Carolyn Jean Mifflin
At age 83, passed away peacefully on May 2, 2018 due to complications from chronic lung disease. She was a devoted grandmother, mother and wife. She is deeply missed.
Carolyn was born in 1934 on the family farm in Jefferson County, Mt. Vernon, Illinois to Robert Chase and Christine (Compton) Chase. Her capabilities and intelligence were evident early. At age 3, she worked the family-owned community telephone switchboard during her mother's bouts with arthritis. News spread and Carolyn was recognized by Ripley's Believe It or Not! as the Youngest Telephone Switchboard Operator.
She attended grade school in Belle Rive and Mt. Vernon Township High School. She met Ralph Donald Mifflin and their 55-year romance began with their marriage in 1950 in Belle Rive. After Ralph returned from the Korean War, the couple moved to Chicago where Ralph attended a technical school and Carolyn worked for a drugstore. Upon his graduation, the couple located to California where Ralph began his career with Lockheed and Carolyn became an accomplished homemaker. Self-taught in many skills, she crocheted afghans and doilies, sewed numerous quilts and even made clothes for her family. She loved to garden, cook and try new recipes whether it was for baking, canning or preparing a special meal for her family. She even dabbled with cactus grafting. An avid reader, she was never far from an open book.
Carolyn and Ralph were blessed with one son, Randy. As a family they often visited rural areas of northern California where they fished, target shot, rode dirt bikes and camped. They made many cross-country road trips back home to Illinois for visits with their families.
Ralph and Carolyn retired to Salem, Oregon in 1989 as it reminded them of Southern Illinois. Carolyn continued her passion for gardening. They often took long drives visiting the surrounding farms, state parks, and Oregon Coast. They especially enjoyed time with Randy and his family. In 2006, Ralph passed away. Carolyn moved to Sherwood to be closer to her son and his family. Also in 2006 she acquired a Papillon she named Rex and loved him almost as much as her grandchildren.
Carolyn is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Randy Mifflin and Krissi Kizziar; her two grandchildren, Nicholas and Rebecca Mifflin; her sisters, Joyce Porter and Donna Chase. She is further survived by a sister-in- law, Lodemia Spezia; nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Ralph, and his brothers, Gerald Dean, Gordon and Charles Mifflin.
For those who wish, remembrance donations can be made to Sherwood Public Library (https://www.sherwoodoregon.gov/ library ) and SMART, Start Making A Reader Today (https://www.getsmartoregon.org/).