Sadly, we must announce the passing of Sharon Kay DeMotts, 80, of Bigfork, on March 19, 2022, at Whitefish Care and Rehab.
Sharon, or “Shari,” as friends and family often called her, was a friend of many, and one of the most loving women who ever lived. With a heart for the less fortunate, her kindness, curious nature and back-road exploration led to friendships across the entire Flathead valley.
God broke the mold after Sharon was born to the late Florence (Papenau) and Allen Quien on Sept. 24, 1941, in Whitefish. Sharon was just a year older than her sister Barbara (Osborne), six years older than her sister Patricia “Patti” (Tamblyn), and about 10 years older than her brother “Pete” Allen.
The family moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, after their father returned home from the Second World War, where Patti was born and Sharon suffered from rheumatic fever in the first grade. She was bed ridden for the entire school year, yet still managed to teach her sister Barbara what she would learn from the homework Barbara brought home for her.
Later, they moved to Kennewick, Washington, where brother Pete was born before returning to Whitefish. Sharon met her late husband, Roger DeMotts, at Whitefish High School. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Walla Walla, Washington, where their two daughters, Tricia and Debra “Debbie” (Shaw), were born in 1960 and 1961. While living in Walla Walla, Sharon used her innate creativity and worked as a cake decorator, picking up the skills that would lead to many family and friend wedding cakes throughout her years.
A small person, with a height just under five feet, Sharon was one of the strongest and hardest working women to roam these parts. Her incredible work ethic and creativity continued after returning to the Flathead Valley around 1968 by earning her cosmetology license and starting her long career as a hair dresser in Columbia Falls. Sharon eventually bought and owned the Hair Port, the salon she had worked at on Nucleus Avenue, before renaming it the Alpine Hair Affair and moving it next to the old post office. She later moved it again into her house on First Avenue West.
A consummate artist, beyond styling hair and decorating cake, Sharon could play the piano, painted wonderful Montana landscapes, and crocheted all sorts of clothing, blankets and decorations. Her overflowing love for her family often spilled over to friends or anyone in need. And she loved to drive her car, and Sharon knew every backroad in the Flathead Valley like the back of her hand. She even taught many of her family members to drive, “R is for race,” she would say.
Sharon raised her first grandsons, “the twins,” Branden and Joshua, who were born in 1977, with an amazing amount of love and support. A natural caretaker and loving companion, Sharon cared for her late husband, Roger DeMotts, until he passed in 2003. She then cared for her “soul mate,” Robbie Lynch until his passing in 2015. She was also preceded in death by her grandson Matthew Shaw.
She is survived by her daughters, Tricia DeMotts and Debbie Shaw; grandchildren, Branden and Joshua DeMotts, Derrick Jackson and David Shaw; and her great-grandchildren, Ace, Maverick, Rafe DeMotts, Shae Jackson, Aspen DeMotts and Camryn Jo Shaw.
A celebration of life service is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at Woodland Park’s Lagoon Pavilion in Kalispell. A potluck reception will follow the service and everyone is invited to bring your favorite dish, and to share in the memory and celebration of her life.