Cara Jean Wherley, 33, of Missoula, passed away on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at St. Patrick Hospital of natural causes.
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She was was born July 22, 1985, in Missoula, to Richard and Janice Wherley. Spending her entire life in Missoula, she graduated from Big Sky High School in 2004. There she was a member of the marching band and got to march in the Holiday Bowl Parade in San Diego. She went on to college at the University of Montana where she graduated with a degree in social work.
Throughout her whole life she loved animals. As a kid she wanted to be a veterinarian, having a special way with all animals she encountered. She loved her dogs, Fritz and Abby. Fritz was a wonderful friend to her growing up and Abby was a great companion for her as an adult.
For Cara, fashion was a top priority. She thought about going into fashion design during high school. Shopping at the mall for new outfits was something she greatly enjoyed.
She worked for Summit Independent Living Center, Inc. as a Youth Specialist for nearly a decade. A leader for YODA, Youth Opening Doors Through Advocacy, she loved working with youth to help them have fun and live life to the fullest. Also an active member of St. Francis Xavier Parish, she volunteered as a teacher for the middle school youth group and later as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. She was at the groundbreaking for the new ramp at St. Francis, and a big help in getting that project done. Usually she would be at the Sunday evening mass, unless the Packers were playing, in which case she would go to an earlier mass. She was a member of the Daughters of Isabella and Altrusa International.
Always up for an adventure, she loved to travel and did so around the country by plane, train and automobile. Time at the family cabin and ranch surrounded by those she loved brought her great joy. Many nights were spent watching football and playing dice games with her grandma and great-aunts, who she loved to make laugh to the point of tears.
A true Griz fan, she rarely missed a Griz football game, spending a few years as a member of the “Boom Crew”. She enjoyed going to Griz and Lady Griz basketball games with her dad. Cara also participated in Little Grizzly Cheer and Dance Team as a kid. Never feeling out of place, she loved dancing and inspiring others to dance and cheer as well. She loved going to sporting events, concerts, movies and creating art pieces of all kinds.
Everyone she met became an instant friend. Cara’s ability to connect with people was a true gift. She loved keeping in touch with old friends and her many cousins spread throughout the country.
Her family would like to thank the many nurses and doctors who helped Cara during her many hospital stays.