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Carol Elaine Swillinger
September 30, 1930 ~ November 12, 2023 (age 93) 93 Years Old
Carol Elaine Swillinger, née Modlin, an avid gardener and longtime volunteer at the Strybing
Arboretum Society, died on November 12, 2023 in Sonoma, California. She was 93.
A San Francisco native, Carol was born in 1930 to Anna (Babe) and Sidney Modlin. She and her
elder brother, Donald (Bud), lived on Parker Avenue and then on Locust Street.
As a student at Lowell High School during World War II, Carol supported the troops by making
countless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for sailors coming into port, an experience that resulted
in a lasting aversion to grape jelly.
At Mills College she studied music appreciation, before graduating with a degree in political science
from Stanford University, where she was a cheerleader and an equestrian.
In 1962, she married Richard Swillinger, a urologist. The couple raised four children in San Francisco.
Carol worked for the railway before embarking on a decades-long career as a travel agent, which
engaged her curiosity about places near and far and allowed her to travel to Europe, Asia and
destinations throughout the Americas.
A proud supporter of the arts, Carol sponsored local musicians and artists, frequented the San
Francisco Symphony and visited museums around the world. During her many trips to Mexico, she
sought out vibrant paintings and collected ceramics by local artisans.
She loved and was beloved by many dogs and horses over her long life. She was a phenomenal
Carol was known among family and friends for her vivacity, generous spirit, earthy sense of humor
and liberal use of swear words, at least when the occasion called for it.
Predeceased by her husband Richard in 2014 and her daughter René (Ren) Dymond in 2021, Carol
is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Adam and Alison Swillinger, her two daughters, Jennifer
Lee and Cate Swillinger; her cherished caregiver, Kelera Takalai; her grandchildren, Chelsea
Dymond, Bodhi and Niko Goncharoff, Luke and Jasmine Kummer, Jack and Sam Swillinger; her
great-grandchildren Nora and Nilo Jerod; her nephews Doug and Gary Modlin and Bill and Jim Nichelmann;
and her cousin, Doré Selix-Gabby.
A memorial service will be held at the Home of Peace Cemetery in 1299 El Camino Real, Colma, CA 94014 on Monday, November
27, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.