HERN , Caroline (Rice) March 22, 1923 - October 1, 2013 A woman of immense grace and dignity, left us on October 1, 2013. Lucid until the end, Caroline never lost her curiosity, humor, graciousness and perspective on life even though she knew she was facing her last hours. Caroline was born on March 22, 1923, beginning her 90 plus years of life in Spokane, Washington. Her parents, Stuart Archibald Rice and Hildegarde Schurmeier Rice, raised Caroline on Spokane's South Hill where she attended Hutton Elementary School. Summers were spent on Coeur d'Alene lake. After her father died when she was 12, Caroline and her mother lived part of the year in California. Caroline graduated from the prestigious Bishop's School in La Jolla, which was under the auspices of the Episcopal Church and, at that time, only for young women. After high school, Caroline spent two years attending Wellesley College in Wellesley Massachusetts. Her college days were cut short when, in 1942, she married Jack Hern. Caroline met Jack at the wedding of her cousin in St. Paul, Minnesota when she was 16. Caroline was a bride's maid and it just so happened that Jack, who was attending the University of Minnesota, was the best man. Jack later said that he knew when he first saw Caroline that he wanted to marry her. Caroline and Jack made their homes in Spokane and on Coeur d' Alene lake. They raised three children, John who predeceased them, Alan and Katherine. From these roots, Caroline had four grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Jack died in 1996. Caroline was an uncommon person, a throwback to the days when politeness and manners were of paramount importance. She never lost those traits. She was a person of strong beliefs, spiritual and political, but was not one who sought to impose those beliefs on others. One always knew where she stood on issues which she expressed at all times in the nicest of ways, particularly if she thought you might not share her views. For many years, like her mother, Caroline was a member of the Jr. League of Spokane. Showing the breadth of her many interests, she was a knowledgeable and passionate equestrian who rode and raised Morgan horses on her five acre farm on Hangman Creek. Caroline was at once intelligent, articulate, humorous, caring, gracious, inquisitive, positive and optimistic. She was extremely creative with a lovely sense of style which encapsulated everything she did from correspondence to interior design to landscaping. Caroline will be missed. The world has lost one of its gems. A memorial service held on Saturday, October 19th, 2013 at 1:00p.m. at the Lincoln Heights Community Church, 3527 E. 29th Avenue, Spokane, Washington 99205.
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Published in Spokesman-Review on Oct. 16, 2013