Cover photo for Carol Jean Wynkoop's Obituary
1940 Carol 2023

Carol Jean Wynkoop

October 15, 1940 — May 30, 2023

Tacoma, Washington

Carol Jean Wynkoop was born to Norman and Nellie Solberg in Bismarck, North Dakota and passed away suddenly, at the age of 82, at St. Clare’s hospital. The Solberg family moved to the Pacific Northwest when Carol and her sister Pat were little girls, and attended Holy Rosary, the first Catholic school in Tacoma, founded in 1891. The girls then attended St. Leo’s high school, where Carol met Dick Thurston, who attended Bellarmine Preparatory high school. Carol and Dick were married June 6, 1959, a year after she graduated.

Carol and Dick had six children – Debbie, Rick, Bob, Carolyn, Laurianne, and Mark – and fifteen grandchildren. Carol’s life as a young mother was rich with caring for her family as her children grew. She worked tirelessly sewing, decorating, and gardening. She had a great passion for cooking, and even planned elaborate meals for the family camping trips each summer. Her children often reminisce about their best memories camping on numerous lakes in eastern Washington. Their family regularly attended mass at St. Nicholas and St. Charles, and through their affiliation with these churches, Carol and Dick opened their home to foreign exchange students from South America, Mexico, and Vietnam.

In 1972, in addition to being a busy wife and mom, Carol enrolled at Evergreen State College and earned her bachelor’s degree in 1976. She went on later to enroll at Seattle University for her master’s degree in 1979. After her children moved on to college and their own careers, Carol began working as the Assistant Director of the Washington State School Directors’ Association. During this time, she met Bill Wynkoop who taught her to golf and shared her love for vacationing in the Arizona desert. They married in Scottsdale in May of 1987 and remained happily married until his passing in 2011.

Carol was a cherished daughter, mother, grandmother, and wife and committed to excellence in everything she did. Her family and friends will miss her tender soul, her cooking, her intelligence, her beauty, her sense of humor and the twinkle in her eye when she smiled.

Carol was preceded in death by her mom, dad, sister and beloved husband, Bill. Tributes can be added at  A celebration of life will be held July 21st at 11:00 at Carol’s home at 10416 92nd St. Ct. SW, Tacoma, WA 98498.  

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John 4:7–8 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

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