April 29, 1945–May 1, 2020
Born under a blue sky of white puffy clouds, Carol entered the Gates of Heaven on a bright sunny day, May 1st, 2020. She always said that “April was the cruelest month”. In the arms of her son Will and husband, Dave, Carol slipped away at home in Nevada City at 7:00 am.
She was predeceased by her parents, Jim and Ruthe Hamm, and sister, Trudy Hamm. She is survived by her husband, Dave, and her children, Will, 33; Elizabeth, 37; Christopher, 42; and Katy, 39.
Carol was a real estate genius, entrepreneur, and a deal-maker, just like her father. Carol always finished what she started. Her father continued to move the family to various Bay Area locations, looking for yet another opportunity to invest in a new business enterprise: South San Francisco to San Rafael, and the San Rafael Inn; Carol’s first introduction into the lodging business. She began to thrive. After numerous successful lodging ventures, Carol’s father in the 1960’s partnered with an Oakland construction firm and built and operated The Villa Roma at Columbus and Bay, across from Tower Records. Carol was appointed the general manager of The Villa Roma, to become the first female general manager of a major San Francisco lodge.
The family moved to Belvedere and settled on Beach Road. Carol attended Reed School, graduated from Redwood High School, and eventually matriculated at San Jose State University and Cabrillo College, where she became fascinated with California history, which was to become a lifelong passion. Carol developed a circle of friends as a child in Belvedere and Tiburon, which to this day has remained close, and share in the grief and sadness of Carol’s passing, including Cathy, Barbara, Mike, Jim, Ric, Dodie, Teddie (deceased), Laurie, Jeff and more that I have missed.
After living in Santa Cruz, Carol took the position of general manager of The Villa Roma, and was often the subject of Herb Caen’s column.
Carol was a voracious reader of history, specifically California, the “Beats” of San Francisco, the gold mining and Nevada County Historical bulletins, Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and many more. She loved The Beach Boys, once tracking down their home in Hawthorne, California, knocking on their door and being treated to cookies and a mini-concert. Carol always felt she was the band’s first fan. Carol and Dave enjoyed a recent Brian Wilson show in South Lake Tahoe two years ago.
Never one to stay home until her health began to deteriorate, Carol enjoyed any place with a beach, including the Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Mexico, the Central California coast, with mountain ranges and high desert added to the mix — the Canadian Rockies, Virginia City, and Lake Tahoe.
Dave and Carol were married in Bishop, California, on March 18, 1972, at the United Methodist Church. On the return to the Bay Area, they stopped at the well-preserved ghost town of Bodie, California. She had visited the town a number of times and it would be a favorite destination for the rest of her life.
Carol was raised as a Christian Scientist, and believed so much that she would be able to use her strong inner will to solve anything.
We miss you, Carol, and that will not abate. One of her favorite sayings tacked to the shelf by where she sat for all these years was, “Today is the OLDEST you’ve ever been, yet the YOUNGEST you’ll ever be, so enjoy it now while TODAY lasts! HEALTH is real WEALTH.”
Services will be held in the future as determined by COVID-19 restrictions.. Donations would be well received by the Donahue Building, Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society, and St. Hilary’s Church.