Carol Larson


image of Carol Larson

Carol Larson

Carol Larson passed away peacefully on Friday, January 5th after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Carol was born in Vallejo, California to father Bill and mother Rose. She was the oldest of four including her late brother, Jim (2017), and sisters Linda and Lisa. As a child, Carol loved roller skating and in high school she began her lifelong role as a cheerleader, always ready with an encouraging word and her signature megawatt smile. Carol graduated from Vallejo High School in 1969, and after earning her associate degree, began working as a legal secretary.

While living in Davis, Carol met her late husband Gene (2023), the love of her life, at a college party. Gene swept her off her feet with grand gestures and adventure throughout their courtship and long, happy marriage. The couple was engaged on Christmas Eve and then married on Valentine’s Day in 1976.

Carol and Gene settled in the Bay Area, spending their days working and their evenings and weekends roaming around in their Alfa Romeo, sometimes even chartering a plane, the sources of many tales for their daughters later in life. In 1982, Carol gave birth to daughter Jenni and officially assumed the title of “Best Mom Ever”. The family of three relocated to Washington in 1984 and a year later, the family was complete with the arrival of daughter Jess.

Carol often said the best years of her life were spent raising her family in Timberline. Carol was a favorite amongst all the neighborhood kids and pets, always offering a snack such as her homemade pumpkin bars, a fresh box of Cheez-It, or a dog treat for a four-legged friend. She busied her days driving carpools and spending time with her girls. Lazy picnics at Pine Lake, hours spent waiting during ballet lessons and recitals, rainy afternoons cheering from the sidelines during fall soccer, and patiently hand holding during countless orthodontist appointments, Carol was an ever-present and always cheerful mom. Her special touches included hand-sewn Halloween costumes (the Care Bear and Raggedy Ann were favorites) and heart shaped notes in school lunches. These are just a few examples of the many ways that Carol showed her abundant daily love to her family.

Beyond her own family life, Carol was a volunteer with the Fred Hutch Guild, an avid member of the neighborhood book club, a confirmation leader and active member of Sammamish Hills Lutheran Church, and a regular volunteer and later employee of her girls’ school, Redmond El., where she met lifelong friend, Janice. Carol played golf and tennis with her husband and other couples, walked every morning with dear friend Jennifer, and even dabbled in Jazzercise (sometimes on a video cassette in the living room with her girls).

Always full of surprises, her husband Gene took a job in Warsaw, Poland where the couple lived for several years. Being based in Poland allowed the couple to take many European adventures, several of which included their daughters and one soon-to-be son-in-law, even going as far as to visit parts of Asia and later, New Zealand.

After a few years abroad, the two came home to spend more time with their daughters and to sail the Puget Sound. During this time, their family grew to include two sons, both of whom Carol doted on as if they were her own. Jenni and Ryan were married in a lovely Hawaiian oceanside wedding that turned into a favorite family trip in 2007. In 2008, Jess and Charlie were married in Woodinville during the holidays, a special evening that Carol loved planning with Jess. In the years that followed, Carol beamed during regular “Sunday Dinners” with two additional chairs at the table and loved cooking big meals with lots of second helpings for her kids. Many of these family dinners ended with games, most of which Carol won. A lifelong lucky lady, Carol was known to have asked “What happens when you run out of bonus Yahtzee on your score card?!” which yielded eye rolls from the kids and quickly ended all the games. Always ready for a round of Kings in the Corner and a lot of laughter, Carol was the heartbeat and soul of the Larson-Baldwin-Wickers family.

In more recent years, Carol enjoyed spa days with her girls, weekends away in Bellingham, Cannon Beach, or Napa, sailing adventures with Gene (often venturing off the grid and out of cell reception much to the girls’ chagrin!), and movie nights on the couch with Gene and their beloved dog, Gracie. Carol was a lover of holiday traditions and always made Christmas especially joyful.

A constant smiling and positive force, many were not aware or would quickly forget that Carol was a warrior. She endured a nearly two-decade-long battle with cancer navigating more than anyone could imagine. Never fazed, her strength and smile made her a quick favorite of any and all medical staff, winning them over by asking about their lives and remembering details from visit to visit. The family is incredibly grateful to not only the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington Medical Center (specifically the ICU and oncology staff), but also to all her friends who stepped in to support Carol throughout this journey.

