Hard working, outgoing, caring, quick-witted, and well-loved by all are just a few ways to describe Whitney Shoda. A few pieces of history that occurred in 1987 were Michael Jackson released "BAD" Album and Single, the Simpsons were seen on TV for the first time, 1 gallon of gas was 89 cents, and on June 9, 1987 Mike Shoda and Paula (Downing) Woll welcomed the birth of Whitney Ann Shoda in Columbia City, Indiana.
Whitney was a lifelong Whitley County resident. She attended Columbia City High School, where she played softball her freshman year, and graduated with the Class of 2006. Whitney had a fun-loving personality with a big heart, and was always willing to help others in need.
She was a great mother, daughter, sister, and aunt, who thought the world of her nieces and nephews. She was a daddy's girl through and through. Her father and her had a special bond that some would say was very unconventional but it worked for them. She would come over and say, "What's up Pops?" something that always brightened his day. Whenever she would help her father on a project, she wasn't afraid to dish the attitude right back at him to the point it was comical, especially hilarious to those that witnessed these "skirmishes". In the end, they would laugh and move forward with the project. They were inseparable. Whitney's family was important to her. There wasn't a day that would go by that she wasn't calling her sister Darci who lived out of state. If you told Whitney a secret, one could bet money Darci would know it too. She loved being a part of a large family. Family gatherings were always a joy for her and she would always arrive with a fountain pop in hand. She had special bonds with each of her nieces and nephews. They would call her Aunt Weewee and always looked forward to the time they got to spend with her. She would light up at the chance to scoop them up, hold them tight, and tickle them or spoil them with whatever they wanted.
Whitney had a great sense of humor. She was always the first person to crack a joke or get someone to laugh. Whitney could always light up the room with both her personality and contagious smile. She was friends with everyone and everyone enjoyed her company. She was extremely social and could start up a conversation with anyone, even strangers walking down the street. Throughout her life, she was able to touch so many lives. Even though Whitney was kind to everyone, she was not afraid to speak her mind. If she didn't like something, especially at work, she would always let it be known.
Whitney was also a tomboy that loved the outdoors, swimming, family vacations to South Dakota, New Mexico, and camping in Southern Indiana. She loved hanging with her brothers and riding bikes shirtless with the boys until puberty hit and unfortunately she was unable to do that anymore. While young, on Friday nights you could find her and her siblings at Happy Valley with their roller blades in hand; after they spent hours cleaning them from riding them up and down the streets around the house. Throughout her adult life, you would never catch Whitney in a dress. If you ever asked her if she owned any dresses, she would say, "Yeah I own dresses, some bridesmaid dresses". Majority of the time, she would be wearing either an Under Armour t-shirt or sweatshirt and jeans. If it was casual, she was coming casual and comfortable. Even at her brother's wedding, for the ceremony she dressed up, but by the reception, it was back to an Under Armour t-shirt and jeans.
She was a foreman for the Indiana State Highway Department, Laud Unit for several years, and most recently was a logistics and inventory analyst at L.B. Foster. She enjoyed working alongside her brother Tyler each day at L.B. Foster. The best part about her new job at L.B. Foster was that it allowed her to spend more time with Aiden and not be out plowing roads in the winter. Whitney enjoyed working at Walmart and Papa John's out of high school. At Papa Johns she greatly enjoyed the 50% off discount for employees. She was such a dedicated Walmart employee she spent hours searching for some missing false teeth to find out they were in the owner's purse the whole time. Speaking of pizza, she loved a 16" cheese pizza from Pizza King where she would split it with Darci and they would race to see who could finish it first. She also loved animals, especially black labs. Through the years she would have numerous black lab furry companions most recently, Liam and Benson.
The greatest day in Whitney's life was on August 19, 2012, when her son Aiden was born. Aiden was the world to her. Her favorite time was when she was with him; whether that be sitting and watching a movie or watching him play with his cousins. As long as they were together, she was happy. Everything she did, it was for him. Family time was important to Whitney especially at Christmas. Every year she would help hang up the growing number of Christmas stockings and she would always be the person to pass out gifts every Christmas morning.
Whitney had a knack for DIY. For many years, she helped her father complete numerous remodeling projects around her family home. Most recently she completely gutted and remodeled her own house where she and Aiden would call home. If anyone had a project she was the person to call. She would drop everything to help. Not only did she enjoy DIY but she loved to create things and craft. Many Christmas gifts were hand crafted by Whitney. Her most recent project was to build a pallet bed. She truly had a special gift for crafting.
When she wasn't busy with everything else, Whitney enjoyed reading books by Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks, watching Grey's Anatomy, Law & Order SVU, rooting for IU sports, or listening to any genre of music. A good pick for movies was The Greatest Showman, which was one of Aiden and Whitney's favorite movies. The two would dance and even clean the house to songs from this movie. Whitney loved the movies Dirty Dancing, A League of Their Own, The Goonies, and the Sound of Music to name a few. There were many a times Whitney would reenact the "So Long, Farwell" song from the Sound of Music with her siblings. Actually, Whitney enjoyed watching anything Aiden wanted to watch. One of her favorite artists was Michael Jackson. She loved to sing and dance especially in the car where she would blast the music with all the windows down. Having fun was important to Whitney and she didn't care who was watching while she had fun.
Whitney will always be remembered in the hearts of those who loved and knew her so well. Whitney will be missed by not only her family and friends, but also those that had the privilege of being in her presence if even for only a short moment.
Whitney Ann Shoda, age 32, of Columbia City, IN, passed away at 3:08 pm on Sunday May 24, 2020 at Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne.
Survivors include her son Aiden Harper of Columbia City; father Mike (Julie) Shoda of Columbia City; siblings Brenna Yoder of Bluffton, Trevor (Lauren) Shoda of Columbia City, Erin (Dustin) Dellinger of Larwill, Tyler (Ashley) Yoder, Darci (Trevor) Groves, and Trenton (Alyssa) Shoda, all of Columbia City; grandparents Carl and Lois Downing, Paul and P.J. Shoda, and John Blakley; 13 nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her mother Paula Woll and grandmothers Janet D. Shoda and Martha Blakley.
Friends may call on Thursday May 28, 2020 from 12-8 pm at DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City.
Due to social distancing requirements in place with the COVID-19 pandemic, a private service for family will be held. Burial will follow in Greenhill Cemetery, Columbia City.
Memorial contributions in memory of Whitney may be made to Aiden Harper's Education Fund C/O Mike Shoda.
Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send family online condolences.
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