Carolyn J. Wilsie 86, passed away peacefully on September 12, 2021.
She was born on March 7th, 1935, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to Al and Pauline Ingalls. When she was a little girl they moved to Port Angeles, Washington and finally settled on Bainbridge Island, where she would live until 1967. Carolyn graduated from Bainbridge Island High School in 1953. She traveled to Washington every year until 2018 to attend her class reunions.
Carolyn met her future husband in the seventh grade. After dating through high school, she married Win Wilsie on May 26, 1956. They purchased their first home in Eagledale on Bainbridge Island where they welcomed their son Steven and daughter Laurel. Win had gone to work for Columbia Ward Fisheries, the owner of Ward Cove Cannery. After working several summers in Naknek, Alaska, Win got the opportunity to move to Ketchikan in 1967. He promised Carolyn it would be for only six months. That was 54 years ago. Together they embraced their life in Alaska, raised their children and welcomed grandchildren and great grandchildren.
After working for National Bank of Alaska, she went to work for the State of Alaska in Job Service until her retirement June 30, 1993. Carolyn started Corner Bed and Breakfast in 1993, offering delicious muffins, fresh fruit and Alaska sized biscuits. She loved visiting with her guests and taking them on tours around town and especially to see the totem poles at Totem Bight and Saxman.
Carolyn became very active in the community. Volunteering her time with the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, helping with mailings, lunches and their many events. In 2018 Carolyn was awarded the Chamber’s “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year” award.
Carolyn became involved with the Ketchikan General Hospital gift shop and worked the very first shift in 1994. She was instrumental in getting the shop relocated to a larger space which is its current location. The gift shop became her passion. She was the president of the auxiliary from 1994 until her stroke in 2018. She was also involved in the PeaceHealth Foundation, serving on their board from its inception in 2004 until 2018. In 2020 she was named Honorary Emeritus Board Member. She helped put on many successful events and was always available to lend a hand when needed.
Carolyn also served on the Tongass Federal Credit Union Board from 2001-2004 and the Supervisory Committee from 2005-2015. She was also an active member in Pioneers of Alaska, Igloo #7.
After suffering a stroke in December 2018 Carolyn moved into the Pioneer Home in February 2019. It was a huge adjustment. Giving up driving and losing her independence was the hardest part for her. Many tears were shed when her little Buick Encore was sold.
Carolyn’s greatest joy came from spending time with her family, especially her great grandsons. Her laughter and zest for life will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents, Al and Pauline Ingalls, husband Win Wilsie and sister Linda Sullivan.
She is survived by her son Steven (Pamela) Wilsie; daughter, Laurel (Rod) Bray; grandsons, Matthew (Candice) Wilsie and Tyler Bray; granddaughter Sarah Bray (Laramy); great grandsons Brayden Wilsie, Isaiah and Noah Tyler. And her extra son Pat McLavey. She also leaves behind her beloved cats Rosie and George.
A private family service is planned. Carolyn’s remains will be placed with her husband Win at Bayview Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the PeaceHealth Gift Shop or the Ketchikan Pioneer Home.