Family owned & family focused since 1952

Karilyn K. Branstetter

Karilyn K. Branstetter

Karilyn was born October 7, 1928 to Ruth and Theodore Karges in Orange City, Iowa. After a year of studying music at Drake University, she moved West to finish her degree at the University of Arizona. Her first teaching job was in Eloy, Arizona and the following year she married Glen E Crandall and went to teach in Ray, Arizona.

In the fifties, she gave birth to two daughters, Chere and Kristine Crandall. They moved to Chandler, Arizona in 1954 and built the house in which she lived for the rest of her life.

In the early Chandler years, she taught piano lessons in her home to 35-40 students a week. She also was the church organist at The First Presbyterian Church in Chandler for 25 years. In the late sixties, she was the accompanist for Chandler High School musicals and The Messiah.

In 1968, she married Leonard H. Branstetter and they began their own swimming pool business called Camelback Pool Service. In 1981, they opened The Hardware Store on Elliot Rd in Ahwatukee which also included pool service repair and supplies. As Ahwatukee grew, they opened a second store, Plaza Hardware and Pool Supply, at 40th and Chandler Blvd. They later closed the original store and continued servicing the Ahwatukee area until July 2017, thus closing Ahwatukee’s oldest retail store at the time.

Their vision was to have a mom and pop store providing locally needed items and offering assistance to customers who wanted to do it themselves. Throughout these years, they were blessed to have several exceptional employees who, like them, developed loyal customers and friendships. Karilyn truly missed the atmosphere, her employees and customers when she had to close the store.

In addition to their hardware store life, she and Leonard had many other passions. In the early 70’s, they built a cabin in Groom Creek near Prescott, Arizona doing most of the work themselves. Many weekends were spent enjoying the fruits of their labor. They were long time season ticket holders of both the Phoenix Suns and Mercury basketball teams. Traveling was also part of their extracurricular activities. At home, they were entertained by their rescued kitties for many years and who, along with her daughters, gave Karilyn much pleasure in her final years.

A memorial service will be held at Horizon Presbyterian Church in Ahwatukee on Saturday, March 7th at 1:00 p.m.

Horizon Presbyterian Church

1401 E Liberty Lane

Phoenix, AZ. 85048

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of the following charities:


  • Margaret Posted February 27, 2020 3:08 AM

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Chere Crandall Posted March 7, 2020 7:46 AM

      I forgot to look at this site Margaret so I had not seen your comment. Thank you! Look forward to seeing you on your next trip here!

  • Dave Minor Posted February 28, 2020 4:56 PM

    Thank you Mrs B for enriching our town. Honestly I wish I had kept playing the piano for longer than 3 seasons. One thing I remember about your house on Monterey and Evergreen were rabbits that lived in a hole in the ground in your backyard and how exciting it was to go look at them from the alley..

    • Chere Crandall Posted March 7, 2020 7:42 AM

      Thanks Dave, They were our rabbits Mopsy and Flopsy. When I asked Mother if I could get a rabbit she said no. So for Easter one year I bought her a rabbit from Marty Humphrey’s dad for a quarter. She never refused a gift from me! I remember you lived in the corner house on the next street.. Thanks for your comment.

  • Ann Hines Posted March 7, 2020 11:26 AM

    So sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my mom in March 2000. Although I didn’t take piano lessons from your mom, I remember that you and I always enjoyed playing piano for the choirs. My sincerest sympathies to you and your family and praying you will have peace and comfort during your time of grief.

    • Chere Crandall Posted March 7, 2020 8:08 PM

      Hello Ann, So kind of you to respond today. I am sorry you lost your Mom so long ago. That must have been truly difficult.
      I remember her and a birthday party for you at your house .I don’t know how the time has passed so quickly. Good memories., both of us accompanying and singing in choirs and Madrigals. Thank you so much for reaching out! Chere

  • Kent Meagher Posted March 7, 2020 4:05 PM

    Your Mother’s service at Horizon was great! The Pastor emphasized the transient nature of this life as a stepping stone into eternity. This is what should give us comfort! I had to leave right after the service, but here’s a virtual hug ooo. :>).

    • Chere Crandall Posted March 7, 2020 8:15 PM

      Thank you so much for coming today Kent! When I saw your name in the register I was sorry that I missed you. You came to both of my parents Memorials and we are very blessed to have caring people like you n our lives..

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