Carri Leanne (Ristine) Priestley, 46, passed away at her home on Friday, April 14, 2023, due to natural causes. In keeping with her family’s wishes, her memorial service will be private.
Carri was born on May 19, 1976 in Ellensburg, Washington to Gary & Cathi (Wise) Ristine. She grew up in Ellensburg and graduated from Ellensburg High School in 1994. While in high school, Carri was a cheerleader and also played volleyball. After high school, she attended Central Washington University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education in 1998. Carri married Graham Priestley on December 12, 1998 and they were blessed with two children - Helana and Zachary.
Carri’s first teaching assignment was with the Wahluke School District in Mattawa before she accepted a position with the Sultan School District. She eventually moved closer to home where she taught in the Yakima School District. Carri had a natural talent for connecting with special needs students and helping them learn, making her job as a teacher truly fulfilling. Her passion for the work shone through in every interaction she had with her students, and she found great joy in watching them grow and succeed. It was clear to everyone who knew her that Carri was doing exactly what she was meant to do, and her impact on her students' lives would be felt for years to come.
Whether it was floating the river, to her love of 80’s romance movies and even her diverse taste in music (which encompassed everything from country to pop), Carri was a woman of diverse interests. She loved spending time with her children and they will fondly remember the time they spent with her, playing video games (either Wii Sports or Mortal Kombat) or fun family games like Uno or Scrabble.
Carri is survived by her children Helana Priestley of Ellensburg and Zachary Priestley of Issaquah; her former husband Graham Priestley of Issaquah; parents Gary (Stephanie) Ristine and Cathi (Leo) Oltman, all of Ellensburg; step-siblings Dillon Roth of Seattle, Scott Oltman of Ellensburg and Leanne Semprimoznik of Spokane as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her step-brother, David Oltman.
Memorial contributions in Carri’s honor are suggested to Hope Source, 606 W. Third Avenue, Ellensburg or online at www.hopesource.us
Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for Carri and her family. Online condolences may be left at www.johnston-williams.com