ROCK SPRINGS — When Rocket Miner contacted Rock Springs residents Art and Carolyn Shassetz for this feature, their oldest son was in critical condition with kidney failure.
Their daughter Raydon Butler and their granddaughter Ashley Butler still wanted to recognize their parents for their love, courage and faith.
“Hope gives us courage to do those things that we don’t believe we are capable of.” – Noelle Pikus-Pace, Olympic Medalist
Carolyn was a cheerleader when she was first attracted to Art. Art had an orange and tan Pontiac.
According to Carolyn, he was “very picky with that car.”
Raydon and Ashley giggled as they shared the rules of his car.
“If you wanted a ride, you’d have to polish his car and if you polished it well, he gave you a ride,” Raydon shared.
They dated for two years before they decided to become man and wife.
Art and Carolyn Shassetz have been married for 62 years. They were married at the old LDS church which is currently the Community Fine Arts Center on C Street. They were sealed for time and all eternity in the Ogden LDS temple by December 30, 1972.
Art was a mechanic at FMC.
They found a little house in Reliance and turned it into a cozy home.
Art expanded the house, making several modern upgrades including rock walls and a big porch.
According to Raydon, they worked on many projects together.
“They were the original ‘Chip and Joanna!’” Raydon chuckled.
Chip and Joanna Gaines are known for their reality show “Fixer Upper.”
When they were constructing the back porch, Carolyn kept telling Art to add more cement.
“It was so solid, it could survive a nuclear war,” said Raydon. “But my dad didn’t disagree or argue, he just let her tell him what to do.”
Art built the garage and a playhouse for the grandchildren.
“All of his projects turned out amazing,” said Ashley.
“He has a talent to make something out of nothing,” noted Raydon.
Art and Carolyn have four children, Steve, Raydon, Mark and Desiree.
They have nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
They’re both good cooks and enjoy catering for events at their church and other places.
“My mom would invite everyone to Christmas Eve dinner. That was a big deal.”
Even when the pandemic began, Carolyn and Art still cooked for people and delivered the meals to their homes.
“You never asked ‘What was for dinner?’ It was ‘What is Grandma making for dinner?’” Ashley mentioned.
The most important thing to them is their family.
“They are always there for everybody, there’s not a time you can’t call them,” Raydon mentioned.
They’re always involved in what the grandchildren are doing and they stay in touch with everyone.
“If you need anything, go to grandma’s,” Ashley said, “It’s never too late or too long to talk to her.
“You can call her in the middle of the night and ask for a stick of butter and she’ll run it to you. That’s the kind of person she is.”
“Dad would be sitting on the couch relaxing, reading, or watching TV but whenever someone is leaving the house, he’ll say ‘I love and appreciate you,’” Raydon shared. “If you need anything… one call, that’s all.”
Art is known to be a practical joker often.
One day Raydon took her parents to Home Depot. After Carolyn bugged him for touching the merchandise (during the pandemic), he decided to wait in the car. As a joke, he decided to move the car and see how they would react to it.
“They’ve never really sparred but they like to tease each other,” Raydon said.
Their philosophy is give, take, love and appreciate. Don’t end the day badly and always put family first.
Raydon said that as she and her siblings were growing up, they remember seeing them kiss each other and say “I love you” no matter where they were at.
“Even at the hospital during a difficult time, they still kissed and said ‘I love you,’” Raydon expressed.
The children and grandchildren are advised to listen to the spirit during difficult times. They’ve always insisted that everyone should stay strong through adversity.
“Have faith and you’ll get through it,” Ashley recalled.
Five years ago, Raydon’s faith was put to the test.
Ashley had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and was critically ill. She was in a medical coma for two months in ICU.
“The doctors told me several times she wasn’t going to make it. They approached me on a Sunday and told me her lung had collapsed and the other one was filling up with fluid.”
Ashley received a blessing from priesthood holders and Raydon started having hope again.
The next day, Ashley’s condition worsened.
“I was so angry so I went outside to call my dad,” she explained.
He told Raydon, “You put everything in the hands of the Lord and things will work out the way they’re supposed to. Everything will be OK.”
When she went back inside, the doctors and nurses were very emotional. She thought she had lost her daughter.
It was the opposite.
She was responding.
She recalls her father being very calm when they spoke on the phone. He had reminded her of the power of prayer.
“That’s my dad,” she described. “He doesn’t panic or worry. He has faith that everything will be alright.
Art and Carolyn stayed strong through their son’s illness as well.
“Be strong and of good courage.” – Joshua 1:9