Barbara Jean McCandless [courtesy photo]

Barbara Jean McCandless, age 90, died in peace on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at home with family in

Moab after a short battle with cancer. She was born in Burlington, Iowa, on Oct. 18, 1928, to LeRoy

Koehler and Ellena Shortridge Koehler, the youngest of four children.

McCandless worked as a telephone operator until she moved with her young family to Moab in 1954 to manage King Electric. She was also the owner and operator of Sunshine Laundry, located at the former Millers Shopping Center. In her later years, McCandless was a clerk for the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service, the latter which she retired from in 1994. After retiring, McCandless worked part time for the State Land and Forest Service until the age of 75, at which time she focused her efforts at home to help raise two of her grandsons. McCandless spent her remaining years as the beloved matriarch of the McCandless family.

Her exceptional holiday meals (particularly her turkey gravy), unmatched corned beef hash, love for opals, work ethic and service to those she loved are among some of the favorite traits and memories that family and friends will cherish.

McCandless is survived by her sons, Steven (Charme) McCandless and Donald McCandless of Moab; daughter Pamela McCandless of Phoenix, Arizona; grandchildren Ryan, Donnie, Luke and Landon McCandless; Kelly Sheets; Anna Darbonne-Bjorndal; and Jestin Darbonne; as well as 12 great-grandchildren.

McCandless was preceded in death by her son, David McCandless; great-grandbaby Haven Jean McCandless; and three older brothers, Art Sheridan, Ed Koehler and Harry Koehler.

Family, friends and others whose lives McCandless touched are invited to Spanish Valley Mortuary for a viewing on Friday, Nov. 16, at 11 a.m., and a subsequent graveside service at Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery at noon to reminisce, celebrate McCandless’ life and support one another.

Please send any flowers to Spanish Valley Mortuary. Condolences may be sent to the family at