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Shirley Stoughton Carlton

February 23, 1938 December 24, 2019
Shirley Stoughton Carlton
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Obituary for Shirley Stoughton Carlton

Shirley (Stoughton) Carlton, 81, of Spokane, passed away December 24, 2019 after 5 years of living with multiple myeloma.

Shirley was born on February 23, 1938 in Columbus, Ohio to Harry and Pearl (McKinley) Stoughton. She had two teenaged brothers, Harry and William, who named her after Shirley Temple. Shirley had the distinction of attending The Ohio State University for all 16 years of her education and was present at many of the famous football team’s home games. At University School (grades 1-12, a lab school on the campus) she made life-long friends and was encouraged to explore her gifts as a vocalist and performer. At The Ohio State University, she graduated with a degree in music education. It was there she met her husband, Don Philip Carlton.

Shirley and Don made the move “out west” in 1965 and settled in Caldwell, Idaho to teach music and raise their three children. Shirley was active in the community as a music educator, church choir director, and instructor at her own Music Enrichment preschool. With the school calendar, the family spent summers traversing the US in their station wagon, 4-wheeling in the mountains and deserts, camping, and fishing. Everybody learned to ski. Shirley remained active camping, fishing and gardening into her 80s.

Leaving Idaho in 1979, Don and Shirley moved with family in tow to teach music in an American school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. As part of the Jeddah Light Opera Society, Shirley performed vocal leads in operettas and oratories. Teaching overseas in American schools became a 22-year career that took them to Luxembourg, Taiwan, and Jordan. They retired to Spokane, WA in 2001 where Shirley was active at Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church and Monday Musicale.

Shirley loved music and was active in music ministry, education, and performance all her life. Her teaching influenced the lives of many children and she made friends here and abroad. She greeted people with a smile and was a loving wife and mother. She loved the Lord. Those who knew her were struck by her grace, singing voice, and ability to make a house a home, whether in Saudi Arabia or Spokane.

Shirley is survived by her loving husband of nearly 60 years, Don Carlton, daughters Lori Carlton Smith (Dave) and Joan Griswold (Glen), son Douglas Carlton (Tina Lee), and grandchildren Aaron Smith, Patrick Smith, Stella Griswold, Nolan Griswold, and Theo Lee Carlton.

A memorial celebration of Shirley’s life will be held at 2:00 Saturday, February 1st, 2020 at Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church, Spokane. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pilgrims of Ibillin to support a K-12 school in Israel that educates students of all religions, who study together as one community in order to foster peace, justice, and reconciliation in the Middle East. Please share your memories of Shirley in her guestbook at www.pnwcremation.com.

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