Heaven gained a kind, selfless and loving angel when Carolyn passed away following a multi-year battle with COPD in Boise, ID. Her beautiful smile and wonderful spirit blessed Carolyn’s family and friends to her final day. A gracious and gregarious woman, Carolyn was both the “Mistress of her Christmas Open House” and a lot of fun at a party. With Carolyn, strangers became friends and she welcomed both the humble and the most prominent into her care and concern. Always classy, witty and intelligent, Carolyn’s sparkle and sense of fun made her an unforgettable personality. A devoted Mom; wonderful neighbor; kind, cheerful and positive person, heaven welcomes a beatific spirit in Carolyn.
Carolyn Marie Candee was born in Colfax, WA to Professor Frank Wiggins Candee and Mabel Marie Olson Candee on August 1, 1930. Raised “on the hill” next to Washington State University where her father was a long time professor of Mechanical Engineering, Carolyn was proud of her Pullman, WA roots (“9 miles from the Idaho border” as Mom would say) and remained close to her childhood friends throughout her life. In her youth, Carolyn was active in the Episcopal Church (where her Dad was the Senior Warden), Camp Fire Girls, Jobs Daughters, sports and music. Carolyn graduated from Washington State University in 1952 in Business Administration, where she made more life-long friends through her membership in Kappa Kappa Gamma and participation on the synchronized swim team. Carolyn lived with her brother, Robert Olson Candee and his family in Pittsburg, PA while obtaining a master’s degree in Retailing from the University of Pittsburg in 1954. Carolyn moved to Seattle, WA to pursue a career in retail as a buyer for Frederick and Nelson department store. Carolyn met and married James (Jim) Christian Anderson in 1956 and they established their first home in the university district near the University of Washington where Jim was employed in Alumni Relations. Her pride in her WSU Cougar heritage never waned, and during one memorable Apple Cup, Carolyn and the wife of the UW President both sported their crimson and gray to the chagrin of their husky husbands. Cynthia Marie and James Christian (Jr.) were born to Carolyn and Jim in Seattle. The Andersons moved to Portland, OR in 1960 for Jim’s career as a hospital administrator and Carolyn became a stay at home Mom as they welcomed Steven Frederick to their growing family.
Carolyn loved every holiday and her home took on festive decorations for Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and especially for Christmas for which she accumulated approximately 30 boxes of decorations, ornaments and dishes. While not much of a cook (with the notable exception of her pot roast), Carolyn was an awesome cookie baker, and her Christmas chocolate drop and merengue puff cookies were heavenly. There was also an unexplainable phenomenon with the Christmas cookie tree and nut bowl that seemed to be magically replenished each morning. Carolyn also excelled at canning berries and making jam and following a day of picking strawberries for themselves, the kids went with Mom to the u-pick fields for the family supply. The Anderson House was a renowned Trick or Treating destination – always with a new, spooky surprise. Because Carolyn never really had a party as a kid due to her summer birthday, she made sure that each child had an “epoch” Birthday celebration each year complete with theme, decorations and a cake always from the Beaverton Bakery. Carolyn was also the “queen of equality” with her children, reserving certain birthday gifts (such as bikes) for a specific birthday, ensuring that there were exactly 10 gifts in each child’s Christmas stocking and exactly the same amount of candy in each Easter Basket. If a child wanted something more expensive than the family budget for a birthday or Christmas gift, that child was responsible for earning or raising their share of the gift. Our Mom never played favorites and reminded each of us regularly that she loved each one of us the same. . . right to the end.
Carolyn took a very active role in supporting the education and activities of her children, serving as a Room Mother, Den Mother, Blue Bird and Camp Fire Leader and co-President of the Ridgewood Elementary PTA with Jim. Carolyn volunteered at every enrollment session at Cedar Park Junior High and Sunset High School to ensure that her kids were registered for the classes they needed. In 1968 Carolyn and Jim welcomed their fourth child, Mark Robert and soon found themselves with a high school Senior, Junior, Sophomore and First Grader. Carolyn knew that a key ingredient in her children’s self-concept was feeling good about their clothing for school, and she took special care to save, shop and listen to the desires of the Anderson brood (which were quite varied). Annual trips to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, Brother’s and Meier and Frank resulted in happy kids and memorable first day of school pictures. Despite her fear of heights, Carolyn gamely took up downhill skiing with her family, and while not the most coordinated on the T-Bar, she was always the most fashionable on the slopes. The Andersons had Season Pass Numbers 0001-0006 at Mt. Hood Meadows for many years, and Carolyn always made sure to get the kids to the mountain on the weekends, despite early morning paper routes and a prolonged hospitalization of Jim.
Carolyn and Jim were true friends to their neighbors and the families of their children’s friends, and many a Friday night was celebrated with dinner from McDonald’s, games and TV with their “extended families.” The Anderson home was one of the most popular on the street due in part to Carolyn’s unconditionally loving nature and in part to a certain drawer in the kitchen that contained candy bars, Hostess cupcakes and other after school snacks not permitted in other homes. Thanksgiving Dinners became an opportunity to extend the family table to the families of her children’s friends, and the Normans, Becks/Thayers and Moore/Foxes became second families to our own. Always an excellent card player, Carolyn would host Bridge Parties for couples or female friends. These were elaborate events with each table of four draped in linen, her best silverware and china set “just so” and small flower arrangements from her garden in crystal low vases at each table. It was a sight to behold.