2023 was a difficult year for Carol as she lost her husband and lifelong best friend, Gene, to a swift battle with pancreatic cancer in March. Yet, Carol soldiered on to be able to meet her granddaughter who was born that summer, becoming a doting Grammy. Carol was a light to all and will be sorely missed.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be directed to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle in Carol’s name.

A memorial service is planned in Carol’s honor on Saturday, February 10th at 2:30 pm at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Kirkland with a reception to follow. All family and friends of the Larson Baldwin Wickers families are invited to attend the service. The family welcomes you to sign the virtual guest book by sharing a favorite story about Carol. Whether you are able to attend the service or not, Carol’s family also invites you to honor her in one of the following ways:

  • Watch a Nancy Meyer’s Rom-Com or an episode of Blue Bloods with a bucket of popcorn and a cozy blanket.
  • Curl up with a good book and a cup of tea.
  • Be a cheerleader for someone you love who needs support.
  • Have dinner with your family around the table.
  • Play a game of cards (and win).
  • Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.

16 Responses to “Carol Larson”

  • Feri says:

    Carol was my client for many years! I always got so happy when I saw her name on my books! We always shared our memories and stories about our lives during her services! I always admired her style and fashion! I will never forget her kindness and her beautiful smile! She’s in heaven now with her husband looking down at their beautiful daughters and their families!🙏♥️🥀

  • Randy and Beth Wickers says:

    We will fondly remember both Gene and Carol with huge smiles and always a hug!! Such very very special people! We were very lucky to be part of their family!!

  • Nancy Barry says:

    My fondest memories of Carol are when we chit chat while waiting for our girls to complete dance classes. Our friendship was one that was based around our daughter’s activities and friendship. Carol was one of the most kindest and positive ladies I have ever met. Recent years we did not run into each other, but Carol was always in my heart. You will be greatly missed by many.

  • Susanne Prescott says:

    As neighbors and friends in Timberline, we enjoyed knowing Gene and Carol as well as their daughter who shared soccer and friendship with our daughter, Erin.
    Carol was always kind, positive, always smiling and was one of the most wonderful people you would ever meet. We are glad she was around to enjoy her daughters and grandchildren and pray she is reunited with Gene. She fought a long health battle with courage. It was a privilege to know her and she will always be remembered.
    Clint and Susanne Prescott

  • David and Lisa McNamare says:

    Our sweet sister Carol; who lit up a room with her big bright smile and dimples, had always a loving and caring spirit and an optimistic attitude. Carol and Gene are greatly missed. The world isn’t the same with out them.
    We are truly blessed to have had them in our lives. They are forever missed.

  • Cathie Cowan says:

    I met Carol in 1983-84 when she, Gene and Jenni moved in next door to me, and my Family in Timberline. Jess was born 3 years later.
    So we go way back
    All those years her demeanor never changed
    With every encounter I knew that I would be uplifted in her presence with her sparkling dark brown eyes, her beautiful smile and unique laugh
    She will always be a bright shinning imprint on my heart that will never fade

  • Wil and Susan Husted says:

    Wil and I first met Carol in New Zealand when she came down to join Gene for for a couple of weeks. We had heard so many stories about their adventures! And there she was with that big beautiful smile…what a sweetheart!
    Back home in the states, we got together many times for dinner and great wine. We met at Demetris in Edmonds for happy hour and dinner. Earlier in the day, Carol and Jenni or Jess had gone to Old Navy at Bellevue Square. Carol scored!
    When they arrive at the restaurant Gene immediately commented on the cute dress that she was wearing, a flattering navy blue number. Carol held out her arms and shouted “And it only cost $9.00”! She gave a quick spin and told how she found it! Jenni or Jess told her to try it on…A perfect fit! She was so proud of that steal for only $9 that she talked about that shopping adventure for 10 minutes! So precious and cute as a button!
    We loved spending time with Carol and Gene because all we did was laugh and tell stories. We will miss them always! We are so lucky to have had them in our lives!

