Claudia Anne Schalk Short, May 4, 1949, first child born to Martha Rouse Schalk and John E. Schalk in Oklahoma City, OK. As the first grandchild, Claudia was always doted upon by grandparents and three beloved great aunts, Henny, Mabel, and Elna. The family moved to Denver, CO when Claudia was two and lived there until Claudia attended college. While living in Denver, Martha and John welcomed two more children, Stephen P. Schalk and Karen Elizabeth Schalk to the family. Claudia went to 5th grade at Stephen Knight Elementary where she met her future husband, Ronald Short. After graduating from South Denver High School in 1967, she attended Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN and traveled extensively in Europe. Always a lover of the sunshine and the mountains, the dark, gray winters of Saint Paul were challenging for her and she decided to transfer to the University of Colorado Boulder to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Education, graduating in 1972. Claudia and Ronald were married in the backyard of her parent’s home in Albuquerque, NM in the summer of 1973. On their honeymoon to the northwest, Claudia, always an idealist, found a job teaching reading at the Wyoming Indian High School, the first Indian-run school, in Ethete, Wyoming on the Wind River Indian Reservation. They lived in Lander and Pavillion Wyoming until 1976. To escape the cold of Wyoming, Claudia decided to open an old-fashioned antique photo studio in Silverton, CO in 1976 that operated during the summer months. She also joined her father in his oil and gas business, Arapahoe Drilling, as a Landman in 1977 while living in Ignacio, CO on a 160-acre farm raising horses. In 1981, the untimely death of her beloved father necessitated a move to Albuquerque, NM, the headquarters of the family business. Claudia and her brother Stephen continued the operation of Arapaho Drilling Co. In 1986, Claudia and Ron adopted their first child, Katherine Anne Short followed by their second daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Short in 1990. The experience of motherhood brought the greatest joy and fulfillment to Claudia. The family loved to travel and spent a great deal of time in Wyoming, Colorado, La Jolla, CA, and many other locales around the world. She was a natural athlete and enjoyed tennis, swimming, and golf, however, her passion was fly fishing along the North Platte River on the family property, the One Bar Eleven Ranch near Saratoga,Wyoming.
Amidst the hardship of 2020, Claudia stepped into another life calling, that of a grandmother, celebrating the birth of her first grandchild William Landis Kelly to her daughter Sarah and her husband Will Kelly. 2021 brought a second grandchild, Jade Quinn Kelly to the family. Claudia loved the world and the people in it deeply and was a mother, mentor, and friend to many. She found joy in the simple beauty of life and never failed to stop to smell the roses, watch the sunrise, and care for many furry friends. She loved books and often gifted her favorites to friends and family members. While she is no longer with us, her legacy of love, kindness, humor, and curiosity lives on. Her passing was untimely; however, she died peacefully surrounded by family including her husband Ron, daughters Katherine and Sarah, son-in-law Will, brother Steve, sister Karen, nieces Natalie and Blythe, nephews John, Joey, and Brian, cousin Johnny, and dear friends Parkin and Quinn Bryson. She touched so many lives and will be greatly missed. A memorial service is to be announced at a later date. In lieu of condolences, the family requests that donations be made to the contributor’s favorite charity in Claudia’s name.