Carl Nelson Shoemaker

Carl Nelson Shoemaker

Carl Shoemaker born April 21, 1912 in Handsworth, Saskatchewan, passed away suddenly at age 97 in Salmon Arm, B.C. on April 8, 2010.

Carl was the third of ten children born to Karoline Nielsen from Norway and Frank Shoemaker, an American, who both arrived on the Prairies to homestead. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Elvena and all his siblings. Carl is survived by his four children: Diane (Tom Glew), Larry (Karen), Joyce (Gordon) Walters, Allan as well as eight grandchildren, one great granddaughter and many nieces and nephews.

Carl learned lifelong lessons of hard work, resourcefulness and resilience from his years of farming and the many challenges encountered during the Depression era. He headed north with two of his brothers in 1932. While they remained in Hudson Bay, Sask., Carl returned home and boarded a train west to Vancouver. His adventures in B.C. included dairy farming in Chilliwack and work at the Granby Mining & Power Co. in Princeton. In fall 1942 he enlisted with the Royal Canadian Navy. He trained as a wireless operator before assuming his duties on destroyers in the North Atlantic during WWII. While on leave in 1945 he married Elvena in Vancouver. After the war Carl worked in construction that included several buildings at UBC. In 1948 Carl and Elvena moved to Salmon Arm where he assumed co-ownership of a dairy business. Carl eventually developed his own contracting business. Prior to retiring he worked as a carpenter for the Village of Salmon Arm.

Carl was actively involved in community life. He served for 23 years as a School Board trustee and two as chairman. He was an active member of the United Church, singing in the choir for 46 years. He volunteered with the Red Cross and canvassed for the Heart and Stroke Fund for a decade. In recent years, he treasured this community where people took the time to stop him on the streets and share his stories and humor.

Carl’s lifelong passions included music, reading, health and fitness. Together with Elvena, he enjoyed post-retirement travels overseas and in North America. Carl was inspirational and led by example. He began cross-country skiing and marathon running just prior to his retirement in 1974, completing several marathons thereafter. Marathon runs eventually evolved into marathon walks as Carl became a readily recognized figure in town, striding along with his Nordic walking poles.

Carl will be remembered for his integrity, indomitable spirit and avid interest in the outside world. He will be missed by many.

A celebration of Carl’s life will be held at Salmon Arm First United Church on Saturday, April 17 at 2:00 p.m. Reception to follow. If so desired, donations can be made to the C.N.I.B. or charity of your choice in his memory.

Online condolences may be sent through Carl’s obituary at

Funeral arrangements are in the care of Bowers Funeral Home, Salmon Arm.

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