Carol Bringham (BSJ52)

Carol Hope Larsen Bringham, 91, of North Andover, MA and formerly of Alexandria, VA and Mission Viejo, CA, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 6, 2021 at Lawrence General Hospital of cardiac arrest. Carol was born in Ogden, Utah on October 9, 1930 to Boyd and Verda (McLean) Larsen. She grew up in Ogden, Utah, Yellowstone National Park, WY (she loved to tell of her and her siblings acting as pseudo Jr. Park Rangers and giving tourists tours around the park), Rawlings, Powell and Cody, WY, and Landover Hills, MD (near Washington D.C.) and graduated from Western High School in Washington, D.C. She also worked for the Washington Post part time during WWII fostering her love of Journalism while working with war correspondents. 

She attended Northwestern University in Evanston, IL for two years as a Journalism Major. She would tell you that while there, Northwestern (a generally non-football school) went to the Rose Bowl with Ara Parsegian (future Notre Dame great) as coach. 

Her college and Journalism career got sidelined however, when on a visit to Japan to see her parents, who were living there (her father was assigned there for the CIA working on budgeting-so the story goes) she met and then married a young soldier by the name of William (Bill) Neale Bringham. When Bill told people he was getting married and was in Japan everyone assumed it was to a Japanese girl but no, somehow he found one of the only American girls in the country. She was a devoted Army wife and mother to four children. She and Bill moved around the world as Bill rose to the rank of Lt. Col. in 27 years of service, They lived in Fukioka, Japan (where son Bill Jr. was born), Tacoma, WA (where son Rick was born), Fairbanks, AK (where daughter Peggy was born in the middle of winter-oh my!), Baltimore, MD, Ft. Leavenworth, KS, Omaha, NE, Alexandria, VA (where son Jim was born while her husband was in Vietnam), Monterey, CA, Stuttgart, Germany, and Mons, Belgium. 

After Bill retired from the Army they had to decide where to live between Southern CA where Bill grew up and the Washington D.C. area where Carol grew up (mostly). CA won and, still being nomadic, they lived in Santa Monica, San Marino, Fullerton, Walnut Creek, CA and finally in Mission Viejo, CA where they lived for many years. Carol said that she was an expert mover after having moved over 30 times (because in the Army you move even within an assigned area as you get better housing assignments). Her husband Bill died in 2006 after they had been married for 55 years. Shortly thereafter her beloved younger sister Lois Walker, also widowed, asked her to move in together in Alexandria, VA and she said (being from Washington, D.C) heck yes. Thus began the legendary duo dubbed “Thelma and Louise” as they traveled all over the country in Lois’ Prius. Carol loved the camaraderie and political environment she found near Washington D.C. for many years. Unfortunately, a tragic end took Lois from us early in 2013 (she was 10 years younger than Carol) and Carol decided to come live with her son Rick and his wife Erin in North Andover, MA where she has lived the past seven years. 

Carol was a voracious reader, sometimes going through four to five books in a week. She had an intellectual curiosity about a wide range of topics including technical or esoteric things such as fractals in nature, DNA research and Apple cell phone design history. Carol was a wonderful and prolific quilter and made many beautiful quilts for all those close to her. 

Carol was predeceased by her husband Bill, by her sisters, Nancy Turner of Alexandria, VA and Lois Walker and her husband John of Alexandria, VA and is survived by her brothers, Joel Larsen and his wife Judy of Shelburne, VT and Gary Larsen and his wife Sharon, of Stamford, CT. Carol is survived by her four children: Bill Bringham, Jr. of Santa Ana, CA; Rick Bringham and his wife Erin of North Andover, MA; Peggy Henson of Boerne, TX and Jim Bringham and his wife Elizabeth of Maitland, FL. She is survived by five grandchildren: Nicole Zak and her husband Jay of Benton, AR; Danielle Hamilton and her husband Clayton of Cholchester, VT; Chris Henson and his wife Maggie of San Antonio, TX; Grace Bringham and Gianna Bringham of Maitland, FL. She is survived by four great-grandchildren: Jazmin Zak and Nathan Zak of Benton, AR, and Emma Henson and Juniper Henson of San Antonio, TX. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews She was also blessed by the constant communication and support she received, even though they didn’t live close by, from her brother Gary Larsen, her niece Donna James and her friend Marian Van Landingham. 

Source: Published by The Washington Post on Nov. 18, 2021.