Carol Jean Finch, long time resident of Bainbridge Island, died on January 14th in Boquete, Panama where she had lived since 2018. She was 92.
Carol was born July 5th 1930 in Los Angeles CA. She married her high school sweetheart, Robert Finch, in 1950, and they had five children whom they raised in Torrance, California. Carol and Bob retired to Bainbridge Island in 1983 where they built several homes by hand over the years.
Carol was a lifelong reader, devouring everything from history and biographies to fiction, and was a proud member of the No Name Book Club. She was passionate about gardening and was dedicated to the Friday Tidy gardening volunteers at the local library, as well as the Weed Warriors, both naturals for her as she’d stop to pull any weed that came across her path. Carol was also an avid sewer and could make everything from neckerchiefs for the Boy Scout Troop to meticulously tailored clothing. If you were profoundly lucky she made you a quilt. Carol and Bob were able to travel extensively in their later years; a world cruise was a highlight of their travels.
Bob passed away suddenly in 2016. After many visits to her daughter living in Boquete, Panama, Carol surprised everyone by announcing that she was ready for a new adventure and was moving to Boquete. Within the year she had bought a condo, distributed her favorite gardening tools and book club gavel, and left her beloved friends and family in the states. In her four years in Panama she truly lived life to the fullest: she found new love, made new friends, and was constantly delighted by the unusual flora, fauna and birds of Central America.
Carol was a life hero to many: a wise, kind, humble, curious and active woman who was always learning and made genuine and deep connections with those around her. We will all miss her dearly.
Carol is survived by her partner William N. Oates, MD of Boquete, Panama; children Dave Finch of Bainbridge Island, Linda Duenas (Nelson) of Bainbridge Island; Ken Finch (Melissa) of Portland, OR; and Margie Brooke (Willy) of Boquete, Panama; as well as six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Her son , Richard Finch (Ellen) of Tucson AZ, predeceased her in 2021. A celebration of her life will be held in Boquete, Panama.