LONGMEADOW, Mass. - Caroline Garside died on March 25, 2014, at the Jewish Nursing Home in Longmeadow, her home since 2007.
Caroline was born in New Bedford, Mass., on Nov. 21, 1939. She spent her early years in Duxbury, which was still a small, rural town, where her parents raised cranberries. Caroline and her two sisters, Anne and Jo, spent much of their time as children around the cranberry bogs and at the shore. Caroline graduated from George School, a Friends (Quaker) boarding school in Newtown, Pa., and then went on to Vassar College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in languages in 1961.
After graduating from Vassar, Caroline moved to Cambridge, Mass. She worked for Harvard University in the Peabody Museum Library as a cataloger and as a research assistant at the Center for Studies in Education and Development. Later she did graduate work in geography at Clark University.
In 1971 Caroline married Nat Frothingham, and they moved to Vermont, first to Randolph and later to Montpelier. During her years in Vermont Caroline worked in various human service fields including elder affairs and community health, and for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. She became active in politics and community affairs and even ran for the state Legislature.
She and Nat bought a 12-room Victorian house in Montpelier and spent seven years renovating it and converting it to a wood-heated two-family home. During this time Caroline also started her wholesale baking business, North Branch Bakery, which specialized in pastries made without processed sugar.
In 1984 Caroline and Nat divorced, though they remained supportive friends. Caroline moved to Amherst to pursue new opportunities and live closer to her family. She worked for several years as a program manager at National Evaluation Systems and developed a wide circle of friends and local activities.
During this time she continued her interest in elder affairs and in her early 50s made the decision to go back to school for a master's degree at the University of Connecticut Storrs. She completed her Master of Arts in gerontology in 1995, focusing on continuing care retirement homes. She then took a position in health care administration/gerontology with the Hebrew Home and Hospital in West Hartford, Conn., (later Hebrew Health Care) and loved her job at their new life care facility, Summerwood.
While continuing to live in Amherst, Caroline volunteered with the Amherst Conservation Commission and maintained trails in the Lawrence Swamp. She joined Northampton Friends Meeting and served as treasurer for several years. She loved hiking on the Holyoke Range and ran her first 5K race at the age of 60. She was active in her condominium association and enjoyed tutoring a Cambodian woman through the Center for New Americans.
After her brain injury in 2001, Caroline made enormous strides in recovery through great fortitude and effort. In this process she demonstrated her remarkable capacity to reinvent herself for each new phase of her life and to approach it with zest and energy.
She did not return to her job, but held numerous volunteer positions in Amherst, started a small sewing business, and continued as an active member of Northampton Friends Meeting. She supported many community programs including Not Bread Alone.
Caroline loved cooking and baking, reading, music, textile arts, travel, hiking and cross-country skiing. She felt her most important accomplishments were starting her bakery in Montpelier, her work with elders, and her wide circle of loyal friends, including her former husband, Nat.
During her recent years at the Jewish Nursing Home, Caroline enjoyed music of all kinds, singing, Scrabble and of course baking. She participated in numerous talent shows and won almost every spelling bee. More than anything, she enjoyed visits from her family and friends.
Caroline is survived by her sister Anne Cann, of Amherst; her sister Jo Goeselt, of North Hampton, N.H., and her brother-in-law, Richard Goeselt; her former husband, Nat Frothingham, of Montpelier, Vt.; her nieces, Elizabeth Cahn, of Amherst, and Laura Smith, of North Hampton, N.H.; and her nephews, Frederic Cann, of Portland, Ore., Robert Cann, of Amherst, and Brian Goeselt, of Newton, Mass.; as well as four great-nieces and four great-nephews.
Caroline was preceded in death by her father, Kenneth Garside, and her mother, Alice Hawes Garside.
The family is especially grateful to Caroline's friends, who remained richly involved in her life even from a distance, and the staff of the Jewish Nursing Home, who not only cared for her but loved her deeply.
A memorial honoring Caroline's life will be held on June 22, 2014, at Woolman Hill Quaker Retreat Center in Deerfield, Mass. Burial will be private.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Jewish Nursing Home, Jewish Geriatric Services, 770 Converse St., Longmeadow, MA 01106, or Northampton Friends Meeting, c/o Treasurer, 43 Center St., Suite 202, Northampton, MA 01060. New England Funeral & Cremation Center LLC, 25 Mill St., Springfield, Mass., has been entrusted with the arrangements. Visit www.nefcc.net.
New England Funeral & Cremation Center, LLC
25 Mill Street Springfield, MA 01108
Published in Times Argus on Apr. 23, 2014