2015-10-01 / Obituaries

Carolyn Ruth Baldwin Brent

Carolyn Brent, 92, died peacefully at home on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Mariposa.

She was born July 12, 1923, in San Francisco; the only child of Ruth Smilie Adair Robinson and Samuel Harry Robinson. Her life was filled with family, friends, travel, adventure, education, music and dance.

She attended the Punahou School and

University of Hawaii, focusing on chemistry, until she and her mother were warned to move to mainland California to avoid the probability of Japan attacking Hawaii.

By the age of 19 she was attending the University of California, Berkeley. There she was hired as a chemistry assistant on the Manhattan Project and met physicist Lawrence W. Baldwin. They married, and he immediately surprised her, taking her by train to honeymoon and hike in Yosemite.

The couple had four children: Lawrence W. Jr. (Wahhab), Lee Franklin, Carl Smilie, and Holly Adair. In 1951 the family settled in Santa Monica, attracted by the quality of its local school system and pristine beach.

Carolyn earned a degree in psychology from UCLA and then became a career educator. She taught at all levels, from Head Start through university level, but primarily early elementary. After their divorce, she remained friends with Lawrence Sr. and his new wife Verna until their deaths.

Carolyn met second husband, Robert D. Brent, through shared involvement with church and international folk music and dance. They traveled and danced in Europe, Greece, and the Balkans. Later she continued her international travels with friends, often participating in regional music and dance festivals.

Carolyn obtained her PhD in early childhood education in 1985 and soon afterwards retired to Mariposa, where she continued to work as a substitute teacher for eight years.

Some of her activities in Mariposa have included the Rainbow Cloggers, Mariposa Kazoo Band, Gem and Mineral Club, Audubon Society, Unitarians, serving as docent at the history museum, teaching international folk dance classes, playing clarinet with Inky’s Basement Band, and heading a memoirs group. Her recent book, “Memoirs of a Lifetime,” is now available at the library.

She is survived by her four children, as well as six grandchildren: Seth Baldwin, Faith Collins, Jasmine Saraswati, Lee F. Baldwin II, Barbara Adair Bladow and Christopher Baldwin; six great-grandchildren: Christina and Alexander Bladow, Ruth and Hannah Baldwin, Sophia Collins, and Rowan Kato.

Family and friends will create a “celebration of life,” the date and location to be announced. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, any donations go to J.C. Fremont Home Health and Hospice, or the Mariposa Senior Center.

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