Carolyn Gassaway

Obituary of Carolyn Grace Gassaway

Carolyn Grace Hoecker Gassaway, born in Ithaca, NY on March 17, 1941, and raised in College Park, MD, died on April 13th, 2023. She was the oldest of four children and took her role as big sister seriously. Carolyn, always an exceptional student, graduated from Western Maryland University with a B.A. in English followed by earning a Master of Arts in English at the University of Connecticut. She was a teacher before marrying Alexander “Sandy” Gassaway and moving with him to Portland, Oregon in 1966. 


They raised two sons, Jon Peter William and David Ramsey. Both parents were involved in their boys’ lives, introducing them to sports, scouting, travel, and academics. Carolyn and Sandy were active in the Two Rivers Farm Gurdjieff community in Aurora and were 30 years members of a play-reading group. They traveled extensively and took extended trips to Norway, the former Soviet Union, and Australia in addition to epic trips across the United States and Canada. Sandy passed away in 1999, and she remained in the home they’d shared until her death.


Carolyn was active in the League of Women Voters and other civic organizations, culminating in an appointment by Governor Tom McCall to the Metropolitan Boundary Commission. She went back to school for a Master of Public Administration degree from Portland State University. She then worked as a transportation planner for ODOT. She was a seasoned traveler, a regular attendee at the Oregon Symphony, and a dedicated gardener. Yoga and walking kept her fit, and after retirement, she became a proficient water colorist. She was a loving grandmother and supported both of her sons’ families as they grew. She continued to pursue her love of travel and visited China, Japan, Tibet, Bhutan, and multiple countries within Central America, South America, and Europe. Her granddaughters, Adrienne and Inesa, treasure memories of a ten-day trip to Washington DC with Grandma Carolyn when she was already 80. She kept up with a large and loyal group of friends as well her extended family. She will be sorely missed by all. 


A graveside service will be held on April 29th at 1:30 PM at the Aurora Community Cemetery.


The graveside service will be followed by a celebration of life at the Two Rivers Farm.

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Graveside Service

1:30 pm
Saturday, April 29, 2023
Aurora Community Cemetery
Oak Lane NE
Aurora, Oregon, United States

Celebration of Life

Following the Graveside Service there will be a Celebration of Life at the Two Rivers Farm.
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