Audrey Carole (Little) Schlapia, loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, teacher, friend, a strong-willed force of nature, and true Southern belle, passed away on September 5, 2022, at age 84 – sassy and sharp as a tack to the end, fully at peace with her Lord and Savior.
Audrey was born on December 20, 1937, in Alexander County, North Carolina, to Ella Mae and B.V. Little Sr. With Audrey Carole’s Christmas week arrival, Ella Mae said, “This is my Christmas ‘Carole’ and the best gift God could have ever given me.”
In December of 1953, Audrey met the love of her life, Richard B. Schlapia, then serving our country in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. On August 15, 1954, Audrey and Richard married at White Plains Baptist Church in Taylorsville. In 1956, they moved to Nampa, Idaho (Richard’s hometown), where they lived and later raised three daughters, Cheryl (Schlapia) Daniel, Angie (Schlapia) Dunne, and Andrea (Schlapia) Lopez.
On July 9, 1976, tragedy struck when Richard died in a motorcycle accident. Overnight, Audrey became a widow and single mother with a farm to run and a family to raise. She earned her B.A. degree in General Studies Education from Northwest Nazarene University, a B.A. degree in Special Education: Preschool-High School, and a Master’s degree/Reading Specialist from Boise State University.
Throughout Audrey’s 27-year career as a Special Education teacher in Canyon County/Nampa, Idaho, she guided, inspired, and transformed countless students’ lives. In addition, Audrey was active in community service. One of her most meaningful groups was the Boise chapter of the Stonecroft Women’s Ministry.
Audrey also loved reading, gardening, card-making (stamping), and cheering on Duke and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels (woe to anyone who blocked the T.V. screen when Audrey’s beloved teams were playing)! A true daughter of the South, Audrey could instantly put a person in their place by wielding her favorite saying, “Bless your heart,” with grace and kindness.
A long-time breast cancer survivor and warrior, Audrey was preceded in death by her husband and parents.
In addition to her three daughters and their husbands, Audrey is survived by her brother, B.V. “Junior” Little of North Carolina; granddaughters, Emily Mae Stevenson and Laura Marie (Stevenson) Conner; great-grandchildren, Eleanor Elizabeth and Jonah Theodore Conner; nieces, Amy (Little) Hittle and Julie (Little) Clark; and Audrey’s extended North Carolina family, especially her five best friends from fifth grade, with whom she frequently reminisced by phone, even in her final days.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend her celebration of life at Alsip and Persons Funeral Chapel – 404 10th Ave. S., Nampa, Idaho 83651. A visitation will be held on September 8, from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. A funeral service to be led by Pastor Van Kierstead of New Covenant Baptist Church will follow on September 9, at 11 a.m. Graveside Services for Audrey will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, 15862 Indiana Avenue, Caldwell, Idaho at 2:00 p.m. on September 9.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that you honor Audrey’s memory with donations in her name to the Idaho Youth Ranch (https://www.youthranch.org/).