Carol Mixter Tormey

Carol Mixter Tormey


January 11, 1934 – February 26, 2018

Carol Tormey died at home at Regency Park Place, of lung disease. It was a quiet ending to a life which had been full of friendship, hospitality, travel, leadership and making new homes. (She counted by kitchens — setting up 16+ as an adult.)

Carol Ann was born in San Francisco, California to Frances Elizabeth March Mixter and Willard Herbert Mixter.

She graduated from Sequoia Union High School in Palo Alto, California, in 1951, pledged Alpha Omicron Pi at UC Berkeley, and rose through an active college life to Vice-President of the Associated Students UC Berkeley from 1954-55.

She married Michael Tormey three days after graduation with plans for an English teaching job for Carol and grad school for Michael in Cambridge, Massachusetts, plans derailed by the arrival of her first child.

Thus began a family-centered life that included three more children and homes on four continents and in five states. At every stop, Carol not only made a new home — sewing everything from curtains to school uniforms and learning to shop and get kids to their activities (in French, Aussie or Thai) but also took on leadership roles in a variety of volunteer organizations.

Back stateside from 1974, she worked part time to help with college expenses for four kids, retiring in 1987 to accompany Michael to his last IBM assignment in China which culminated in the Tiananmen Square events, leading to their evacuation and retirement in Waynesville, North Carolina, from 1990 to 2014.

Carol continued to work in adult education and volunteer in adult literacy, became a Haywood County Master Gardener and was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary.

She also mentored many recovering alcoholics during her 38 years in AA, taking leadership roles there as well. She followed the Golden Rule and enjoyed having lots of different kinds of people in her life.

Carol will be dearly missed by her children, Kathleen (Chris) Rochester of Corvallis, Sharon (Alan) Schwartz of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Ellen (Charles) Smith of Atlanta, Georgia and Grant & Beth (Cheney) Tormey, of Moraga, California; nine grandchildren; one great-grandson; and sisters Lois Bennett of Pacific Grove, California and Sally Brudos of Atherton, California.

Michael, her husband of nearly 62 years, died in May 2017. His obituary is at

The family warmly thanks the staffs at both Stoneybrook Lodge and Regency Park Place Assisted Living for creating inviting and supportive places to live. Both Carol and Michael commented often about the quality of their living arrangements and the kindness of the people around them over these past four years.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Sierra Club in Carol’s honor. She would also love you to stop smoking!

Please leave condolences and look later for details about memorial gatherings at

To plant a tree in memory of Carol Tormey as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News