Carla Anne Possinger Short, longtime farmer, volunteer

February 20, 2024

Carla Anne Possinger Short, 84, died Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, after a valiant fight with small-cell lung cancer. She left the world as she lived in it, with a fierce independence, a quick wit, and her daughter, Andrea, beside her. 

Born in Wilmington, Carla was a graduate of Mount Pleasant High School and Colby College, where she majored in languages. After working in public relations at the DuPont Company, Carla came to work at the Office of the Delaware Insurance Commissioner, where she met the love of her life and future husband, Robert “Bob” A. Short, who served as Delaware insurance commissioner for 14 years.

Carla and Bob lived on the family farm that he and his father, Alden Short, operated, growing corn, soybeans, and wheat, and raising chickens for Perdue Farms. When suddenly widowed at 38, Carla chose to stay on and learn, by trial and error, and with the guidance of her father-in-law, how to run the 500-plus-acre farm while raising her young daughter. Carla partnered with three generations of the Conaway family, Granville and Dorothy, Gary and Crystal, Greg and Jenna, and longtime tenants, Woody and Valerie Dryden, to continue and grow the farm's success. Over the nearly four decades she spent on the farm, Carla repeatedly earned accolades for her excellent management of the land and chickens, but more important to her was the love and respect she enjoyed among the Sussex County farming community, which may have been a tad skeptical in 1977 that this young woman from Wilmington could make a go of the farm. After winding down the poultry operations in 2014, Carla sold the farmhouse and outbuildings to Bob’s grand-niece and her husband, ensuring the house stayed in the Short family. Carla then moved to Lewes and enjoyed her well-deserved retirement, visiting and traveling with friends, following the Washington Nationals, playing canasta, and occasionally showing off her luck at Harrington Raceway and Casino. 

Over the years, Carla also found time to serve her community as a volunteer with Georgetown Presbyterian Church, Delaware Hospice, and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, representing the interests of abused and neglected children in Delaware courts. She also served on the Delaware Board of Veterinary Medicine and represented the State of Delaware on a variety of farm boards. 

Carla is survived by her daughter, Andrea Keeler Short of Lewes and Washington, D.C.; as well as her brother, David Possinger and his wife Arlene of Pelham, Ala.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either Delaware Hospice,; or Humane Animal Partners of Delaware, Attn: Philanthropy Team, 455 Stanton Christiana Road, Newark, DE 19713.

A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Dodd-Carey Chapel, 307 N. Bedford St., Georgetown. Visitation for friends and family will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. 

Visit Carla’s Life Memorial at


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