In Loving Memory Carla Mulligan Ennis
June 11, 1946 - May 4, 2019
Carla left us peacefully in the loving arms of her husband Dave in the comfort of their home. She was preceded in death by her mother Lois Fuller Gordon and her father Kenneth Gordon. Carla was born in Sacramento, CA, raised in the small farming community of Lodi, CA on a grape and walnut ranch, and a proud descendant of California pioneers. She attended Chico State College for two years, transferred to San Jose State College where she graduated with a BA in Physical Education in 1969. She then began teaching swimming and lifesaving classes at city Parks and Recreation Departments. Carla began her adventures in Tahoe as a young child spending summer times at a lakeside family cabin. In 1974, she and her first husband moved to South Lake Tahoe. Carla quickly became involved in the Tahoe community by teaching exercise classes at South Lake Tahoe Recreation Complex for several years. It was there where she began to build her reputation as a fitness expert. One of the classes she taught was Exercise Through Pregnancy. In 1976 after one of these classes, Carla, who was pregnant at the time, went into labor and birthed her daughter Kristin at home. Carla continued to educate people about health, nutrition, and body fat through her work with Covert Bailey, “Fit or Fat” founder. In 1988, she co-authored a cookbook, Living Lean and Loving It, with her friend Eve Lowry using the precepts of the “Fit or Fat” philosophy.
Carla was a strong environmental activist. She expressed her beliefs by advocating and supporting The Sierra Club and The League to Save Lake Tahoe, as well as other environmental causes. She authored and had published many pointed letters and articles in the local Tahoe Tribune regarding environmental issues. “Think globally, act locally” was one of her mottos. Her love of nature was extended to a passionate love of animals, both wild and domestic. She volunteered countless hours with Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care fostering and nurturing injured wildlife until they were ready to be released back to the wild. She enjoyed having many pets throughout the years including an adored, overweight Siamese
cat named Mao, and five different Doberman Pinschers, all of whom she deeply loved. Her enthusiasm for the out of doors was boundless. She loved, hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, swimming, and rock climbing.
Carla met her husband Dave in one of her aerobic exercise classes. They were married in 1985. Aside from the busyness of life and raising Kristin, they shared their passion for outdoor activities; International travel to Mexico, New Zealand, and Fiji; extensive RV travel throughout the Western United States, most particularly Desolation Wilderness, June Lakes, Yosemite, The Bear Tooth Wilderness, Yellowstone National Park, and The Grand Tetons. In recent years, they joined local ukulele group The Ukulelians where they enjoyed playing and making new friends. Carla loved nothing more than taking a daily hike in her beloved Lake Tahoe and the Sierras with friends, family, and her hiking group.
One of her favorite quotes was by Mountaineer John Muir, “The Mountains are calling, and I must go.”
Carla is survived by her husband of 34 years David, her daughter Kristin (Ben Delwiche), grandson Nicholas, nephew Matthew Gordon. Carla will be dearly missed and remembered as a devoted environmentalist, animal rights advocate, an avid hiker and outdoors enthusiast, and for her compassion toward family and friends.
Memorial Services are scheduled for Sunday, June 9, 2019, 2:00-4:00 pm at Valhalla Estate, 1 Valhalla Road, South Lake Tahoe. Memorial gifts may be given to The Center For Biological Diversity.