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Carla Ann Caneva

Carla Ann Caneva
Carla Ann Caneva
- June 25, 2018

Carla Ann Caneva, 76, of Deadwood died Sunday, June 24, 2018, at Lead-Deadwood Regional Hospital after a courageous battle with neuroendocrine cancer.   

She is survived by her children: Brandon (Laura) Caneva of Sturgis and their children, Connor and Annika; Deana (Moses) Ward of Lead, SD, and their children, Evan, Isabel, and Quinn; and Collin (Angie) Caneva of Lincoln, NE, and their children, Calvin, Ella, Chiles, and Everly.  She is also survived by her best friend and companion, Cheryl Miller of Spearfish.

Carla Ann (Busch) Caneva was born February 12, 1942, in Joliet, IL, to Carl and Evelyn (Williams) Busch.

Remembered by most as a successful businesswoman who owned and operated the New York Store on Deadwood Main Street for sixteen years, her love of fashion, textiles, and retail began at 15, when she was hired as a clerk in her future father-in-law’s store called Caneva’s Fashions for Men (Lockport, Illinois).

She married Francis Caneva on May 20, 1961, and loved to tell the story of how her frugal and talented mother designed, sewed, and hand-beaded her gorgeous wedding gown. 

As a young married woman in Lockport, she helped her husband run the family business but primarily stayed home to care for her children, Brandon, Deana, and Collin.

In 1973, shortly after Collin’s birth, Francis and Carla lost their clothing store in Lockport when it burned to the ground.  They relocated to Deadwood, SD, where Carla became a savvy businesswoman as the owner and creative force behind the well-loved and often missed, New York Store.

The New York Store was Carla’s passion.  She adored the history, the building, but most importantly her customers.  She enjoyed seeing a woman transform before her eyes through the simple experience of wearing beautiful clothing.  She believed details mattered—so if you were renting a tuxedo, buying a prom dress, selecting a gift, or purchasing a new outfit just because—she took extra steps to ensure everything was perfect.  Shopping with Carla meant free alterations so your clothes fit impeccably.  It meant pink boxes with her signature potpourri scented tissue paper.  It meant tiny baby’s breath flowers tucked into gift bows.  It meant over-the-top window displays with pine branches and tumbleweeds she collected from the Black Hills.  And it meant not worrying that someone would wear the same outfit as you because she personalized everything with her skillful use of accessories. 

Women who shopped at the New York Store became life-long friends.  They loved to linger in her sitting area where she served coffee in the morning, mimosas at noon, and wine in the afternoon. 

She joked that she single-handedly started a patchwork jacket trend in the 1980’s.  “I sold a patchwork jacket to every woman with gray hair and blue eyes in the five-state area.”

Carla’s legacy is one of natural grace, infinite kindness, elegant style, sizzling wit, and deep nurturing. 

She was a self-made woman and tireless caretaker—of her children and grandchildren, her parents, her husband, her friends and customers, and her community.  She held various offices with the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce, served as Treasurer for St. Johns Episcopal Church for 10 years, served on the board of the Northern Hills General Hospital, and was an Adams Museum board member for 12 years.  In 2015, the city of Deadwood proclaimed February 12th Carla Caneva Day because she was “an integral part of the business community and remains one of Deadwood’s most stellar and essential citizens.”

During her retirement, she opened a wardrobe consulting business in her quaint little home called Carla’s House.  She was happiest when she was helping women reflect their inner beauty into the world thanks to the confidence that comes from feeling good in lovely clothing.

Carla will be dearly missed and delightfully remembered as a woman with strong principles, joyful graciousness, and unyielding emotional fortitude.  She faced every challenge head-on, with a twinkle in her eye and a witty one-liner at the ready.

The world is a better (and more stylish) place because of her.

A celebration of life gathering will be hosted in her honor within the next couple months.  Details will be shared in the Black Hills Pioneer and everyone with a fond Carla Caneva story is welcome.  Feel free to share your favorite memory of Carla at www.kinkadefunerals.com



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