Carol Jean Herrada entered into Heaven while peacefully sleeping at her home in Lancaster CA, with her cat Max, on January 29, 2020, at the age of 77.
Carol was born on January 16, 1943 in Baker City, Oregon to Alfred and Irmogene Slemp. Carol was a wonderful person and loved by many, including extended family and friends. She is immediately survived by her two (2) sons: Antonio and Richard Herrada; three (3) grandchildren: Richie, Brandon and Olivia Herrada; and her daughter-in-law Tammy, whom she thought of as a daughter.
Carol could accomplish anything she put her mind to and loved to learn new things. She was born a logger's daughter, and started her life in the logging and ranching the family business. She learned how to cut trees and load them at a very young age. The long days in the cold taught her many lessons about hard work, and seeing the job through to the end. She spent many difficult years working for the family while balancing her education and attending school. She successfully graduated High school in Union, Oregon and set out to further succeed by moving on to Boise, Idaho to advance her education and attend business school. Working as a nanny, she supported herself though school and graduated, leaving the fastest typing record behind. Be reminded, at that day and age, college wasn’t a realistic option for many women, let alone to make records at college.
Carol decided to move to Seattle, Washington to take a job at The Boeing Company and began her career traversing through the ranks, receiving several security clearances along the way. In Seattle, she met her future husband Antonio Herrada.
Together, they moved by car across the country to Boston, Massachusetts. There they continued advancing their careers and eventually decided to move to the warmer and sunnier State of California.
The warmth of Torrance, California brought beach fun-filled days, tennis matches, and social gatherings with newly found life-long friends. It was there they decided to start a family, working and settling into long careers at TRW/Northrup Grumman.
Together they supported their newly formed family of two boys, just eighteen (18) months apart. Needing more space for their rambunctious toddlers, they purchased a beautiful home on Evalyn Avenue to raise them. Over the years, they enjoyed watching them grow; Antonio Sr. coaching and Carol exceeding at being Mom at home and on the field or court for all their sports. Their boys were provided an exceptional education and were set for a wonderful career path of their choosing. Antonio Jr. becoming a CPA and Richard become an Operating Engineer.
After raising two (2) successful children, Carol decided she wanted to take on the challenge of living alone. She retired at age 55 from TRW and decided to spend a few more years living in Torrance. She purchased a lovely home on Faysmith where she planted a beautiful garden and flowers. She loved to cook and bake cookies, waiting for visits to love on her grandchildren. Soon she decided to part ways with the city and explore to new scenery of Antelope Valley with all of its mountainous beauty and wildflowers. She didn’t want to venture far from her longtime home but just far enough to make the families have to make an effort to come up to see her.
So, in the year 2000, Carol bought a sprawling four (4) bedroom house on Casanova Drive in Lancaster, California to accommodate everyone when they came up to visit. This was where she called home for over the next 20 years.
She really loved living in Lancaster with the surrounding mountains and change in seasonal scenery. Her most favorite time was during the blooming of wild poppy flowers that colored the vast desert spaces. She made many long-lasting friendships with her extremely personable and kind personality. While living in Lancaster, Carol developed many newfound interests including scrap-booking, sewing, knitting, quilting, stamping, reading, screenwriting, quilting, drawing, geology, cross-stitch, floral design, doll collecting, jewelry making, photography and her latest favorite - painting. You could say she wore many hats in her life and collected those too. She was an active member in her community, with clubs like the Moose Lodge, Antelope Valley (AV) Christian Woman’s Club, Non-Profits, travel clubs, social clubs, the AV Senior Center and her favorite, "The Red Hat Ladies".
Over the years, Carol and her daughter-in-law Tammy ventured throughout the land on social bus trips with the Red Hatters. This is where Carol loved to dress her Tammy up as a Lavender Lady among all the Red Hatters and parade around joyfully. Everyone thought Tammy was her daughter and Carol paid no mind to correct them. A special bond had formed not just as the wife of her son but as a friend and a daughter. Carol enjoyed teasing Tammy and offered her services to cater to all the ladies with their luggage and wheel chairs. Carol was proud that she could tend for herself and take photos for posterity. Tammy didn’t mind attending to everyone’s needs and told Carol that she was auditioning for her future care. Carol loved to watch Tammy in her full Lavender Lady attire dancing around the room socially interacting while all the ladies praised Carol for having such a wonderful daughter. Their last Red Hatter event was in Las Vegas where Carol and Tammy met Sally Fields at a Red Hat Convention. They swore they were gonna win the grand prize - the Pink Cadillac from the Thelma and Louise movie that was being raffled off. How they joked about rolling up to the family in their movie star car all dressed to the hilt in their Lavender Lady and Red Hat attire. Of course, they did not win but before the end of their adventure they did make a World Record on the streets of Las Vegas forming the largest Can-Can Line in history.
Carol loved to travel in her social travel clubs. She said she loved to sight-see, people-watch and take photos of all the beautiful places in the World. She adventured to international places like Spain and Portugal, Mexico, and her favorite places in the U.S. like Alaska, New Mexico, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas and but her all-time favorite was Maui, Hawaii.
Along the way, she created memories that will never be forgotten by those lucky enough to accompany her. She loved her cats: Kelly, Buffy and Max whom were her life-long companions. Most of all she loved to watch the seeds she’d planted grow, which was her family. She loved her sons Antonio Jr. and Richard but most of all her grandchildren Richie, Brandon and Olivia. She strived to always send a card, a present or a thoughtful photo reminder of their past adventures with her. Her friends always knew she would arrive with something to give them: a freshly painted card, a hand beaded necklace, a scrapbook of photos, a personally stamped thank you card, a quilted blanket, a crocheted scarf but most of all was her special presence that lit the room along with her smile, her bright blue eyes, her lovely doll-like complexion, her smooth soft lavender scented skin, her immaculate attire, her matching accessories and jewelry but most of all her laugh and personality. She will be greatly missed on this earth but she will live forever in our Hearts.