Carla Kim Crowley Shaffer (70) died April 18, 2019 in Kalispell, Montana. She was born November 30, 1948 to Velma Crowley in Salt Lake City, UT. She was born an independent soul being raised in a family of all boys. As a child she loved traveling and spending time at her grandparent’s farm in Nebraska and hanging out with her cousins. She also enjoyed the times her older sister would visit, and they were best friends until her sister’s passing in 1993.
While Carla was in high school, she would watch many of her schoolmates attend seminary at the building across the street. One day she followed them into the building and volunteered to complete the bulletin board. She completed it by the next day, and from that day forward Carla was in charge of doing it monthly, even though she was not a member of the church.
Carla attended Cyprus High School in Magna, Utah and graduated in 1967 where she received the Betty Crocker Award for the most outstanding student in home economics. After graduation, she worked for the telephone company as an operator, she wired circuit boards for computers at Sperry Rand, and later became a bakery salesperson, working the counter at a popular bakery located in Grand Central Market in Midvale, Utah.
Carla met the love of her life, or should we say, heard the love of her life while dragging State Street. She removed her coke bottle glasses when her friend invited two boys to ride along in their Volkswagen. The boys, David and his brother Bobby, climbed into the back seat and talked with the girls during the drive. Carla couldn’t see the young man but definitely liked his voice. They exchanged phone numbers and David called her, he was surprised she gave him the real number, he scheduled their first date. The first time she laid eyes on him he was wearing one of his eccentric outfits, houndstooth jacket, plaid pants, striped shirt and polka dot tie.
Carla was baptized into the LDS Church on David’s birthday in 1968. Missionaries met them at Temple Square, where she was baptized by David in the basement of the Tabernacle and was confirmed in Brigham Young’s Chair. They later married in Salt Lake City, Utah on September 13, 1968 before moving to San Antonio, Texas while David was in Army Advanced Infantry Training during the Vietnam War. Their first home was a converted chicken coop, which she soon made very homey. The bedroom was so small that Michael John’s bassinet was a middle dresser drawer. He was quite sick as an infant while in Texas, but she could always get him to fall asleep listening to “In A Gadda Da Vida” by Iron Butterfly on the local radio station.
In December of 1968 they moved back to Salt Lake City living with Grandma Schouten until buying the Robert Shaffer family home at 439 Blaine Avenue. Carla took great pride in being a homemaker and mother, they added Karey Love to the family later that next year and Kathryn Michaelle a few years later. Her life was busy being a young mother, but she always found time to volunteer at the Catholic Church in Kearns, alongside Grandma Schouten, serving spaghetti dinners on Friday Bingo nights.
Both David and Carla wanted a simpler way of life to raise their family, and in 1971 the family moved to Columbia Falls, Montana where they bought their first home on Craft’s Corner (Tamarack Lane). Their family continued to grow adding Khristine Lee, Monte Jasen and Kandie
Marie. They were sealed as a family in the Cardston Alberta Temple on May 28, 1977 with Sandy Shaffer standing in for proxy of Kandie Marie, who passed away earlier that same year.
The entire family contributed to building the log home, just up the road, and they continued to grow their family adding Korrie Lynn, Mark Aaron, Matthew Jarud, Micah David James and Mason Jay. Some of her favorite memories were the family picnics at Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park. She enjoyed playing games in the yard, baseball, volleyball and water fights, with her children and their friends. She even endured a broken leg when one of her ‘un-named’ children undercut her, slipping on the grass, while trying to jump for a block during a volleyball game. Carla helped her children attend the Close-Up Trip in Washington, DC by organizing a Cookie Gram Fundraiser, selling large sugar cookies on a stick at the school. When she was blind with cataracts, she displayed her faith in God, as her protector, letting her newly licensed children drive her around. When mom asked for something to be done a certain way, we knew it as Mother’s Commandments. She would often say, “I’m not stubborn, I’m determined!” After half of their children graduated and left the house, they decided they wanted more children to help fill the void. They became foster parents for about 4 years, taking in children that needed a loving and supportive home.
Carla was an active member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held many callings serving the members of the ward. For years, she helped organize and run Girl’s Camp for the church’s young women at Grizzly Base Camp. She also loved to participate in ‘Super Saturdays’ with the ladies of the church.
