Obituary for Carol Larsen Hamilton |

Obituary for Carol Larsen Hamilton

Carol Larsen


May 28, 1933 – April 13, 2021

Carol Larsen Hamilton, wife of Robert Hamilton for 51 years, passed away peacefully in her sleep at their family home in Lake Wildwood on April 13, 2021. Carol, a well-known animal rescue supporter in Nevada County, was born in San Francisco on May 28, 1933 to Emery and Ramona Larsen. Emery was a sailor in the Merchant Marines who later became a captain for American Presidential Lines, while Ramona’s full-time job was raising the children. Carol was the eldest of three sisters and a brother.

Carol received her AA degree at the University of California, Berkeley in 1953 and a BS at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing in 1956. She became a public health nurse that same year. She then went on to work two years as a general duty nurse at San Francisco General Hospital and 12 years as a public health school nurse in San Francisco and at Santa Clara High School. She also served four years as a captain in the United States Airforce Reserve Air Evacuation Unit.

From 1956 – 1968, Carol hit the seas serving as the ship’s nurse with the Matson and American Presidents Lines. She sailed across the Pacific Ocean stopping at ports in Hawaii, Japan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.

In 1969, Carol moved from San Francisco to San Jose where a neighbor introduced her to Robert, a businessman and electrical engineer, who became the love of her life. The newlyweds moved to Portola Valley in 1970 where Carol’s passion for animal rescue began with an abandoned mockingbird in her backyard that Robert named Herman. Through a learn by doing process, Carol and four friends started the organization Wildlife Rescue in Palo Alto, which continues to rescue animals today.

In the 1980’s, Carol, along with her sister, Roberta, and three friends went to the Kentucky coal/tobacco hill country where they spent months gathering school supplies and volunteering with Save the Children’s Appalachian community.

In 1995, Robert and Carol made the decision to make their vacation home in Lake Wildwood their permanent residence. For the next 20 plus years, their home became a hub for local non-profit organization functions, which included Music in the Mountains, Scooter’s Pals, Animal Save, Friendship Club, Women of Worth, Wildlife Rescue, The Red Hat Ladies, Sammi’s Friends, Grass Valley Animal Control, and many others.

Carol became ingrained in the Lake Wildwood community and in 2006 was honored to be named Lake Wildwood Citizen of the Year. The following year she was on of 12 “Notable Women of Nevada County”.

Rescuing animals was an integral part of Carol’s life. There wasn’t a time that her house, as well as family members and friend’s homes were not filled with at least one of Carol’s many rescues.

Carol has had a life filled with love from family and friends. She will be deeply missed by not only her husband Robert, but by her nephews Stephen, David, Kevin, and Christopher; Niece Carol; extended family Vicky Collins and Jamie Palmer, the Grant Family, and the Delightful/Dirty Dozen (you know who you are) and the many others who have been touched by Carol.

A private celebration of life will be held at the Hamilton home in mid-May.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Hamilton Raptor Center, 11562 Rock Hammer Court, Penn Valley, CA 95946

Arrangements are under the care of Hooper and Weaver Mortuary.

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