Carla Ruth Stewart
November 9, 1940 - January 2, 2021
Resident of Clayton, CA
Her family is very sad to report the passing of Carla Ruth Stewart, a long-time resident of Clayton, California and native of Des Moines, Iowa. She enjoyed a happy Christmas Day with her family. The next day she was felled by a stroke. She fought before passing one week later.
Carla held fast to the magic of Christmas, and never really became too old to search the sky on Christmas Eve. On past Christmas Days, her house would be bedecked with lights and presents. Her family would gather for Christmas dinner, and her grandkids would relish a day at Grandma's house. Presents galore. For Christmas 2020, the family resorted to a socially-distanced gathering, trading grandma's house for a safer open garage. Not traditional, but a good time was had by all. Nobody had any reason to believe this Christmas would be her last.
Carla was the matriarch of the California Stewart clan that includes her husband, Steve, children Stephen and Ann, their spouses, and five grandchildren. She was Little League mom, soccer mom, football mom and volleyball mom to two generations of her clan, and it was often handy to have a nurse in the family.
A life as successful as hers deserved a much longer span and many more Christmas dinners. To her, 80 was the new 60, and she worked at that with her daily walks through her Clayton neighborhood, travels to exotic locations after retirement, and adventures with ski trails and scuba diving. She was fit, active, curious, and helpful to her clan right up through Christmas Day.
Her success stretches all the way back to her early childhood, when she learned empathy and patience by being big sister to the set of twins that followed her and who rarely returned the consideration. It continued in her varsity cheerleading days at East Des Moines High School, her nursing degree, her marriage, and the children and grandkids she loved.
She married Steve, her high school sweetheart, after college. She from the University of Iowa School of Nursing, and he from the Naval Academy. Their love affair never faltered, grew stronger, more and more so every day. Nobody ever doubted that.
She saved or extended the lives of many during her career as an RN. As a Navy wife, she and Steve lived in places as disparate as Oslo, Norway, and Meridian, Mississippi. They retired to northern California, where they lived close their kids and grandkids, and helped to found Crossroads Covenant Church, where she cared for babies in the nursery, led bible studies, and hosted home fellowship groups.
She loved her family enthusiastically and told them so every day. Carla's whole life was driven by love: for her family, her neighbors, her savior, and humankind in general. She loved them all, and for that she was loved back by all who knew her.
Carla joins the community of saints that she has always known was there for her: her father, Carl Schmacker (1914 – 1965); her mother, Myrtle Schmacker (1915 – 2007), her little sister, Joan Stewart (1943 – 2004), and many others.
She is survived by her husband, Steve; her son, Stephen (and Wendy); her daughter, Ann (and David) Antonson; her five beautiful grandchildren; her brother, John Schmacker, and all the many others whose lives she enriched with her presence. Her love will be played forward. That's part of her success. View the online memorial for Carla Ruth Stewart