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Carol Adair

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Photo Carol Adair Born on January 16th, 1942. She died of cancer on January 3rd, 2009. She was 66 years old. Carol lived most of her life in Marin County, CA, the greater part in Fairfax. She also lived for some years in SF. She graduated from San Rafael High School in 1959. Shortly thereafter she married Robert Newton. Their daughter, Peggy Newton, was born on November 9th, 1960. Though the marriage was brief, she retained a lifelong affection for Bobby. Jeanne Garson entered Carol's family in 1967 and became a daughter to her. As a single mom Carol worked tirelessly to make her way through college. She held many jobs to make ends meet: janitor, meat-wrapper and part-time teacher for the V.A., to name a few. She often had several jobs at once. Inspired by a college counselor to follow her dream of becoming a teacher, she eventually earned her Masters Degree (with Honors) from San Francisco State College. She went on to teach English and humanities for many years at Cogswell College In San Francisco. In 1985 she came to teach at College of Marin, specializing in English as a Second Language and English Skills. Until her recent retirement in December of 2008, she remained committed to the rich potential of College of Marin, as head or member of untold committees and projects. She met her life partner, Kay Ryan, in 1977 while both were working in the academics department at San Quentin. Carol was a teacher by nature. Teaching was her consuming art and genius. She understood how to bring out the best in her students and in all who knew her. She loved learning as much as teaching and was constantly on the hunt for new information and deeper understanding. She had a way of making people feel special, never inferior. She respected each individual's gifts and dedicated herself to developing them. Capable, reliable, clear-sighted, she was an itinerant problem-solver who loved nothing better than to put her mind to a conundrum, sorting it out with an astonishing efficiency. The people she most loved to help were those who most needed that help. Remembered by her friends and family as a both a gentle and fierce woman of tremendous strength and integrity, she expected the very best from herself and those she loved. Carol leaves behind her spouse of 30 years, Kay Ryan; her daughters, Peggy Southerland of Clearlake, CA, and Jeanne Garson of Petaluma, CA; her grandchildren whom she loved unstintingly, Carol Rose Southerland, Anna Rebecca Southerland and Gabriel Joseph Southerland of Clearlake, CA, and Benjamin Garson Dougherty of Petaluma, CA. She is also survived by her mother, Georgia Lochelt of Fillmore, CA; her siblings, Jackie Sheffield of Roseville, CA, David Lochelt of Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, Susan Moore of Gold Hill, Oregon, and Stephen Lochelt of Fillmore, CA, as well as many cherished nieces and nephews. Carol will be deeply missed by many longtime friends in her beloved Well Community who knew her as "Rubicon" or "Rubi". One of Carol's driving passions was to help women with children go to school to improve their chances in the working world. She knew that a woman's earning capacity increases by $10,000 per year for each year of college completed. To this end a Scholarship Fund has been established in her name at College of Marin. In lieu of flowers you can send your tax-deductible donation to: College of Marin Foundation PO Box 446 Kentfield, CA 94914. Make checks payable to: The Carol Adair Scholarship Fund. Questions about the scholarship can be directed to Margaret Elliot at (415) 485-9382. A Memorial at which all who knew her are welcome will be held on January 24th, 2009, at 2:00 pm at the College of Marin Fine Arts Theater, followed by a reception in the art gallery directly in front of the theater. There will also be a place to make donations at the memorial.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 7, 2009
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