Carla attended Flathead Valley Community College and at one point was assigned her husband as her future math instructor. She received a warning from her children, at which time, she dropped his class. Carla volunteered for Columbia Falls Baseball Association and helped organized the first Babe Ruth Tournament to be held in Columbia Falls. She also enjoyed volunteering at the Columbia Falls Food Pantry and was instrumental in organizing the Highway 93 clean up by the Boys Scouts of America.
After David’s retirement in Montana, they moved to San Rafael, California, where she became the property manager at their apartment complex. While there, she got to know each of her tenants on an individual basis and was able to assist them with their daily needs. Volunteering herself to provide what was needed, whether it be grocery shopping or helping with their laundry. She was also very passionate about the homeless in the area, and often delivered food to their communities, whether it be an underpass or a make shift shelter.
While in Inchelium, Washington Carla volunteered for many programs for the tribal members to include the Reading Program, making the children reading rugs, and the monthly Family, Food and Fun Night. She volunteered in the school kitchen where she enjoyed getting to know the kids while putting her culinary talents to use. She also helped with all of the community’s activities, including organizing and pulling off prom the first year they lived there.
Carla was known in all of her communities as a sweet person, humbling others with her random acts of kindness. She was grateful for her lifetime friendship with her neighbor, Pat Macdonald and also enjoyed the ‘lunch bunch’ dates with her girlfriends, garage sales, playing pinochle and had a 40-year standing love affair with ‘The Young and the Restless’.
She was an artistic soul that enjoyed making wedding cakes, preparing flower arrangements, scrapbooking, sewing, creating and painting unique wood projects for her loved ones. Carla enjoyed making ceramic dolls and Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls giving them to members of the community.
She had a joy of bread making and baking to include her famous “butt buns”, frybread, homemade cinnamon knots, sugar cookies all done in service and love. She even adapted her recipe, to gluten free, so that all of her grandchildren were included in the care packages. She was known as the most amazing baker in the world. She loved becoming a grandmother and while her health allowed, she enjoyed traveling to meet the newest members of her family. Carla took great pride and joy in her many grandchildren, spending time with them, organizing fun activities and putting together sweet care packages for the holidays.
She is survived by her husband of 50 years, David R P Shaffer and her children, Michael (Claudia) Shaffer of St. George, UT, daughter, Karey (Lindsay) D’Penha of Carmel, CA, daughter, Kathryn (Darin) Price of Columbia Falls, MT, daughter Khristine Shaffer of Columbia Falls, MT, son, Monte (Natalya) Shaffer of Nicholasville, KY, daughter Korrie (Clint) Woods of Caldwell, ID, son Mark (Hilda) Shaffer of Phoenix, AZ, son Matthew (Jessica) Shaffer of Bend, OR, son Micah (Jessica) Shaffer of Mountain Home, ID, son Mason (Tasha) Shaffer of Bozeman, MT, brother Joseph (Haidee) Schouten of South Jordan, UT and brother Jay (Shirley Green) Schouten of Fort Worth, TX. Carla had 31 grandchildren (Michael) Zackary, Mikayla, Nikolas, Rebecka, (Karey) Dylan, Neisha, (Kathryn) Victoriah, Kathrynn, Jack, Joshuah, (Khristine) Robert, Chandler, Elizabeth, (Monte) Alexander, (Korrie) Jessicah, Robbertt, Chenoa, Sahara, (Mark) Grant, (Matthew) Weston, Lillian, Benjamin, (Micah) Carson, Gabriel, Nathaniel, Samuel, Daniel, (Mason) Myra, Kandie, Velma, Greta. Many numerous nieces and nephews.
Proceeded in death by her mother, Velma Schouten, her sister, Sharen Foster, her brother, Jim Crowley, her nephew, Jeffery Ewing and her daughter, Kandie Marie.
Services will begin with a public viewing on Thursday, April 25 at Columbia Mortuary 6 – 8 pm. Family and friends gathering and viewing on Friday, April 26 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1780 Talbot Road, Columbia Falls 8:30 am – 10:30 am. Funeral service at 12 pm followed by burial Woodland Cemetery for grave site dedication.
Columbia Mortuary in Columbia Falls is caring for Carla’s family.