Karilynn Icenoggle Dell blew into this world like a cyclone on June 8, 1963. Born to Bill and Georgia Icenoggle, she grew up on the family ranch at Del Bonita, Mont. She passed away from ovarian cancer on August 14, 2020 at Peace Hospice in Great Falls, MT.
Rather than hold a public funeral service, at Karilynn’s request, the family will scatter ashes privately at the ranch she loved so much. Family, friends, and colleagues are welcome to come out to the ranch for a visit anytime.
Diagnosed six years ago, many friends and colleagues were unaware of her sickness. She considered herself blessed not to suffer the usual side-effects of treatment. She appreciated and invested every minute of her life from the moment of her diagnosis.
Never hindered by the conventions of modern society, she took every advantage of being a ranch-raised cowgirl; rewarded for being aggressive, intelligent, and independent.
At two weeks of age, she went to her first rodeo and existed in a self-described “horse-induced poverty” ever since. Her buckles and trophies are too many to list, but most recently was crowned the 2019 Canadian Senior Pro Rodeo Breakaway Roping Champion. In October, she qualified for the first-ever Canadian Pro Rodeo Finals Breakaway Roping Championship as the oldest qualifier. She competed against and beat competitors less than half her age.
She was blessed with a brilliant mind; keenly intelligent and exceptionally creative, and able to use both hemispheres of her brain. She could both crush math and draw extraordinarily well. She loved cooking and treated her family to many gourmet meals.
In 1988, Karilynn graduated from Montana State University with a degree and teaching certification in biology with an emphasis in sports medicine. She became a certified athletic trainer and moved to Grand Prairie, TX to teach science and work as a high school athletic trainer. Realizing teaching in the big city was not for her; she accepted a position as an athletic trainer in Aberdeen, SD. The decision proved to be an excellent move. There, she met the love of her life and soul-mate, Greg Dell, whom she married on June 18, 1991.
After living in Bath, SD, and Pendleton, OR, they moved home to her family’s ranch in Del Bonita in 2008. They had many adventures together, rodeoing across several states and Canada, winning numerous rodeos and championships.
Karilynn often said that Greg might have been better off financially if he had said “no” to some of her crazy ideas, but then they would have missed out on things like surfing lessons. However, their most excellent adventure and prize is their son, Logan, of whom she was incredibly proud and considered her greatest accomplishment.
Karilynn was a best-selling western romance novelist (pen name Kari Lynn Dell) known for her Texas Rodeo Novel series. Through her writing, she gained friends and fans across the globe.
She is survived by her husband, Greg, and son, Logan, of Del Bonita, Mont.; her parents Bill and Georgia Icenoggle of Del Bonita, Mont.; sister Lola (Richard) Jeffers of Logan, Mont.; sister Gina (Paul) Kerzman of Kalispell, Mont.; brother Marty (Sonja) Icenoggle of Roy, Wash.; niece Mikayla Kerzman and nephews Lathan Kerzman, William Icenoggle, Mikal Findlay, Ward Findlay, and Kail Findlay; and an incredible extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins (by blood and by heart) and the Dell family of in-laws who accepted her as their own.
A great lover of books and reading, it was Karilynn’s wish that any memorial tributes be made in the form of charitable donations to the following:
Glacier County Library Memorial Foundation
℅ Scott Gage, President
118 E Main St
Cut Bank, MT 59427
Until we meet again, ride hard and rope fast, cowgirl. We love you.