Obituary of CAROL HAMM FLUKE
CAROL HAMM FLUKE
APRIL 29, 1945—MAY 1, 2020
On a sunny April day in “45”.
Beautiful Princess Carol did arrive
Pleasanton town folk
Line up to view
This blonde blue-eyed baby
That made my dreams come true.
You walked too early
And you talked too early
You skipped a couple of grades
‘Cause there wasn’t enough to do.
You joined a Brownie Troop
And became a Girl Scout too,
You acted in “A Christmas Carol”.
And got a good review.
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You danced with Mike Sternloff
At your Graduation Prom,
Your favorite Chaperones
Were your Dad and Mom
Your Poster for “Nights in Venice”
On the Belvedere Lagoon
Won you First Prize
From many contestants
And made your parents swoon.
Your acceptance in Alpha Chi Omega
Made me proud as I could be
In San Jose State College
You mingled in High Society
—not liking this—
You fled to Cabrillo
In your Volkswagen of Red,
Fell in love with your Art Professor
And was quit out if your head.
And she was!….
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 father, Jim Hamm, her mother Ruthe Hamm and her sister Trudy Hamm. She is survived by her husband, Dave, and her children, Will 33, Elizabeth 38, Christopher 42 and Katy 39.
Carol was a real estate genius,entrepreneur and we might say a deal maker when it came to closing the deal, much like her father.
Unlike her father, Carol always finished and got it done. 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 and Carols first introduction into the lodging business. From there she just got better and better. 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, settled on Beach Road. Carol attended Reed School, and graduated from Redwood High School, eventually matriculating at San Jose State and Cabrillo Colleges, 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 have remained close, and share in the grief and sadness of Carol’s passing, Cathy, Barbara, Mike, Jim, Ric, Dodie, Teddie (deceased), Laurie, Jeff and more that I have missed.
After her return from Santa Cruz, Carol took the position of General Manager of The Villa Roma, and was often the subject of Herb Caen’s column.
One night at the Ancient Mariner in Strawberry, four eyes locked and stayed together for 50 years. This union took the couple to San Diego where they built and operated the Posada Inn, striking a friendship with Willie McCovey, Warren Miller, and Jerry Quarry. After selling the Inn, the couple moved to Santa Barbara and lived on APS. Just prior to the corners fire, the couple sold and moved to the Northern California foothills, entered into a personal and business relationship, building motels and lodges throughout California until settling in Nevada City, Calif, where they invested in California History, restored historic buildings and joined every Historical Society in Belvedere, San Francisco and Nevada City she could. Carol provided the seed money and acquired a financial interest in the then developing American Victorian Museum, eventually moving on to the Martin Luther Marsh House and where she began creating a museum of California Gold Rush History. She opened the property up to the California Historical Society, Belvedere and Nevada County Landmarks Commissions.
As if she didn’t have enough on here plate, Carol became the proud mother of 2 biological children and 2 adopted children who grew up in the Marsh House, attended Mt. St. Marys School, Deer Creek, Nevada Union and Bear River High Schools. Carol volunteered at the schools, reading historic literature, driving on field trips, providing house tours for the classes as well as volunteering her husband to coach the school teams. In addition the Marsh house was open for public tours as well as weddings and events. One spectacular wedding was the joining of Cartoonist Charles Schulz son, in a grand period authentic ceremony involving the town of Nevada City.
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, Ken Kesey, Melville, Joan Didion, she loved “The Beach Boys”, once tracking down their home in Hawthorne, Ca., knocking on their door and being treated to cookies and a mini-concert. Carol always felt she was the Bands’ 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 anyplace with a beach. The Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Mexico, the Central California Coast, with mountain ranges and high desert added to the mix. Canadian Rockies, Virginia City, Lake Tahoe. The family traveled to Tahoe City for the Fourth of July celebration for 25 years. There were many side trips to Downieville, Sierra City, and campgrounds on the North Fork of the Yuba River, Sardine, Donner, Gold Lake were other favorite destinations. Coastal favorites such as Stinson Beach, Bolinas, Jenner, Russian River and Guerneville were perfect attractions for two or three day stands.
Dave and Carol were married in Bishop, California on March 18, 1972 at the 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 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. Many times she succeeded. Carol was loving, caring, giving, empathic, sympathetic and always willing to give others the benefit of the doubt. She gardened with Gail and relied on the daily conversations with her friend Joanne B., who, with her husband, John, followed Carol from San Diego so many years ago and were the first to be married in the Marsh House.
We thank Mercy General Hospital, Drs. Marquardt and Bowers for the cardiac care. We thank Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Emergency Room staff for the care they provided. We thank Sierra Nevada Home Care, and especially Andrea Nunnick for her care and compassion. We thank the Sierra Nevada Hospital Ambulance Service for being there when we needed, never judgmental but always supportive. And finally we thank Dr. Gill’s office and staff, especially NP Jan W., for all the years of successes, and issues. Finally we thank Interim Hospice for their care and support
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., “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. I will keep you posted. Donations would be well received by the Donahue Bldg., Belvedere Landmarks, St. Hilary’s Church, Nevada County Historical Society, Nevada County Landmarks or your own favorite charity. No flowers please.
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