Carol Adair
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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.

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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 7, 2009.
Memories & Condolences
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22 entries
February 2, 2009
Carol was such a huge part of my life growing up. I lived in the house across the street and she litterally is in almost every memory I have of Fairfax and my childhood. She was an amazing, intelligent and beautiful person, and I am just honored to have known both her and Kay for as long as I have. She will be greatly missed.
Chelsea Morris
January 26, 2009
We send condolences to Kay and to Carol's family from all of us at Abrams books in New York.

Michael Jacobs
MIchael Jacobs
January 25, 2009
My deepest sympathy to you, Kay, in your loss.
warmest thoughts,
Annie Finch
January 24, 2009
My deepest sympathy goes out to you, Kay, and Carol's family and extended family. How sad her passing must be for all who knew her. I had the honor of working closely with Carol for 8 years when I was on the faculty at Cogswell College and Carol, as department chairperson, brought her particular brand of humor and dedication. I visited her at C.O.M. where she radiated her passion and made those within her sphere feel inspired to do their best. My heartfelt condolences. Carol Duke
Carol Duke
January 23, 2009
Long ago, at a family gathering at Jackie's house, I mentioned to Carol that I would love to write one day, but that I had such a hard time getting on with it. Without a thought, she offered her help. Offered her time. Offered to look over some things. Assist in any way she could. Without being asked. Kay, I'm so sorry for your great loss. I know about loss, and you and your family are in my prayers.
christine sheffield
January 12, 2009
I still dream of Carol. We were friends from the 10th grade on and we had great adventures for a long time. She was a fierce mentor, really almost a warrior of encouragement.
It wasn’t easy to do nothing, to want nothing, to not strive and still get to be Carol’s friend. And we were for many years, then, somehow, we weren’t able to be anymore.
Her influence was great. She was a scrupulous scholar and something to see on the dance floor. I am sorry this is an ending. She is always so retrievable in my dreams.
Christie Allair
January 12, 2009
I knew Rubi from the WELL. She was host of the Fitness and the Poetry conferences. That seems an odd combination, but she was active and aware in both body and mind. Body, mind and heart, really.

You could read the teacher in everything she wrote: a kind, supportive, piercing, attentive regard that kept one working to deserve that quality of attention.

I miss her. There are too few people like her.
Coleman Ridge
January 12, 2009
Although I only met Carol once in person, her passionate, articulate presence on the Well influenced me greatly. I sorrow for the loss of this fierce Martha, who also came to appreciated her inner Mary. Sincere condolences to all her beloveds, especially Kay, Peggy, and Jeanne.
Elisabeth Nygren
January 10, 2009
Kay, Raysa and I send our deepest sympathies to you and to the kids/grandkids.

I was so happy for you both at the news of your wedding. I can't begin to imagine how profound your loss is. You and Carol are in our hearts.
Robin Kemp
January 10, 2009
I knew Rubi from the online community The Well, where her passions for life and teaching, her family, language, the desert and her home blazed as clearly and brilliantly as her eyes.

I will never forget her, and feel so blessed to have had her friendship. Deepest condolenses to all her beloveds.
Rita Hurault
January 9, 2009
Carol was an idol to many of us cousins who admired her pioneering the things we might have been far too timid to try. She stood tall and accepted the things she knew must be and had immense courage to change the things that she could...and even some she couldn't! Give Nana a hug for me Carol...see you soon, Love, your cousin Terry Shuster
Terry Shuster (Roy-Iman)
January 9, 2009
Carol was a vital, beautiful woman. I was so deeply impressed by her presence every time I met her. My deepest condolences to Kay and all her family.
David Mason
January 8, 2009
I entered Cogswell in 1982 and was a member of the last graduating class from San Francisco. When I first met Carol, she was head of the English Dept. She initially struck me as a very serious person who wanted her students to put the time in in order to reach their highest potential. She and one of my other professors, Julie Segedy, even expelled a sudent for plagerizing! It was only when I took her Technical Writing class that I discovered how much fun she was. The whole class wrote a manual on how to operate a metal lathe. I just now remember how into it she was! -- right down to the illustrations. Please accept me deepest condolences. Too young. I'm sure she still had a lust for life, learning, and much more to contribute...
Kevin Greggans
January 8, 2009
Last year at 48 years old I earned my A.S. degree from North Idaho College. After emotionally participating in the commencement exercises I enthusiastically told Carol, "I want to do that again!" And she simply stated, "Oh, Lori, you're going to do it three more times." I'll never forget how that made me feel. Carol's unwavering support and encouragement for all those she encountered was extraordinary. She was the best ever cheerleader and fan. Love you Carol.
Lori Lochelt, Sister-in-Law
January 8, 2009
our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

the orme family (seattle)
Matthew Orme
January 7, 2009
In 1997 I read poetry at a gathering at a small cafe/newspaper/magazine shop in Novato. I sat next to Carol. After Kay's reading I said to Carol, "What a special gift Kay Ryan is." Carol looked at me and said, "Yes." What a fine life with many, many 'Yes's!" My condolences to Kay and the entire family. Donna Mussato (Novato, CA)
Donna Mussato
January 7, 2009
When I was new to San Francisco, Carol hired me as a teacher at Cogswell where I met many friends including Carol's good friend, Mike Thomas. Carol was part of a string of acquaintances and friendships that endure today. My family mourns her loss.
Steven Gowin
January 7, 2009
To My dearest Aunt, whom I love and cherish, you will forever be my inspiration to move forward with my dreams and hopes to be a better woman, and a strong and peaceful soul. I will always remember you in my heart.
Ingrid Lochelt
January 7, 2009
I was very sorry to hear of Carol's death. I send condolences to Kay and to Carol's children, grandchildren, and family members.
Sam Gwynn
January 7, 2009
I have so many rich memories of Carol -- who was "rubicon" to me -- and of Carol and Kay together.

Kay, Peggy, Jeanne, kids: my heart is with you at this sad time.
Cindy Myers
January 7, 2009
so sad to see you go so suddenly!
jennie thompson
January 7, 2009
I join the many people whose lives were so enriched by knowing "Rubi". We only knew each other for fourteen years, but her impact on my life has been deep and strong. All of Rubi's friends had a fierce and loving protector in their lives, and I count myself very lucky to have experienced that friendship.

My love goes out to Kay, Peggy and all of the family and friends whose lives have been diminished by her passing.

I loved Rubi dearly, and always will.
Libbi Lepow
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