Carla Latimer, age 84, passed away in Provo, Utah on Sunday, October 9, 2022, surrounded by her family. She was born on October 8, 1938, in Murray, Utah to Wallace Leroy Benson and Dorothy Zola Fenstermaker.
Carla grew up on the family farm with Little Cottonwood Canyon and the Wasatch Mountains to the east and Jordan High School to the west. She was born with a drive to learn of things so that she could teach others. She was naturally social, kind, happy and set her sights high.
She was married to Donald Sidney Latimer on April 30, 1959. They moved to California and Carla later graduated from Brigham Young University in 1961 with a degree in Elementary Instruction. They had five children over a ten-year span, and they were there for their children to teach them about life and the value of hard work.
As her children became more independent, she began substitute teaching and soon found herself a bona fide teacher at Miramar Ranch and Jerabek elementary schools in her own neighborhood of Scripps Ranch in San Diego, California. Her creative approach to teaching inspired her peers, delighted parents, and motivated her young students with a love of learning.
Carla was constantly challenging herself to improve. Her nature was not to stand by to watch the earth spin. She received a master’s degree from United States International University (USIU), flew across the nation teaching math and science with the AIMS Educational Foundation and became a highly coveted National Board-Certified teacher.
Carla loved, and was a faithful member of, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was not one to judge, but to love others and seek to understand them. She looked at ways to extend her charity freely. She served in many callings and especially connected to the young women of her congregation and gave them a shining example through her actions.
Carla had many trials and heartaches in her lifetime, but she carried on with optimism and determination with a smiling countenance. She knew her faith would carry her back to the presence of her Savior and, that because of him, she would find peace in this life and immortality in the world to come.
Carla had a gift for making cakes. She spent hours creating the most beautiful and delicious birthday and wedding cakes for family and friends. For her it was an expression of love, never expecting anything in return. When others saw and tasted her cakes they would say, “would you do one for me?” And, of course, her answer was always yes, even if she didn’t have the time.
Carla was known for: Exceeding the infinity barrier for taking pictures; Listening to Elvis Presley or Neil Diamond at any time; Taking a field trip with her 3rd grade class on a flight to Sacramento for the day; Creating models of California mission; Speaking to orbiting astronauts live from her 3rd grade classroom; Putting together a map of the USA with state cakes baked and decorated by her students; Leaving Post-it note reminders everywhere; Buying new books for her classroom; Loving shiny red cars; Pouring Ranch dressing on everything; Beating breast cancer; Patrolling her cul-de-sac from interlopers; Inviting others to live in her home for extended stays; Using wool fat—if it was good for animals, it must be good for humans; And, of course, drinking her chocolate shakes, with whipped cream.
To the very end, Carla simply loved people and they loved her.
Carla is survived by her brother Lynn (Janet), three of her children Chad (Cindy), DeeDee (Josh), Troy (Amanda); 17 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Jean, and her sons, Rex and Marc.
A viewing and funeral service will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2022, at the chapel located at 10945 South 1700 East, Sandy Utah 84092. The viewing will take place from 9:00 am to 10:45 am and the funeral will be held from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm. Directly after the funeral service, all are invited to attend the graveside service held at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 E Dimple Dell Road (10600 South) Sandy, Utah 84092. For those wishing to virtually attend services through zoom please visit https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84707499021
Carla is a bright light in heaven im sure. She was a coworker , friend and coach for me. I am very grateful for how she prepared and supported me for my chemo treatments for breast cancer in 1991. She was my beacon of hope.
I considered her a model for excellence in teaching and was always amazed at her tireless efforts to help students to strive for excellence while having fun learning.