Carolyn Rae Rogers was born on March 24, 1942, in Modesto, Calif., to Esther and Albert Volz, the youngest of three children. She was raised in Modesto, Calif., and moved with her family when she was 15 years old to Berkeley, Calif.
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She graduated from Berkeley High School and continued her education at the Universities of California at Davis and Berkeley.
She and Sam were married in Berkeley in 1961. Their first child, John Samuel, was born July 21, 1963. Her new family then moved to Eugene, Ore., in 1964 and had their second child, Deborah Ann, on Nov. 24, 1965.
Carolyn and her husband and their two young children moved to Bozeman in 1966. Carolyn continued her education at Montana State University, majoring in geology and developed interests in paleoanthropology, art history and the history of western exploration.
While growing up in Modesto, her family enjoyed vacationing in the Sierra Mountains near Lake Tahoe, as well as water skiing near Modesto. Her family had a tradition to return to one of the family pear ranches near Placerville, Calif., to obtain a Christmas tree every year. Carolyn continued this tradition of cutting down a Christmas tree with her young family in the surrounding mountains of Bozeman.
When Carolyn and her family moved to Bozeman in 1966, she continued to enjoy hiking and camping in the many mountain ranges in western Montana. She enjoyed the adventure and getting temporarily lost in climbing Ross Peak, Bridger, Sacajawea, Hollow Top, peaks in the Madison Range, and Lone Mountain.
In 1972, she became involved with stopping the development of Lone Mountain, which is now presently Big Sky. She was passionate about trying to keep Lone Mountain from being developed due to its effect on the rock glaciers and the pristine beauty of the area. She was always ready to go on a day hike with her flower book in hand. Looking for the many different kinds of wildflowers for her was similar to finding lost treasures in the landscape.
She loved working with people and children. Around 1970 she helped organize an afterschool program in cooperation with Faith Methodist Church and Hawthorne School. While working in produce at Van's IGA she became interested in better utilization of food distribution, helping to start the first food bank in Bozeman. Her initial effort helped establish funding from the state Legislature for food banks in many Montana towns.
She also developed an interest in art history, which led to trips to Greece, Florence, Rome and Paris, as well as art galleries in New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. Because of her interest in history, Carolyn became very involved in the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. She went to many of the symposia from Virginia to St. Louis to Portland and back to St. Louis. During the several years of the bicentennial event at cities and locations along the trail, she met many people and made many lasting friendships.
Carolyn had been very involved in PEO, beginning in Berkeley. She thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful friendships with members of the several chapters in Bozeman.
We will remember Carolyn by her ability to connect with people, be it a stranger on the street or a friend. She would delight in listening about a person's life and find it uplifting to share time out of her day in doing so. She is known by her grandchildren as the "Wow" grandma because she was always so fun and enthusiastic with them.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Albert.
Carolyn is survived by her husband, Sam; daughter, Deborah (Tony) Newville and their children, Taylor and Dyllan of Portland, Ore.; her son, John of Las Vegas, Nev.; and her sister, Rowena Jackson of Berkeley, Calif.
Her memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 1, at First Congregational Church.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Gallatin County Search and Rescue, and to Cottey College Educational Fund, Nevada, Mo.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 27, 2010