Passings: Caroline Perry, 82; Educator, Active Citizen

Born March 14, 1935 in Santa Rosa, Caroline Marie Toschi was the first daughter of Eugene and Yolanda Toschi. At an early age, Carolyn developed a love for the outdoors, including an appreciation for wildlife, gardening, hiking and backpacking.

Carolyn was an avid reader who skipped a grade in elementary school, and later graduated from Stanford University with a degree in history. In college, she met a number of soon-to-be lifelong friends, including her husband, Douglass H. Perry. Carolyn and Doug married and moved to Rustic Canyon in 1966. They reared three children, Marianne, Douglass and Eugene.

Carolyn fully embraced the Southern California life as a volunteer. She served as secretary for the Native Plant Society, worked with the Palisades Historical Society and the Culinary Historians Society, and served as a poll worker at Rustic Park for the last 14 years.

In her professional life, Carolyn worked as an LAUSD history teacher at Birmingham High School (and as a substitute teacher at several schools, including Paul Revere Middle School), but later moved into the administrative field of education at the Learning Annex, and finally at UCLA Extension, where she coordinated classes and assembled the UCLA Extension Catalog.

Caroline T. Perry
Caroline T. Perry

After the last of her children graduated from high school in 1987, Carolyn took a more active interest in traveling in her Volkswagen Vanagon as well as abroad to Ireland, England, Italy, Hawaii, China, Europe, Japan, Cuba, New Zealand and many more locales.

Carolyn soon joined the Machas, an energetic hiking group of women that loved cooking; she helped organize their annual California backpacking trips for more than 30 years. She started the local Monday Night Picnic tradition in Rustic Canyon in her front yard.

When the number of families exceeded the lawn size, she moved it to Rustic Park. She communed with new and older families at these picnics for nearly 40 years. She exhibited a steady, friendly demeanor toward everyone, encouraging local families to embrace and appreciate the quality of life in the Canyon.

On March 20, at age 82, Carolyn passed from a cerebral hemorrhage. She will be remembered as an active member of the many communities in which she participated, as well as a trusted and knowledgeable volunteer. She was a prolific reader, collecting hundreds of books on literature, history and biographies. She frequently visited local libraries for new material and shared her passion of literature with her circle of book groups. She was a practical, loving and generous mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and a friend who freely shared her love of food, art, music, theater and meaningful conversation.

Carolyn is survived by her former husband, Douglass H. Perry; brother Eugene Toschi (and wife Barbara); her three children, Marianne Redmond, Douglass C. Perry (wife Miriam) and Gene Perry (wife Deanne); and her six grandchildren, Robin Loro, Zena Marie and Leighanne Redmond, and Joelle, Corinne and Genevieve Perry.

A celebration of life was held on Saturday, May 27, at Rustic Canyon Park.

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