Carol Lee Chaussee

Carol Lee Chaussee died on June 3, 2020 in Kirkland, Washington. She was born on January  28, 1934, in Clyde Park, Montana.

Carol was pre-deceased by parents Sidney A. and Eva L. Billington, husband Dean Chaussee, and son Jon Chaussee.

Carol with Denise Ellen -1953

Carol is survived by daughter Denise Ellen Wilhelm (Steve) and  grandchildren Julie Franz (Jacob), Christopher Franz (Naomi), John B. Chaussee (Leah), Jacquelyn Wagner (Derek), James Chaussee (Janelle), Michael Chaussee (Jessie) and Nicholas Chaussee (Rilee), and great grandchildren Jordan Chaussee and Kaleb Chaussee, and Jenessa and Kobe. Carol is also survived by her younger brother Jack Billington, along with many beloved nieces and nephews.

Carol grew up primarily in Arlee, Montana on a farm, seventh of eight siblings, three boys and five girls. It was a simpler time, and she remembered depending on an outhouse there as a child.

Carol and Dean

Carol’s beloved dad, Sidney, died when she was 11. He was a hardworking farmer and rancher, and Carol often spoke of his qualities with great love and appreciation. She never forgot him, and missed him deeply for her entire life. She couldn’t wait to see him again, and it’s very comforting to know they are now together.

Carol was always known as “Kelly” by her family. The nickname was given her by an uncle when she was a young girl, because when he asked her name she very quickly replied “CarolLee.” He thought she said “Kelly,” and the nickname stuck.

Carol’s future husband Dean also attended school in Arlee. They dated in high school and eloped to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, when she was 16 and he was 17.

Carol and Dean

Dean joined the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, and until he returned Carol lived with her in-laws in Wenatchee, Washington. Prior to their first child’s birth, Carol several times traveled alone by bus the 200 miles to the military hospital at McChord Air Force Base, where Denise Ellen was eventually born.

The family later moved to Fort Worth, Texas, while Dean finished his tour of duty stateside.

After this Carol and Dean returned to Washington state, and in 1958 their second child Jon was born at Northgate Hospital in Seattle.

Carol and her family lived in Seattle until 1964, when she and Dean moved to Kirkland. The move was catalyzed by Dean leaving Seattle City Light, as an electrical engineer, to instead build single-family homes and eventually apartment buildings as a developer. Carol was a stay-at-home-mom and supported her family in that way.

Carol and Dean enjoyed traveling and made trips to Asia and Europe. Carol volunteered with the Seattle Children’s Guild for many years, where she made many life-long friends.  Years later she would go into property management at Westwood Management, a company she and Dean owned for many years.

Carol with great-grandchildren

Carol’s delight in life was her grandchildren: Jules, Chris, JB, Jacquie, Jamie, Mike, Nick, and more recently her two great grandkids Jordan and Kaleb. She loved spending time with her grandkids, especially at their ranch in Dixon, Montana. This was near where she and Dean met and grew up, and where Carol had a lot of family.

Many amazing memories were formed at the Montana ranch. Carol loved seeing her grandkids explore and enjoy the area where she had grown up.  She especially enjoyed the 4th of July celebration in Arlee: the pancake breakfast at the firehouse, the parade through town, and the pow wow.  She adored seeing and visiting with family and old friends from Arlee.

When Dean passed away in 2009, Carol continued to live in their house in Kirkland where she celebrated holidays and birthdays with her grandkids and extended family. She especially enjoyed hosting Christmas Eve for her kids and grandkids, and creating a warm family embrace for everyone.

To Carol’s deep sadness, in 2010 her son Jon passed away. It’s hard to know how, or if, a parent can ever recover from the death of a child. But Carol moved forward with life while remaining in the Kirkland house, and there spent quality time with her beloved grandkids, extended family including Kathy Chaussee, who had been married to Jon, and with friends.

Carol will be remembered for her wonderfully infectious laugh, her love of animals, and her unwavering devotion to her family. We will all miss her so very much.

4 Responses to “Carol Lee Chaussee”

  • Lana Marie Rankin says:

    Aunt Kelly is a most genuinely loving person. She is so graceful, delicate, and beautiful. I can easily recall her voice and laugh in my mind whenever I think of her memory. I feel the loss on our side, but to be with some of her family again must be a welcomed plus
    on her side. God Bless her!

  • Paulette Chaussee says:

    I have the best memories you aunt Carol! You were always my favorite Chaussee relative. Great laugh, always a smile and kind words. I’ll always love you Aunt Carol. Rest in His peace. Paulette

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    So sad to hear of her passing just heard yesterday (3/20/21). A women of true virtue.

  • Chris D Franz says:

    I was just thinking of you, grandma and it brought me here. You were strong as a rock and the pillar of our family. I miss you greatly. You were always loving and kind to me, taught me to be respectful and courteous, and let me know when I was doing wrong. We shared many moments of side-splitting laughter and quiet musings. I’m blessed to have had you in my life for nearly 44 years. Your memory and life lessons will live on through me and your other descendants.

    I love you, Chris

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