and parents in heaven.
Karen attended Moscow High School where she met her future husband, Barry Chesnut, whom she would marry in January of 1962 and raise three beautiful daughters with: Shelley, Tracy and Michelle. The family of five lived in Moscow while Karen worked as a bank teller, in a clothing boutique and a floral shop—although her true passion lay in her garden and in the lives of the countless animals she adopted and rescued.
Karen had a natural talent for gardening, and she passed this invaluable skill down through generations. Her love for plants and nature lives on in the flourishing gardens she created and the knowledge she imparted to her loved ones.
Beyond her green thumb, Karen was also known for her sassy wit and lively personality. Her quick comebacks and infectious laughter brought joy to countless gatherings and will be fondly remembered by all who shared in her company.
Karen is survived by her brother Thomas Sabin Bingham of Joseph, Ore., daughters Tracy Harris of Sisters, Ore., and Michelle Grogan of Knoxville, Tenn., 12 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Rest in peace, dear Karen, knowing that your love, laughter and resilience will forever be cherished and remembered. Your life was a beautiful garden, blooming with love and care, and your legacy will continue to flourish through the seeds of love you sowed in all of us.
To celebrate Karen’s spirit of resilience, zest for life and love for all living beings, there will be a private ceremony held in Moscow with her loved ones.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to University of Idaho’s Arboretum and Botanical Garden to continue her legacy of nurturing the earth and cultivating a beautiful community.