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Caroline A. Shore DeBlauwe Tharp

Kossuth County Advance - Staff Photo - Create Article


April 19, 1941 - July 25, 2023


Caroline’s Spirit joined the Light of Peace on July 25, 2023,  in Waterloo.

Caroline Tharp of Waterloo was born in Algona April 19, 1941, to Glenn Shore and Mertie (Currier) Shore as the youngest of six children.

From Algona High School Class of 1959, she went on to Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls earning her BA, and she later achieved her Master’s degree from UNI in Early Childhood Education.

Marrying John “Jack” DeBlauwe Feb. 17, 1963, at St. Luke’s Episcopal, together they danced, socialized and started a family- Sheila DeBlauwe Jordan (Don) of Goose Creek, S.C. and Kayla DeBlauwe Stevenson (Pat) of Cedar Rapids.

She first began her teaching career with a very full kindergarten class at Washburn Elementary in 1963-67, (and later found humor in an early directive to “just try to keep the kids inside the classroom and not running the halls”.) Later on, she accepted a position at St. Luke’s Preschool in 1968-75.  She then joined Head Start first as a teacher, a supervisor, and then as program coordinator, until she retired in 1998. Additionally, she coordinated the “Up With Families” retreats from 1990-97. In 1999, she became a Residential Support Specialist at EPI- Exceptional Persons, Inc., and then retired again in 2006.

Dec.  27, 1986, Caroline married George Tharp at St. Luke’s, Cedar Falls, welcoming his daughters: Gretchen (Kimble) Bromley, of Pelican Rapids, Minn.; Shelley (Robert) Payton, of Flower Mound, Texas and Rachel (Donald) Cheeney, of Cedar Falls.

Her daily therapy included readings of “Jesus Calling” and spending countless hours nurturing and beautifying her home flower and vegetable gardens. She was an accomplished ISU certified Master Gardener, an avid volunteer for her craft. She also served on the board and volunteered with the Waterloo Public Library in several capacities.

Her leisure time included traveling to visit family and sight-seeing across the US. Local estate and garage sales were nearly impossible for her to resist as she lovingly collected like-new clothing, books, activities, and items for her great-grandchildren and others she adored. In the kitchen, her signature rhubarb cake and sauces in spring and summer were followed by her creating bountiful trays of festive holiday baked goodies and specialty peanut brittle.

Not to be missed, she and husband George would tune into The Wheel of Fortune nightly, and always cheer on the Hawks at game-time. Together with family, they enjoyed a vast collection of games, movies, books and travel destinations.

Caroline was always friendly with a song in her heart, a warm gleaming smile, and shared her infectious kindness and enthusiasm wherever she would roam. Her love of family, children, and fun was easy to admire if you were fortunate enough to see her creative and instructional “Valentine” presentation. How special to receive a card, letter or package from her; especially personalized with flair and flourish in her artistic and beautifully flamboyant handwriting. Unique and creative wrapping and special touches were her specialty.   

Among those feeling a tremendous loss of Caroline are her five daughters, twelve grandchildren (including Sarah J., Seth, Aubrey, Jesse, Chelsea, Madeline, Sarah, Emily, Charles, Teddy, Amanda, and Amber), eight great-grandchildren, brother Clifford Shore of Rock Island, Ill., sister Mary Shore Moon of Yuma, Ariz., and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Among those welcoming her to Heaven is her loving husband George W. Tharp and brothers William Shore, Bruce Shore, Jesse Shore, and niece Mary Beth Shore, nephew Jim Shore and granddaughter Whitney Jordan.

The family would like to thank the nurses, staff, and volunteers of Cedar Valley Hospice and Allen Memorial Hospital for their compassionate and professional care.

Join us in Waterloo… to Celebrate Caroline’s Life at the Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, Wednesday Sept. 27 from 3-5 p.m. rain or shine, 1927 E. Orange Rd., Waterloo, IA 50701.

Join us in Algona… for a memorial service at 11 a.m. Oct. 7 at  St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 213 E Call Street, Algona 50511 with interment at East Lawn Cemetery.  Oakcrest Funeral Services will be assisting with services.

Memorials may be made to: Cedar Valley Arboretum (above), Cedar Valley Hospice, 2001 Kimball Ave., Waterloo, IA 50702 or St. Thomas Episcopal (above)

Condolences may be left online at under Obituaries.









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