HELPER-Our beloved wife, Mom and grandma, Shirley Ann Karr Tomsic, age 81, passed away peacefully at home on Feb. 16, 2011, surrounded by her loving family and into the waiting arms of her sweetheart. She was born May 28, 1929 in Royalton, Ill. to Archie Edward and Vera Lee Russell Karr. Moved to Carbon County in 1953 and met the love of her life, Ken Tomsic. They married on Nov. 1, 1953 after a whirlwind three-week romance when he asked her if she would "go to Las Vegas in the clothes she had on."
From a very young age, one of her greatest joys came from singing, on the radio and at community functions by age 5. She prided herself on her ability to play the piano "by ear", was the church pianist for years, and especially loved religious hymns and honky tonk music and grew up harmonizing with her Mother at church, and also shared her gift with family and friends at many gatherings-wherever there was a piano, people begged her to perform. She was our "American Idol."
Mom always took great pride in her appearance, her snow white "up do" her trademark, always all dolled up in beautiful outfits and jewelry.
A fabulous cook, never using a recipe, always cooking by taste, she was able to blend the spice of Dad's Italian with the flavors of her southern upbringing, much to the delight of all.
In her younger years, she was very active in the community, involved in PTA, political campaigns and various community service projects. Mom was always an advocate for the underdog. Never afraid of hard work, she held many jobs, from working in a sewing factory to waitressing, to managing the Helper Gas-O-Rama for 10 years, all so her family could have a better life.
Survived by two sons and four daughters; Gary (Renate) Tomsic, Lana (David) Phelps, Kendra Tomsic (Kathy Howa), Carol Jensen, Kyle (Melanie) Tomsic, Gina Tomsic (Joe Ori); eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, Ken; parents; and brothers Donald and Jerry.
Special thanks to Dr. Sterling Potter, Angi Faucett and CNS staff, and Dr. John Ward and Rosemary Conder and staff at the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, all of whom gave loving care to our Mom. Thanks also to Mom's many friends and neighbors on Third Avenue for 57 years of sharing the good and bad times-she loved you.
We lifted you up with broken hearts, you were our Mother, you were our rock, we love you and you will be with us always.
Funeral service Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, 1 p.m., Mitchell Funeral Home, Price. The family was at Mitchell's Friday evening, 6-8 p.m. and Saturday one hour prior to service. Interment Mountain View Cemetery, Helper.
Condolences may be shared at www.mitchellfuneralhome.net