Carroll Bottum lived with curiosity and tenacity. A cherished mother, sister and daughter, she passed away in Seattle on June 4, 2021, surrounded by loving family and friends, after a long battle with orthorexia.
Named after her paternal grandfather, Carroll was born on September 7, 1961 and held her own in the company of her ebullient family. She grew up in Northbrook and Winnetka, Illinois but especially loved the time she spent with her family living overseas in Brussels. There, she embraced intensive French-immersion by enrolling at a local Belgian grade school, École Nouvelle. With a keen mind and an infectious smile, Carroll was always willing to strike out on her own. Widespread interests and a standout work ethic characterize every chapter of her life.
Carroll graduated from New Trier High School and earned an economics degree from DePauw University, where she helped found The Lyceum, a student-led colloquium and speakers forum. She also studied abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris. Lured by the Pacific Northwest, she completed her MBA at the University of Washington. Following in her father's footsteps, she worked in banking in both Seattle and Spokane. Later in life, she discovered a passion for holistic and compassionate healthcare and this led her to study ayurvedic, homeopathic, and naturopathic medicine, including at Bastyr University.
Above all, Carroll treasured being Mom to her two children, John ("Jack") and Kendall. She was their champion, rock, safe-haven, and confidante. Even as her disease made each day a little harder, they remained her world and she their greatest companion. Together, they shared their mom's love of nature-water, wildlife, and especially birds.
A life-long learner, Carroll adored travel and meeting new people. Carroll made those around her feel heard, she was kind and she knew how to listen. She liked to laugh but saved her legendary snorts for only the truly hilarious.
Carroll connected to her community by founding an organization serving at-risk youth, working for the Spokane United Way, participating in Leadership Spokane, serving on the Board of Women Helping Women, and organizing countless school events and youth sports teams.
Carroll is survived by son John Ritter (Stefani Alzaga), daughter Kendall Ritter (Natan W?grzycki-Szymczyk), mother Joyce Bottum, and brothers Roger (Larra Call Waldmann), John (Jon Karakowski), and Samuel (Melanie Domer). She was a proud aunt to Hannah, Sam, Justice, Prosper, Henry, and Joe. She was preceded in death by her father, Edward Bottum.
If you have a story about Carroll, the family would love to hear from you so that we can share it with her children. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to the Seattle Parks Foundation at Seattle Parks Foundation for general support at PO Box 3541, Seattle, Washington 98124-3541 or online at https://www.classy.org/give/208973/#!/donation/checkout
. From her apartment, Carroll cherished the view of Madison Park North Beach on Lake Washington. A private memorial service with immediate family will be held around her birthday in September, as she wished.
Published by Chicago Tribune on Jun. 12, 2021.