Carol Arlene Bamer
December 22, 1926 – January 5, 2021
Carol Arlene Bamer was born on December 22 in 1926. The daughter of Olga and William Bryan, she grew up in the small farming town of Prosser, Washington. She loved roaming the forests and streams around her home, and always preferred playing in the woods to the indoor accomplishments expected of young ladies in those years.
When still in high school, she moved with her family to the tiny logging town of Pe Ell, where she met and fell in love with her future husband, Albert Bamer. They discovered a mutual love of music, dancing, and all things outdoors that would enrich their eventual 60 years of marriage.
Prior to getting married in 1946, Carol attended secretarial school in Olympia while Al joined the military. Eventually progressing well beyond the typing pool, she went on to become an executive secretary at Boeing.
In 1960 Carol took a job at the newly minted Alaska Department of Education when she and Al moved there shortly after statehood. As a working mom, she had her hands full safeguarding her three young children in the frontier town of Juneau, and as the family explored the mountains and waterways of the wilderness state.
After two years in the Far North, extended family called them back to Renton, where Carol and Al each returned to work at Boeing while building their own cedar home. In 1984, after raising three kids and completing separate fulfilling Boeing careers, Carol and Al retired to Spokane Valley to be near their daughter and to enjoy more fully the outdoor pursuits they loved.
Carol was an accomplished seamstress and quilter who also loved to garden, fish, hunt, and hike. The matching handmade outfits she tailored for herself and Al may have been the talk of Spokane square dancing circles, but she especially loved the freedom she felt riding her own motorbike over the rough forest service roads of Idaho and eastern Washington. She relished snowbird trips to the desert with Al in their RV, where they met up with friends for biking, hiking and soaking in the sun.
Albert passed away in December of 2007, and true to her independent personality, at 82 years old Carol remained on their 20 acre ranch for two more years by herself. Eventually she decided it was time to move into town, and she bravely downsized, first to a two bedroom independent cottage in Sullivan Park, and later an apartment in Orchard Crest Assisted Living.
Always at heart the girl in knickerbockers who loved to play in the woods, she continued taking long walks every day she was able, first with her grandpa’s cane for stability, later with her trusty rollator, and eventually with the grudgingly accepted walker. She fought the hard battle against the insults of age, and when deathfinally came on January 5, 2021, her family and friends knew that it was truly her turn to rest.
At 94 years old, Carol was preceded in death by so many much-loved family and friends, but none so much as her husband Al, her parents Olga and William, sister Wilma and brother Larry, and her good friend Ernie. She is survived by her children Wade (Carla), Bruce, and Colleen (Scott). The walls of her apartment were covered in pictures of those children, and her grandchildren Jeff (Alyssa), Chris (Trista), and Sonny (Kim), and of her “beautiful great--grandbabies” Grant, Autumn, Hannah and Logan. They will always be the apple of her eye, and her tenacious spirit and love for the outdoors lives on in all of them.