Surrounded by family and loved ones, Cally Lynn Carlson, enthusiastically left this life on Monday, March 22, 2021 to meet her Heavenly Father and get her new assignment. She was positive that she would be learning Spanish and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Peru. If not, Peru, she just knew without a doubt that she would be kept busy preaching the gospel.
Cally was born in Logan, Utah on April 15, 1980 and raised in Riverdale, a small community outside of Preston, Idaho. Cally was the youngest of four children born to Calvin and Monalyn (Nessen) Sharp. Cally’s parents operated a dairy farm for the first eight years of her life and then continued to farm their own land as well as do custom farming for others. She loved farm life and cherished spending time down by the Bear River near her home. Cally spent many hours caring for animals, moving pipe, and even raising a 4-H pig for the fair. She loved school and reading. Her true passion, however, developed when playing the trumpet in the Preston High School marching band. During her high school years Preston had a great program, and her music teachers encouraged her to develop her talent with music and playing the trumpet. She attended Idaho State University with several music scholarships for both marching and concert bands.
It was in 1998, when ISU brought back its marching band after a 14-year hiatus, that Cally met the love of her life, John Leonard Carlson, who was in the band and unaware that Cally had her sights on him. Cally also worked with John as a computer consultant for ISU. In April of 1999, John and Cally went on their first date and six short months later, they were married on October 8, 1999.
Education was very important to Cally. She made certain that John knew how important her goal was to get her music education degree when they were dating. In May of 2003, she walked across the stage to get her diploma while eight months pregnant with her first child. Cally’s new focus was being a mother, and what a wonderful loving mother she was to her four children, Hayden, Parker, Preston, and Hailey.
In 2012, Cally decided it was time to pursue her education passion and get back to teaching. She took another semester of school at ISU to get her certification to teach K-8 and then went to work for the Pocatello School District in August of 2012. Teaching filled her soul, and she flourished as a 4th grade teacher at Tendoy Elementary School. She loved teaching math and felt that every student should and could understand math. She loved the staff at Tendoy, and they loved her.
Besides teaching, Cally had many hobbies and interests. She loved camping with family and being in the outdoors. Every summer she made certain to attend family reunions. She rode horses with her family and loved riding in the horse cart that her brother and husband made. Reading books and being around her mother is where she gained her love for words. She was such a bookworm in her youth that her mother would ban her from reading as a punishment, but Cally would hide them in the bathroom and read anyway.
Cally is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her membership and her understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was of utmost importance to her. She taught the gospel in word and deed and held several callings throughout her life. She loves the plan of salvation and knows that all of God’s children will be taught His gospel. She talked openly with everyone about how excited she was to be able to teach the gospel to all the people who have died not knowing about Jesus Christ and His role as Savior and Redeemer. She didn’t fear dying, but she hated to leave her loved ones behind.
In September of 2014, Cally found out she had a brain tumor. She named the tumor Chuck and told everyone that Chuck was being evacuated because it didn’t belong in her head. The surgery went well, and Cally did radiation and Chemotherapy for a year to defeat Chuck. In 2018, another tumor was found, and this time Cally named it Bart. Again, the family and friends rallied around her and talked about Bart’s evacuation. In January of 2019 the tumor, Bart, was removed successfully. In April of 2019, Cally returned to work at Tendoy. The cancer started to grow and in March of 2020 the doctors opted to do some more radiation. Cally continued to work even though the radiation made her very tired. During this time, the tumor pushed up against an optic nerve, and she lost all of her right-side vision. Again, Cally continued to work and finish her spring semester with the help of her co-worker, Richard Hyde. Cally continued to fight with new drugs that required bi-weekly trips to Utah with her mother or husband.
Cally was able to fulfill a goal of creating more memories with her family by making and selling Christmas toffee, with the support of the E.L.F. project to fund family trips. In Cancun, she got to snorkel with the family and then later saw the Grand Canyon from the window of an old west train.
Several times, family and friends would come to visit, and she would be the one to comfort them rather than the other way around. Her bright and amazing testimony of the afterlife and God’s love for her, was felt by all those that came to visit her.
Cally is survived by her husband, John; her three sons, Hayden, Parker, and Preston; and her daughter, Hailey, father, Calvin Leon; her mother, Monalyn Nessen Sharp; brother, Tom (Jane) Sharp; her sister, Amy (Tyler) Hill; and her brother, Brett Calvin (Desiree) Sharp. Cally’s grandfather, LaMont Nessen and his wife, Ranae also survive her. John’s family thought of Cally as their own daughter and sister; their survivors include her mother-in-law, Sandy; John’s other siblings, Christie (Larry) Fernau, Mike (Laurie) Carlson, Becca (Mark) Cochran, Julie (Rob) Lapp, Lisa (Eddie) Delonas, Colleen (Jim) Hallinan, and Janie Carlson. Several aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and cousins also love and survive Cally.
Cally was preceded by her father-in-law, Leonard Carlson; paternal grandparents, Ferrin (Carma) Sharp, and maternal grandmother, Nola Nessen.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 26, 2021 at 1 pm at the Mountain View Ward building located at 2271 S. 4th Ave. (Corner of 4th and Fredregil Rd.) Pocatello, Idaho, with a viewing from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Wilks Colonial Chapel, 2005 S. 4th Ave. Pocatello and from 11 am -12:30 pm prior to the services at the church. Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery, 1520 S. 5th Ave. Pocatello, ID. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Advantage Federal Credit Union, c/o John Carlson, 3415 Johnny Creek Rd. Pocatello, ID 83204.
A special thank you to the doctors, nurses, and staff at the Huntsman Cancer Clinic in Utah, the nurses, and staff at Encompass Hospice, Staff at Tendoy Elementary and District #25, Richard Hyde, and all those that loved Cally so much.
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