Carole Marie (Shearer) Storla, 78, unexpectedly passed away from a non COVID related issue on Monday, May 10, 2021 at the Kittitas Valley Hospital. Carole was born in Mountain Lake, Cottonwood County, Minnesota on April 6, 1943 to Russell and Doris (Trimmer) Shearer. Carole was the sixth child of a family of seven.
Carole attended a country school during her early years of education before attending and graduating from Jackson High School in Jackson, Minnesota. After graduation, Carole participated in various Voluntary Service jobs in Kansas, Michigan and later in Arizona through her Mennonite Church.
Carole also attended and graduated from Bethany Fellowship, a religious college in Minneapolis. It was through a summer job of teaching a Vacation Bible School session in northern Minnesota that she first met her future husband, David Storla. They became pen pals, occasionally writing each other, but they had no idea of a romance that would only develop in another 2 plus years. On August 19, 1966 they were united in marriage in Jackson, Minnesota.
The newlyweds who were both raised on farms quickly found themselves in a totally different environment as they settled in the outskirts of Omaha, Nebraska where David was stationed at Offutt AFB. Their three children (Lori, Lisa and Leon) were born in Nebraska. After David used his GI Bill benefits to complete his education by earning a Master’s Degree from the University of Nebraska in late 1979, he uprooted the family by announcing “we’re moving to Ellensburg, Washington where I’ve accepted a job at Central Washington University!”
The move was initially hard on Carole as all her families were primarily located back in Minnesota and Iowa but thankfully the family quickly found friends in Ellensburg.
Carole was primarily a stay at home mother to her children with occasional work in local businesses. Here she was able to meet new craft minded friends that have allowed her to expand her talents with quilting, sewing and numerous other crafts which she so loved. She also loved books, especially mysteries and tales about the Amish, which were similar to her memories from being raised Mennonite in her early years.
She enjoyed making friends on Facebook and playing various online games. She especially enjoyed her grandchildren and nieces and nephews that came along during the years. She always looked forward to frequent Shearer Family Reunions and attended many. We can’t count the number of folks that Carole has become a “substitute grandmother” to.
Carole is survived by her husband David and her three children, daughters Lori (David) Drews, Lisa (Yien) Chen and son Leon (Bevin) Storla all who live in Washington. She is also survived by brothers Charles and Verlon Shearer from Minnesota. Grandchildren include Tyler, Casey and Amber Chen and step grandchildren Daniel and Sean Drews, Laura (Mitch) Palmquist and Jameson Molano. Carole is also survived by six step great grandchildren whose parents are Laura and Mitch Palmquist. Survivors also include “special grandsons” Nathan Moore and Garrison Copeland who touched her heart in later life. Finally, Carole also had a “special relationship” with a small boy, Damian Benedict, son of Gary and Denise Benedict. Though not related, he touched her heart in ways only a special boy can do!
Carole’s parents, sisters Leola Johnson, Rozetta Birkey, Jean Swanson, brother Lyle Shearer and niece Kathy Birkey all preceded Carole in death.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at Johnston & Williams Funeral Home in Ellensburg. Carole’s urn will be placed at the IOOF Cemetery in a private ceremony at a later date.
Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for Carole’s family. For those unable to attend the service, you are invited to watch a livestream of the service and leave condolences for the family at www.johnston-williams.com
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