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Obituary: Shannon Lee Kilpack Carlson

Shannon Lee Kilpack Carlson

8/7/1966 ~ 10/18/2007

Shannon Lee was born the eldest of two children to William Donald Jr. and Jan Maereen Heilmann Kilpack. She was raised in the Salt Lake Valley, with most of her growing up years in West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from West Jordan High School, attended Snow College and received her Associate Degree in Child Development from Salt Lake Community College. Her Uncle Wayne often said, "Shannon was born with a lot of heart, always loving and looking for the best in everyone. Shannon is real, she's a good kid; Shannon is Shannon." Memories linger of our happy toddler singing and dancing to her favorite song, "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head." As a child, she often went fishing with her Grandma and Grandpa Heilmann. At age 5, Shannon received an award for reeling in a 5 lb. Walleye Pike, the state record in her age class. Shannon loved horses and learned to ride at a very early age with her Aunt Debra. She enjoyed camping trips with her parents and her Grandma and Grandpa Kilpack. She enjoyed river running, like one family trip down the Snake River, and downhill skiing, particularly at Alta Ski Resort. In high school she was a pep leader and involved with fast pitch softball, and track. She ran one track meet with a sore ankle, later to discover it was fractured. She was an avid wrestling fan and a certified referee in Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. Shannon became a SCUBA diver, receiving her Open Water certification at Bear Lake. She was an expert at cross-stitching and cross-stitched many beautiful items for those she loved.

Shannon's first job was with Blimpie, where she met Gary Carlson, who would later become her husband. She spent a number of years working at O. C. Tanner, and frequently said she enjoyed interacting with fellow staff and the creative work they did.

In the beginning years of her married life with Gary, he was on active duty in the military and they spent some time stationed in Washington state, Hill Air Force Base, and England. Upon return to Utah from the UK, Shannon often described how much she loved the English countryside and cherished the experiences of living in Great Britian. She said, "Somehow, England feels like home."

Shannon gave birth to two sons, Dylan and Caleb. She loved them deeply and they were the highlights of her life. She built much of her life around creating what opportunities she could for them, taking them to wrestling and soccer practice, or sending them to out of state wrestling tournaments when she could not go herself. But, most of all, when you saw her smile, you saw it mirrored back in the faces of her boys.

She was preceded in death by her great-grandmother, Rose Sadler; grandfather, Don Heilmann; and mother-in-law, Shirley Carlson. She will be deeply missed by her sons, Dylan (15 years), and Caleb (8 years); husband, Gary; mother and father, Jan and Bill; brother, Bill Kilpack; sister-in-law, Cydnee Kil-pack; grandparents, Betty-Jo Heilmann, Don and Rosella Kilpack; uncles and aunts, Elwin (Sherrie) Heilmann, Wayne (Jan) Heilmann, Kevin Kilpack, Debra (Torsten) Anderson, Jim (Diane) Kilpack, and Darrell Kilpack; father and mother-in-law, Calvin and Vicki Carlson; sisters and brothers-in-law, Dina (Heinee) Hinrichsen, Greg (Angie) Carlson, Kristi (Joe) Folau, Lisa (Bernie) Meng; and many cousins, nieces, nephews.

Shannon focused on trying to understand children and child development when she was still in school. She had ambitions to be a nanny, teach special education, and, eventually, be a mother. She donated her time at Deseret Industries and at her children's schools, she repeatedly grew out her hair to cut it and donate it to Locks of Love, and was a volunteer in AA. Her ability to openly express her love was evident to those she loved. Shannon loved watching her boys wrestle and play soccer. She would have loved watching Dylan pursue his high-school wrestling and watching both boys mature and have families of their own, giving her the opportunity to be a doting grandmother. Shannon's legacy is that of a loving mother. Those who love her most deeply would wish for her that she has found peace and meaning in her life. "There is only love."

A viewing will be held Monday, Oct. 22, 2007, 6-8 p.m. at McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 South Redwood Road. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007, 10 a.m. at the Kearns 3rd Ward, 4731South 4300 West, where a viewing will take place prior to the funeral, 9-9:45 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the children's charity of your choice.