Paul J. Spikula
Drennan and Ford Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Nancy Riggs Parke Carrère
The Carrère family would like to share the news of the loss of their darling mother, grandparent and great-grandparent, Nancy Riggs Parke Carrère, June 22, 2012. Our mother embodied love. Her world was not complete unless she had someone or “someones” to nurture and care for. She gave our father, Robin, unconditional and adoring love. Our Dad was the center of her world and her loving personality made it natural to care for him in ever increasing measure as his health failed him over the last fifteen years of his life. She stayed close to make sure he felt secure and safe in the shelter of her love.
We knew our Mom’s health was better than our Dad’s and anticipated there might be times after our Dad died that we might be able to travel and have adventures with our Mom. But it was not to be. We had the privilege of getting to spend much treasured time with her in the last three years of her life after the death of our Dad. She came to live with her youngest daughter, Ninon McCullough and her family during much of this time and we learned many things about our Mom we did not know such as her aversion to vegetables (though she made us eat all of ours). Her sweet tooth was legendary and a bakery display or gooey dessert would make her eyes light up and twinkle. We knew she had a mischievous nature from our childhood years and got a chance to rediscover this aspect of her personality with great delight.
But two of her most endearing qualities were in full display those last years of her life with us. First of these was her strong will that drove her to fight back and recover from whatever physical adversity came her way as her health deteriorated. Her bottomless capacity for love was always in display her whole life, but never more than in those last months and weeks of her life. Sometimes the most telling thing about a person is what they do when they are in poor health. We hear about people who complain about their pain, or about feeling sorry for themselves, or about their caregivers not doing enough for them. Our Mother chose to tell us over and over how much she loved us. Even when her strength was failing – she always give us that incredible hug and kiss only she could provide with such an enveloping love.
Mom was born in Pennsylvania in 1923, lived through the Great Depression, attended the Wyoming Seminary and then Bryn Mawr College before marrying our father in a fierce snowstorm January 1945 during his military leave. Together they weathered our father’s naval tour of duty in WWII and the Korean War. Our mother and father were the first in their families to move west – pulled by their love for Washington State. Our parents delighted in the great out-of-doors and spent many years exploring the National Parks through camping. Together they shared the hobbies of photography, car rallies, model railroading, dollhouse miniatures, motorcycling and flying small aircraft. Nancy was preceded in death by her beloved husband and friend of 64 years, Robin Carrère and their infant son John Carrère. Nancy is survived by her three daughters and their husbands: Susannah (Daniel), Sybil (Jim), and Ninon (Douglas); her 4 grandchildren: Lee, Stacie, Meghan, and Colleen; and 5 great-grandchildren.
Our mother was gracious, thoughtful and kind; a loyal friend with an innate ability to listen and provide wise counsel and to see each person’s strengths. She made everyone she met feel special as she would remember and inquire about their important events, families and personal interests. Gifts from her would be beautifully wrapped and have a handmade card with personal note or clue. She often wrote clever personalized poems for her friends to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and was a delightful artist of many mediums including the garden and landscape, knitting and sewing, rubber-stamping and painting. Many people who attended the St. Luke’s Christmas bazaar purchased her hand painted Easter and Christmas eggs annually. Mom loved little things like the birds, squirrels and chipmunks that frequented her bird feeders. She loved babies and always had a kitty and a pup. In fact, there wasn’t much she didn’t find to love or like in the world around her.
Mom was an intellectual who enjoyed a good political debate and kept abreast of current events. She was committed to community service and volunteered with organizations that shared her beliefs and passions such as the League of Women’s Voters, Planned Parenthood, and Welcome Wagon. She was an active member of the St. Luke’s Parish, participating in the choir and annual ladies bazaar workgroup.
The world is at once a much sadder place and a more wonderful place because of our Mom. Sadder, because she no longer graces it with her presence. A wonderful place for her having been in it and someone who touched our lives. She loved her family, her friends, and she loved Sequim, the Olympics and her home. Mom modeled how to live with grace in spite of an aggressive and debilitating disease. She passed peacefully at home with her daughters at her side.
A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at St. Luke’s Church in Sequim on October 7th, 2012, at 3 pm. A tea reception will be held afterwards. All are welcome.