Carol Marie Carroll passed away peacefully at home, on Sept. 16.
She was predeceased by her parents, Eugene and Elizabeth Johnson. She is survived by her husband, Paul Carroll; her daughter, Elizabeth Forde (Kevin); her sons, David Carroll and Michael Carroll; and her grandchildren, Katelyn Carroll, Thomas Carroll, Conor Forde and Caroline Forde.
Carol attended high school in Laurel, Maryland, and then graduated from St. Joseph College, in Emmitsburg, Maryland, with a bachelor of science degree in nursing. Carol accepted a commission as an ensign in the U. S. Navy Nurse Corps and embarked on a military career with assignments to Naval Hospital San Diego, California, and later to Naval Hospital Corpus Christi, Texas. At both those duty stations, Carol was heavily engaged in the care of seriously wounded sailors and Marines returning from Vietnam. Between those assignments, she served at the Medical Clinic, Naval Base Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
At Pearl Harbor, she met her future husband Paul, who was stationed aboard a ship home ported there. Months later, Paul left active duty and returned to Kansas for law school. They remained in contact and were married at Lawrence, Kansas, on Aug. 26, 1967, thus beginning a romance lasting over 53 years.
After Paul’s completion of studies and successful bar examination, they moved to San Diego, where Carol became the charge nurse in a large pediatric clinic and Paul completed a federal court clerkship before reentering the Navy as a judge advocate. This began a life that took them and their growing family to many ports of call, including Charleston, Washington, southern Spain, Newport, Washington, and finally to Corpus Christi, Texas.
While living in Texas, Carol entered a two-year masters of nursing program at Corpus Christi State University, which resulted in a degree and national credentialing as an adult nurse practitioner. She then created and taught a course for nurse aides which resulted in her employment by a Texas agency to test the skills of nurse aides in nursing homes throughout South Texas.
After several years, she accepted an appointment to the position of nurse manager at the large U.S. Veterans Affairs Clinic in Corpus Christi. Carol dearly loved having the opportunity to again provide medical care for veterans as she was doing in the beginning of her professional career.
Carol always found time for her family. She was there to cheer them from the sidelines, listen and support them in their decisions, and always motivated them to do their best in life.
Carol’s adventurous spirit was passed to her children in many family adventures over the years. She was proud of the fact that she helped nurture the careers of two engineers and a caring teacher. She would say that some of the best times are those spent as a family, and she enjoyed those moments the most.
After retiring, Carol and Paul found time for travel, including three transatlantic cruises. She had a passion for growing orchids, which not only showed her love of nature, but her leadership skills, since she served as president and other offices for the South Texas Chapter of the American Orchid Society. They both certified in the Texas A&M Master Gardner’s program and provided support to the botanical gardens and the “learning to grow” program at elementary schools.
Failing health convinced Carol and Paul that it was time to relocate closer to family, which brought them to Livermore, California, three years ago.
The family wants to express their thanks for the loving care from Hope Hospice (especially Nancy and Maridith). This agency’s rapid response to the family’s plea to transfer Carol home from the hospital ICU was incredible. They are also grateful to Father Kwame for helping Carol begin her spiritual journey just before the last hospital admission.
With present restrictions, the family is planning a small vigil and funeral mass at St. Charles Borromeo Church and a burial service with military honors at St. Michael’s Cemetery on Oct. 2.