Our dear mom, grandma, sister, aunt, and friend passed away on November 5, 2023, from natural causes after suffering with dementia for nearly ten years. Carolyn was known for her kind and gentle spirit. She was born April 12, 1944 to Leland and Mabel Olsen. She loved and admired her three older siblings, Allen, Betty, and Gordon, and adored her two younger siblings Lynda and Paul. As a young child, she was known for her curly blonde hair and her singing and dancing around the house.
She was close to her sister Betty, and as a child would travel alone on a Greyhound bus from Utah to California to visit Betty and her family. She idolized Gordon. He taught her to play tennis, which they enjoyed playing at Liberty Park. She wanted to emulate his artistic skills and she developed her painting talent. Later, the siblings shared a career path of teaching.
She grew up in Salt Lake City and attended Liberty Elementary, Lincoln Junior High, and South High School. She loved her experiences at South High and began many lifelong friendships there. In high school, despite being shy, she was popular. She was always smiling and friendly so people were drawn to her. Her classmates remember her as beautiful and humble.
The summer after graduation her adventures continued when she moved to San Francisco with friends to work and save money for college. Her freshman year of college she attended BYU. After freshman year, she moved to Lake Tahoe with friends to work for the summer. She returned to BYU her sophomore year, and then moved to New York City (where Gordon was living at the time) and worked at SOM, an interior design firm. During her time in New York, among other exciting things, she met her future husband. From New York, she embarked on a European vacation. While there, she fell in love with French culture and discovered her lifelong favorite perfume, L'air du Temps.
After returning to Utah from New York, she married Hyrum Coon (later divorced), finished her schooling in Elementary Education at the University of Utah, and had two children, Joshua and Danielle. Having young children, she enjoyed some of the best years of her life as a stay-at-home mom. Among many other things, her children remember many hours spent painting with watercolors and an idyllic early childhood living on Valene Street. She also taught them meditation and guided imagery, which was an important part of her life. Later she returned to work and became an elementary school teacher at Academy Park, Roosevelt, and Bluffdale Elementary schools. She taught several grades, but third grade was her favorite.
She and Hyrum bought a house in Holladay in the early 1970s and she lived there for almost 50 years. She loved living there where she enjoyed a beautiful view of Mount Olympus. After she sold her house in 2018, she moved in with her daughter and family in Peterson, Utah. During that time, she was able to fulfill the lifelong dream of vacationing to Hawaii. She lived with her daughter the remainder of her days where she was loved and cared for by family, neighbors, and caregivers, who often were able to see past her disease to love and connect with her sweet spirit. Doctors and other medical professionals would often comment on her sweetness even after brief interactions.
Carolyn was a free spirit. She emphasized seeing the best in others. She was drawn to love and light and taught others to let their lights shine. She loved John Denver, flowers, and children. She loved to watch movies and TV, especially if a show included Tom Selleck. She loved selecting presents for loved ones. Even when severely plagued with a disease known for causing frustration, angry outbursts, and upsetting personality changes, she gracefully kept her sweet disposition through the last days of her life. She was a great listener and had a way of making people feel loved and welcome. At her core, she was loving, nonjudgmental, kind, loyal, unselfish, and peaceful. Above all, she was kind.
Preceded in death by her father Leland Olsen, stepmother Mildred Olsen, mother Mabel Broadhead Tweten, stepfather Ben Tweten, brother and sister-in-law Allen and Diane Olsen, and sister and brother-in-law Betty and Norm Larson, many faithful and beloved pets, and her best friend Susan Fenn Bunker.
Survived by her brother, Gordon (Golda), sister Lynda (Rick), brother Paul (Tina), children Joshua Coon, Danielle Hale (Trent), and grandchildren Alexis (Steven), Aspen (Shawn), Elder Carter Hale, Ethan, Ivory, and Tessa, honorary grandchildren Veva, Annie, and Lily, and two great-grandchildren Izick and Elias.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Timothy Farrell, who exuded respect towards Carolyn, and all the tireless caregivers and volunteers who showed so much respect and lovingkindness during Carolyn's cognitive and physical decline. You all hold a special place in our hearts.
We are so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who welcomed Carolyn home where her spirit lives on and she is free and happy and whole.
Services will be held on November 11, 2023. The viewing will take place at 11:00 a.m. with the funeral following at 1:00 p.m. at the Holladay 28th Chapel, 2625 Milo Way, Holladay, Utah 84117. The interment will be held at Mountain View Memorial Cemetery, 3315 E. 7800 S. Cottonwood Heights, 84121 following the funeral.