Carolyn Mathey Miller was born in Pasadena, California on August 6th, 1945, to Paula and Frank Mathey. She spent her childhood in Southern California with summer trips to Iowa to visit many relatives of Swedish heritage. The long drives home included visits to National Parks. During Carolyn’s senior year at Crescenta Valley High School, an American Field Service exchange student, Britt Olsen, lived with the family and remained friends for life.
After graduating from the University of the Pacific, Carolyn taught middle school in Ventura, CA. She and her husband, Allen Malakian hosted Dickens Christmas parties in the Victorian home they refurbished. They went their separate ways and Carolyn moved to Santa Barbara, continuing to teach and earn a master’s degree from Pepperdine University. There she met and married Roger Miller, moving to Bainbridge Island, WA. Their daughter Carlie was born in March,1985. Carolyn commuted to Bremerton, WA, where she continued her teaching career with middle school students. Known for her kind, but no-nonsense approach, to imparting knowledge to easily distracted young teens, she was a valued educator for many years. Summers were spent in a family condo on Oahu.
When she retired, Carolyn returned to California to help care for her aging parents. Her rekindled friendship with Jim Darling resulted in 16 years of happy times together, first in Seaside CA and finally in Solvang, CA. Carolyn was an avid reader and follower of current events. Her crafting skills resulted in many gifts for friends without her ever venturing near a sewing machine. She loved art, growing flowers and vegetables and was uncannily lucky in casinos. Traveling was a passion and she was always thinking about new adventures for herself, her family and friends. She planned many fun “girls fishing trips” where she gathered friends from her past and present which, in turn, fostered new, lasting friendships.
Carolyn will be missed by many friends and family in California, Washington and Hawaii. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Carlie Miller and her parents, Paula and Frank Mathey. She is survived by her brother, James Mathey, her step-son Aaron Miller, his wife Trez and their children Kylie and Jack and by her beloved partner, James Darling.
Carolyn’s warmth, laughter, caring heart and kindness will live on in all those whom she loved and who loved her in return. This quote by Shing Xiong sums up Carolyn’s philosophy. “In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away.”