Carol Inger Simerly
11/28/1943 – 10/09/2018
Carol Simerly died peacefully in her home in Fresno on October 9, 2018, just shy of her 75th birthday. She had been plagued with respiratory and cardiac issues for some time. She was born in 1943 in Long Beach, California during the War years to Leland Glen Simerly and Inger Olufson Reid Simerly. She was 18 months old before her dad got to meet her after his return from the Pacific Theater.
Carol grew up in Sanger, California, after the family moved there in the fifties. She was the oldest of a large family of eight siblings and, by example, set a high bar for her younger sisters and brothers, both academically as well as by her adventurous spirit and love of cultural diversity, foreign languages and travel. She graduated from Sanger High School, obtained a BA in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley, a Master degree in Linguistics from CSU-Fresno and had a lifetime secondary teaching credential in French and Spanish (in which she was fluent), English, and Social Studies.
After college, she launched her career working for the Office of International Operations of the IRS, first in Washington, DC, then in London dealing with international taxation problems, tax treaties, and assisting US citizens abroad in filing their income taxes, for which she had a Top Secret clearance. She then spent several years as a tax consultant in Paris. The years in Paris were influential on Carol personally; she perfected her French, converted to Catholicism, and studied and received a certification in Astrology which she practiced and was an active consulting astrologer for the rest of her life.
After Paris, she spent several years in Madrid, working at the then US Air Force base in Torrejon. In her private time, she focused on perfecting her Spanish and giving astrological readings, building up what would become, over her lifetime, an international clientele of many hundreds who consulted her over the years.
In the late seventies, Carol returned home to California and bought a house in the Tower District of Fresno. While working on her teaching credential and Master degree, she did astrological readings, establishing many more life-long clients.
Soon afterward, she again went abroad, accepting a position in Kuwait where she worked at the Faculty of Medicine at Kuwait University, teaching English for medical purposes to pre-med students and teaching graduate students research and thesis writing skills. She remained in Kuwait for six years, leaving due to the 1990 Iraq-Kuwait War. During her years in Kuwait, and before the war, she traveled extensively, alone and with friends during her summer holidays, through the Middle East, Asia and China focusing on archaeological sites from ancient Mesopotamia, to the Valley of the Kings, to Petra, to the terracotta army of Qin Shi Huang, to tours along the Silk Road and many others. During this period she cultivated an appreciation for Bedouin jewelry, hand-woven carpets and prayer rugs, accumulating an impressive private collection.
In 1990 she accepted a position at the American College in Singapore as Coordinator of the college preparatory ESL programs, preparing students to pass the TOEFL test in English proficiency. She lived and worked in Singapore for two years.
After nearly 25 years primarily living abroad, Carol returned to family and friends in California in 1992. She bought an historic Victorian home in Napa, got her first standard poodle, “Coco”, and taught high school French, Spanish and ELD classes at Napa High School and then, for eleven years, at Sonoma Valley High School from where she retired in 2009. She returned that year with her second beloved poodle, “Chloe”, to her Tower District home. Carol spent her retirement years happily tending her garden of special fragrant hybrid tea roses and enjoying the company of family, friends and dogs. She continued to travel, frequently visiting family, attending astrology conferences, and one summer returned to Paris to take classes at the Sorbonne.
Carol is treasured within the extended Simerly family as the “oldest child” who paved the way and set an example for the rest to follow and excel. She was an erudite, well-read and well-traveled woman who found joy in every moment of her life. She lived her life to the fullest while courageously managing a life-long chronic condition of asthma and COPD without allowing it to keep her from doing what she wanted.
She is predeceased by her parents Lee and Inger Simerly, her sister Mary Simerly Patnaude, and her beloved canine companions, Coco and Chloe. She is survived by sisters Glena Simerly Walke (John) of Fresno, Nancy Simerly Schreiber (Dave) of Los Osos, Dorothy Simerly Boylan (Mike) of Oakland, Bill Simerly (Lori) of Santa Rosa, Bob Simerly (Jo) of Oregon, and Barbara Simerly Price (Jim) of Visalia. She leaves fifteen adoring nieces and nephews who considered her one of their favorite aunts. She will be missed by all.