Cover photo for Caroline J. Nordquist's Obituary
Caroline J. Nordquist Profile Photo
1938 Caroline 2014

Caroline J. Nordquist

September 11, 1938 — April 4, 2014

Oysterville resident Carol Nordquist died at her home early Friday, April 4, after a valiant struggle with cancer. Her passing greatly diminishes the little village she had called home for many years and leaves a void among the leadership of the entire Peninsula. Born Caroline Jessie Kirk on September 11, 1938 in Walla Walla, she was the eldest of the four daughters of Thomas and Hazel Horn Kirk. It was during her school years in Walla Walla that her first association with the Peninsula began when the family regularly visited Carol's fondly remembered "Aunt Margaret" who lived in Long Beach. Carol completed her schooling at Sacred Heart School of Nursing in Spokane and subsequently worked for eight years as a Registered Nurse in Walla Walla, San Francisco, Seattle, and Fairbanks. Although she would give up her career to devote full time to her family, Carol kept abreast of medical and nursing news throughout her life. It was on a New Year's Eve blind date that Carol met Robert Arlyn Nordquist, known always as "Bud." He was still a student at the University of Alaska when Carol followed him north, married him, and settled in Fairbanks - she still working as a nurse and Bud beginning his career with the Union Oil Company. During their lifetime together they lived in many exotic locales in connection with Bud's work- Singapore (1971-1973); Balikpapan, Indonesia (1973-1979); Bangkok, Thailand (1979-1991); and The Netherlands (1991-1995). Still, it was the Long Beach Peninsula that called insistently to Carol and, in 1978, they bought a house in Ocean Park. Their children, Becky, Eric and Betsy have fond memories of childhood summers spent "at the beach" and of their Mom, even then, involving herself in the local community. Everywhere she lived, Carol became a part of things. In Balikpapan she played golf and tennis and softball. In Bangkok, she was on the school board, was scorekeeper for the Bangkok Baseball Association, belonged to the American Woman's Club and had an integral part in the Christmas Bizarre which raised money for charities in Thailand. In The Netherlands she was a member of the Petroleum Wives Club. And everywhere, she played bridge and mahjong. As she and Bud began to look toward retirement, they bought property in Oysterville and worked with architect Mike Kabush to design the house that Bud (always the engineer) had first modeled in salt, flour and water. Its spacious rooms and gardens were planned to showcase Bud's collection of art and artifacts from their years abroad and, also, to accommodate Carol's hostessing activities for meetings, family gatherings and her favorite meal of the year - Christmas Dinner which always included friends as well as family. The move into the Oysterville house began in 1996 and it seemed that they were just "settling in" when Bud tragically drowned during a fishing trip on the Columbia River in 1997 - not even a full year after their official retirement had begun. For the next seventeen years the lovely home southeast of the entrance to the National Historic District of Oysterville was known as "Carol's Place." On the one hand, it was her sanctuary with her beloved cats; on the other, it was a gathering place for many of the meetings and activities with which Carol became involved over the years. In Oysterville Carol served in leadership roles on the Oysterville Restoration Foundation, the Oysterville Community Club, the Oysterville Water Board and the Oysterville Design Review Board. She was instrumental in forming a neighborhood group known as the "Walking Women of Oysterville" and was always ready to lend a helping hand to a neighbor in need. Her opinions and suggestions were sought after and valued. Carol's involvement in community affairs went far beyond the little village where she lived. She served on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club and of Rebuilding Together and on several citizens' committees for the Ocean Beach School Board during their periodic searches for new superintendents. With Gordon Schoewe she formed the Mystery Book Club and went with part of the group last year on a trip to Great Britain. She also taught women interested in mahjong "the correct way to play" as she put it, and played bridge with several Peninsula-wide groups. Finally, along with fans throughout the Northwest, Carol was a passionate Seahawks supporter. She held season tickets year after year and was thrilled to see them win the Super Bowl in February. It was only during "the season" that Carol missed the traditional Oysterville "Friday Night" gatherings with friends and neighbors up the street and the Seahawks were a subject she enjoyed talking about, in or out of season. Carol is survived by her by her beloved children: Rebekah "Becky" Ann Nordquist Henderson, Eric Robert Nordquist, and Elizabeth "Betsy" Nordquist, by her grandchildren Sarah and Joshua Henderson and Lars Nordquist, and by her cherished cats Nuan and Noi. Also surviving are her mother, Hazel Kirk, and her sisters Kathleen "Joey" Wickett, Joan Nordt and Rebekah "Becky" Kludt as well as numerous other relatives, in-laws, and friends. A celebration of Carol's life will be held Saturday, April 12 at 10 a.m. at the Oysterville Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Carol's name to the Oysterville Restoration Foundation and to Rebuilding Together. Her guestook is available on line at www.penttilaschapel.com.

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