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Carolyn Gooder Towley

May 30, 1932 ~ November 9, 2018 (age 86)

Carolyn (Care) Marie Gooder Towley was born May 30, 1932.  She died in her sleep November 9, 2018.  Her grand plan had been to live for another 10 years “just to make your lives miserable” – always said with a twinkle in her eye.

She was a true Minnesotan, born in Sauk Centre, raised in Mound, educated at Gustavus. Care was an accomplished musician, and was ever grateful to her parents for paying 25 cents a week for her piano lessons that ended up providing her priceless hours of enjoyment. She taught school to help put her husband (Carl Towley) through seminary, and was his “right-hand man” as organist and/or choir director at every parish they served.  As was not unusual in the 1960’s, her interests and career took a back seat to those of her spouse, and while she might have thought of herself as “just” a wife and mother, to her children, she was the center of the entire universe. She was as smart as a whip, and could do anything, even “with one hand tied behind her back” (another famous quip of hers).  Our house was always the one where neighborhood kids came to play – she commanded respect and civility, but knew that noise and spills and messes were part of raising of happy kids. She could braid hair so tight it stayed in place for weeks.  She somehow served a sumptuous Sunday noon-time dinner each week, even though she spent the entire morning at church – she was a master of the pressure-cooker.  Her cinnamon rolls were “to die for” – with the possible exception of that one time she inadvertently sprinkled the dough with Cajun seasoning instead of cinnamon. Nobody laughed harder than she did about that!    

She did eventually focus on her own interests, earned a Master’s Degree in Nursing at BYU, and had a very successful professional career with GTE, working in hospitals all around the country.  She racked up frequent flier miles, and became a skilled navigator, finding little community hospitals in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, USA – without GPS. 

She came to live in Alexandria in 2001 to be close to family again. For the past several years, she resided at Nelson Gables Assisted Living facility. She was appreciative of the many friendships she developed with the “kids” who worked there. She enjoyed playing her grand piano, reading the newspaper from cover-to-cover every day, and writing out shopping lists on teeny-tiny scraps of paper. She was utterly disgusted by the conduct of the current POTUS - so we are confident that she had her wits about her to the very end.

Care was preceded in death by infant sister Shirley Mae, infant son Louis Gooder Towley, daughter Anika Jacobs, grandson Kenny Johnson as well as her parents Edna and Alfred Gooder. She is survived by five children -  Paula du Feu, Kristin Towley Wilson, Carl Towley (all of Alexandria); Linnea Towley  (Salinas, CA) & Louis Towley (Aptos, CA) with assorted sons and daughters-in-law; grandchildren Kjirsten Wolever, Ashley Muntean, Daniel J. du Feu, Kaija Tilstra, Ben Wilson, Emma Wilson, David Wilson, Mattson Towley, Mette Towley, Hennessey Johnson, Jessica Johnson, Nathan Fultz, Alyssa Towley, Joshua Towley, Cody Alex  and Justin Alex; and 11 great-grandchildren to date. She liked to quote her father by saying “there isn’t a dud in the bunch!”

We are eternally grateful for the love she shared with us all, and celebrate our good fortune of having had her in our lives.

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