  • Mimi and Grant Long says:

    We met Carol and Gene around 1978 when we and they moved into houses across from each other in Belmont, CA. We had our son in 1981 and they had Jennifer around the same time. We shared some wonderful family time and although we haven’t seen each other in years, I remember her fondly with love. That smile had never changed! My favorite memory is when Gene put dry ice in their hot tub to create a cauldron for Holloween and there was Carol playing the witch and stirring her cauldron trying to be scary – Ha‼️ nearly impossible for such a lovely lady with her beautiful smile.

  • Toni Angle says:

    Where to start. Dearest Carol was one of my best friends in elementary school. We attended school together through high school. She was one of the most humble, kind, and joyful souls I’ve know. So blessed to have God in her life. She’s touched many people, and left a great foot print on her family. I feel blessed to have known her. Enjoy Heaven dear one.

  • Edith Bowman says:

    Our friendship was cemented in high school. While in the Pom Pon squad for Vallejo High School, I learned that besides being gorgeous, Carol was funny and cheerful. She was becoming a genuine friend. I caught the bride’s bouquet at her wedding, and she was a bridesmaid in mine two years later. Before Gene and Carol moved to Washington, my husband Greg and I shared many fun adventures with them. A very memorable one was when Gene flew us in a small plane to have lunch at Harris Ranch in central California. Letters were our way of keeping in touch, and Carol’s were something to behold. Full of news, decorated with stickers, little drawings and a stick of gum, they were treasures. She will be deeply missed.

  • Barbara Davis says:

    Carol was my work partner in the front office at Redmond Elementary. She was one of the most enjoyable people I have ever worked with. She was always pleasant, kind, courteous, and engaging. We had many friend conversations along with many laughs during our time together. Carol was also a Redmond El parent and she and Gene were very involved in our school. Our world has lost an amazing lady. Rest in peace 🌷

  • Jim Hollister says:

    I knew Carol since elementary school. We lived across the street from each other until the middle of 6th grade, and we became good friends through our early years. Carol was kind-hearted and just a joy to be around. I feel fortunate and blessed to have known such a good and beautiful person. As Carol joins her beloved husband Gene, my heartfelt thoughts are with Carol’s family.

  • Steve & Leslie Daniels says:

    Carol & Gene were college buddies at UCDavis over 50 years ago. We were blessed to share many events together over those years, eventually raising our families on the Eastside. Family outings, sharing meals and holidays make many special memories. Carol had the most beautiful smile, kindest words and deepest love of her family foremost in her everyday life. Faced with tough times, she always rose to the occasion with incredible optimism. She is truly missed by us and both Carol & Gene have so much to be proud of as they watch from above as Jess & Jenni with Charlie & Riley & Ryan embrace the blessings and love they have received from our dear friends Carol & Gene.

  • Glenn Larson says:

    The one thing I will always remember about Carol is her impossibly warm smile…even when things were not bright. She somehow was able to make even a txt message special. I missed much time with both Gene and Carol,my fault,but will always be thankful for the time we reacquainted and the memories I do have of them both. Some how I am relieved that they are together…the way that they were meant to be.

  • Scott & Sandy Hendy says:

    Carol was such a gracious lady, she never spoke a harsh word… and she had plenty of undefined cancer to be saddled with. But she met it with perserverance, grit, and never let it beat her. Her smile was bright and genuine, her eyes full of sass. I’ve never met such a positive person. She will be sorely missed.

  • Lora and Bob Dill says:

    The first time I met Carol and Gene was when I was babysitting Jennifer having a tea party! They were at the same time patiently waiting the arrival of Jessica! It was such a pleasure to grow into a friendship with Gene and Carol as I took care of their girls whenever they needed me. I will never forget all the Christmas holidays when we could share in some of their festivities as we delivered some of my special cookies, my labor of love to them. (and they had their favorites!). I can’t put into words all that they were as individuals and a couple. They were warm, gracious, loving, compassionate, and I could go on and on. It was always such a joy when we could spend time with them. I will never forget that infectious smile of Carols… never ending. Gene and Carol were such an awesome couple and it was evident that whenever around them how much they loved one another and their girls. Love of Family was of utmost importance to them. We loved them dearly and they will be forever in our hearts and surely missed.

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