As Mark entered Kindergarten, Carolyn returned to work as the Office Manager for Zimmer Passion, an orthopedic supply company franchise owned by a neighbor. Carolyn’s aptitude for work, superior customer service and unparalleled work ethic was a model for her student employees and a key ingredient supporting the Salesmen associated with the firm. Carolyn and Jim were divorced in 1987 and Carolyn moved to Lake Oswego where she resided until her retirement from Zimmer Passion in 1997.
All four children offered for Carolyn to live near or with them following her retirement. Carolyn decided on Flagstaff, AZ and in 1998 she moved to live with her daughter, Cindy, who had been working in Student Affairs at Northern Arizona University since 1983. Carolyn quickly became engaged with the Flagstaff community, joining Chapter G of PEO where she would later receive her 60-year membership pin at the AZ State Convention in 2012 and proudly coordinated the chapter’s B and B program for several years. Carolyn also joined Episcopal Church of the Epiphany and enjoyed their fellowship and outreach programs – including her scheduling of members to volunteer weekly serving dinner at the Flagstaff Family Food Center. To satisfy her social appetite, spiritual inclination and for a little extra spending money, Carolyn accepted employment as a part time church secretary at Living Christ Lutheran Church, where Cindy was a member. Carolyn was beloved by the members of the
A Great Mom, Gracious Lady and True Friend congregation and devoted much more time than the 20 hours per week for which she was compensated. The concerns of the Living Christ Community were always on her heart, and many more dear friends were added to Carolyn’s circle.
Carolyn rejoiced in the birth of her grandchildren, Amanda Jayne (1995) and Hannah Lee (1996) born to son Jay and wife Felicia and took great delight in traveling to New Jersey for their Baptisms, First Communions, High School and College Graduations. “Nana C” took special delight in creating and sending holiday packages to Amanda and Hannah and as they grew into young adults, Nana loved receiving their phone calls and cards. Carolyn took a memorable trip with Jay’s family to Italy for her 70th Birthday, reveling in the ancient and religious sites of Tuscany, Assisi and Rome and enjoying great meals and good wine. Carolyn loved traveling throughout the southwest, and treasured visiting her nephew, Chris (Nancy) Candee in Ouray, CO; taking in the Balloon Festival in Santa Fe, NM and frequent tips to her beloved Grand Canyon for Christmas Dinner and whenever friends or family came to visit. Carolyn “happened” into her final “career” as a house and dog sitter when she volunteered this service to be auctioned at a fund-raising event at Epiphany. More lovely friendships were added to Carolyn’s life – this time including the canine variety, which she adored.
Carolyn and Cindy loved their N. Navajo Drive neighbors (AKA “The Hood”) and Carolyn was often able to catch up on their cares and concerns while she tended to their yard. With so many Christmas decorations on hand, a Holiday Open House was a “must” and the first party became an annual event continuing until 2018. Carolyn was so popular during her time in Flagstaff that Cindy became accustomed to having her friends and colleagues greet her with “How’s Mom?” Neighbors sad to see the “Anderson Ladies” leave the neighborhood hosted a wonderful gathering in May 2019 which traveled to our house as Carolyn was recovering from a spinal compression fracture.
In late June 2019 when daughter, Cindy retired from NAU and was moving to Portland, OR, Carolyn moved to Boise, ID to live with her youngest son, Mark and wife Valerie in their warm and loving home. Our family is grateful for the incredible care provided to Carolyn by Alicia at Trinity Home Care, enabling Carolyn to live with family. Carolyn was able to reunite with her cousin, Donna Jo Fitzgerald at a family reception organized by her daughter, Ann Jones and attended by nearly all of Donna Jo’s and Nancy Jo MacGregor (deceased) children and grandchildren. Carolyn also enjoyed a fun reunion dinner with second cousin Shawna MacGregor and her daughters, Stefanie Guy and Nancy McCracken whom Carolyn befriended while Nancy pursued her master’s degree in Speech Pathology at NAU.
Carolyn left this world in the early moments of December 19, 2019 quickly, peacefully and on her own terms with children at her side. Carolyn is survived by her daughter, Cindy of Happy Valley, OR; sons, Jay (Felicia) of Fair Haven, NJ, Steve (Son-Hui) of Vancouver, WA and Mark (Valerie) of Boise, ID; Granddaughters Amanda and Hannah Anderson of Brooklyn, NY; Cousin Donna Jo Fitzgerald of Nampa, ID; nephew Chris (Nancy) Candee of Ouray, CO; nephew and niece by marriage, Jeff Groves of Port Townsend, WA and Susan Hawkins of Seattle, WA and many second cousins and their beloved families. Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Mabel Candee; brother Robert (Ann) Candee; cousin Nancy Jo (Wayne) MacGregor and ex-husband Jim.
A Celebration of Life for Carolyn will be held on July 4 (Mom's favorite holiday) at 2:00 p.m. at Epiphany Episcopal Church in Flagstaff, AZ. Wear "red, white and blue"/"stars and stripes" (casual dress encouraged) to the celebration that will be followed by a Reception in the Fellowship Hall.
Memorial Remembrances can be given in Carolyn’s name to the Flagstaff Family Food Center (https://hotfood.org/) or to scholarships named for her parents at Washington State University.
Somehow, we thought that Mom would live forever . . . and in many ways she does.
We love you and miss you so much, Mom. We will always endeavor to live up to your incredible example for our lives. . .
Celebration of Life
Life Story Info
“In lieu of flowers...”Family Food Center (https://hotfood.org/)
Cause of Death
- Pullman, Washington
- Portland, Oregon
- Flagstaff, Arizona
- Office Manager-Healthcare
May 7, 2016
Nancy and Connor McCracken's Wedding