Passed away Sunday, August 18. 2013, at OHSU Hospital in Portland. She was born March 22, 1939 in Minneapolis, MN, to Frank and Clarion Solem. Carol and her younger sister went to a one-room elementary school for several years. She graduated from Edison High School in Minneapolis with the “class of ‘57”. Bob was love-smitten on their first date in 1955. They were married in 1958 during his last year in forestry school at the University of Minnesota. Carol worked as a receptionist for the city attorney, then became a full-time mother. Moving out West, she followed Bob in his career which took them to Roseburg, Susanville, CA, and Salem.
Carol loved people. A perfect mother, always thinking of her children: like having cookies ready for them after school, and asking and listening to how their school day went. She was the ultimate, caring Cub Scout den mother. Carol planned ahead and always added that extra touch to family parties and gatherings. She was gifted in crafting and sewing. A whole room was filled with her “stuffed items” in the church bazaar. Developing an early love for antiques and combining it with her special talent for arranging to display a theme, it was natural for Carol to enter the business world as an antique dealer. She began in Salem in the mid 1980’s. Later in Oakland, Oregon, Carol started the “Olde Town Antiques” store where she worked for 10 years, sharing the workload with several partners. She retired in 2011 after 25 years in the business. Her compassion for people showed itself regularly during her working years, and it was common for customers after talking with Carol to share a hug.
She was a vital, energetic person, working alongside Bob in home-improvement projects in all their homes. They built their dream home together in Coles Valley, Umpqua, Oregon. Even though Carol’s health and physical quality of life diminished the last few years, her spirit stayed strong and she kept her optimism, enthusiasm, sense of humor and positive outlook. Rheumatoid arthritis slowly twisted fingers of both her hands making tasks difficult, but she cheerfully “fist-bumped” with people instead of shaking hands.
Carol and Bob were married for 55 wonderful years, sharing their lives and love. She will be terribly missed by her husband, their three children, James and Cindy Bright-Winchester; Karen Bentley-Roseburg; Jeffrey and Justina Bright-Roseburg, and their families, which includes nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by an infant brother; her parents; and her dear sister, Donna, who passed away only 10 days earlier in Minnesota. She is survived by her brother, Richard Solem, MN; as well as many nieces; nephews and cousins.
There will be a private family service at Coles Valley Cemetery with Pastor Jane Baker, Faith Lutheran Church, followed by a celebration of life with invited friends and family.