Karroll Kearns Olpin
1924 - 2015
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Karroll Kearns Olpin
January 18, 1924 - March 30, 2015
Resident of Walnut Creek
On January 18, 1924 in Gunnison, Utah, Yetta Carroll Kearns was born to Dolores (Dolly) Sorenson Kearns and Hugh Haggerty Kearns. She died on Monday, March 30, 2015 at 91 in her home in Walnut Creek surrounded by family. As a teenager she changed the spelling of her name to Karroll so it would look better with Kearns. Karroll was the sister of four: Jeana Hirschi (Blaine), Donovan Kearns (Vickie), and the late Alva Bird (Virg) and the late Homer Kearns (Rhoda).
On October 25, 1943, Karroll married Harold Walter Olpin in Boise, Idaho, where Harold was stationed for military training. Harold was also born and raised in Utah, but Karroll and Harold met in San Diego, CA. For the past 62 years, Karroll lived in Contra Costa Country. Harold predeceased her in March 2004.
Karroll is survived by her seven children: Michael (Bonnie), Roger (Sharon Bettinelli), Jeff Kearns (Milexa), Diane Olpin Gross (Greg), Jim (Sheron Gatzemer), Jon and Marcus.
She was adored by her nine grandchildren: Brian Olpin and Shan Theodore (Joel); Matt Bettinelli-Olpin (Nicole Boccumini) and Hilary Bettinelli-Olpin (Ryan Darst); Hector Mendoza (Sonia); Shera Gross and Rachel Gross; and Becca Olpin and Ashley McLauchlin (Cody); and two great grandchildren: Ellie Olpin and Matias Mendoza.
She is beloved by numerous nieces and nephews and by her life long friend from Cedar City, Utah, Edythe Adams of Lafayette.
Karroll was a recognized ceramist of beautiful and unique works of art, many in porcelain. Karroll's most influential mentor, teacher and friend was Eunice Prieto. Karroll's works were exhibited at Mills College, the Walnut Creek Civic Arts Center, and in the Harwood Gallery, the Cherokee Gallery and the Samish Gallery, and her home and yard were filled with her beautiful creations. She also drew intricate Escher-like works of art and filled notebooks with drawings, ideas, dreams and memories. Karroll never let her mind rest, always writing, reading, and telling wonderful stories. She could recall countless details of her childhood, songs her mother sang, and stories her father told. So many happy times were spent with her grandchildren asking her about her childhood.
Karroll's goodness defined who she was – she never had a meal that wasn't the best meal she ever had, she never attended a family birthday party that wasn't the best party ever, she never helped a grandchild mold clay that was ever less than the best piece ever. Karroll was a wonderful, loving wife, mother, mother-in-law, sister, aunt and friend. Her love, acceptance and inspiration live on in her children and grandchildren. She will be so greatly missed by all of us.



To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Contra Costa Times on Apr. 5, 2015.
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Memories & Condolences
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April 10, 2015
Aunt Karroll, you were the most positive, loving and inspiring woman I have ever known. Your love was huge, your imagination was tantalizing, your art enchanting and your love of books was legendary. You didn't just read books, you absorbed them. I always felt that every single word rolled through your mind and every intricacy was held there until you were satisfied with its meaning. But, beyond books and everything else...your love of people was absolutely the best. It was beautiful and uncompromising. It was just there...I always felt that you believed that everyone was the best that they could be. Surely that is true since, every journey is unique to everyone, so whether we rose to great heights or floundered...we were still the best that we could be. I believe life was vivid for you in a way that it is to very few people. What a great blessing to see life vibrantly.

I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful Aunt. I love you Aunt Karroll, I'm thankful for the beautiful memories, of you, that I will treasure forever.

Love to all of my Olpin cousins (and cousin's kids!)...and, to my other Aunt and cousins too. We're a pretty good family...don't you think? Our parents were the glue...let's not 'come all unglued' and drift away. Sadly, we will...but, let's not drift too far.

Barbara
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