Carol Ann (Rowland) Roy 1939-2024

Carol Ann (Rowland) Roy, a lifelong resident of the Carlton area, passed peacefully on Monday, June 17, 2024. Carol was born September 30, 1939, to Lloyd and Elsie (Christensen) Rowland and grew up on the family farm east of Carlton. She graduated from Yamhill-Carlton Union High School in 1957. She married Alvin Dean Roy on October 12, 1957, at the First Baptist Church in Carlton. They had two daughters, Susan Kay and Sharon Ann, and their partnership spanned more than five decades until Al’s death in 2013.

Carol was proud that her Rowland ancestors traveled the Oregon Trail and several were instrumental in early county and state government. She maintained an independent, strong-willed pioneer spirit throughout her life, and considered herself first and foremost a farm woman. She was especially pleased that both the Rowland and Roy family farms were recognized with Century Farm status. She was a self-described “small farm advocate” and felt keenly her role as “the steward of a legacy,” where “we are just caretakers for a span."

Carol and Al leased dairy facilities in the Carlton area for several years before purchasing the Roy farm west of Carlton from Al’s parents and moving the family there in 1966. They raised Milking Shorthorn cattle and enjoyed exhibiting them, socializing with fellow cattle breeders, and sharing agricultural information with visitors at county and state fairs. Over the years, they added a menagerie of two- and four-legged creatures and the place became known to all as “The Funny Farm.” Carol always kept a positive attitude and sense of humor regardless of whatever might be happening around her.

The door was always open at The Funny Farm, and visitors could count on being offered a garden-fresh bouquet or a piece of pie or other baked goodies. Grandchildren, of course, could always find a little something in the cookie jar. She had a gift for making honest, grounded connections with others and was always the first to welcome a new neighbor. She delighted in bringing people together and was a primary organizer for Y-C Class of ‘57 reunions and ‘50s Picnics, and she and Al hosted the annual Roy Family reunion picnic for many years. Carol was an enthusiastic participant and supporter of nearly every community event, from neighborhood birthday gatherings to Carlton Fun Days and Yamhill Derby Days to Yamhill Valley Heritage Center programs and beyond. She and Al also spent many hours cheering on their daughters and grandchildren in their various endeavors.

Carol grew a large garden every year and maintained berries and fruit trees while also managing to establish and care for extensive flower beds. She enjoyed canning, freezing, and drying the results of her labors and sharing the bounty with friends and neighbors, and every summer she produced enormous home-cooked meals for hay crews. She helped create countless floral arrangements for funerals, weddings, and other community events, yet still seemed surprised to receive blue ribbons and “Best of Show” certificates for flower exhibits at the fair.

While her primary love was family and the farm, Carol also worked as a teacher’s aide at Carlton Elementary School and for the Oregon Department of Agriculture as a Brand Inspector Clerk at the McMinnville Auction Yard. She became a pioneer herself as one of the first two women in the state to work as a Brand Inspector. After “retiring,” she enjoyed exercising her green thumb and learning about plant breeding while working at Carlton Rose Nursery and sharing her knowledge with customers at Valley Feed & Supply (Buchanan Cellers) and with visitors to the Yamhill County OSU Extension office. Besides her paid work and tending her farm and family, Carol was a constant community volunteer. The list is too long to mention all her roles, but a few examples are being co-leader for the Homesteaders 4-H Club, assisting Carlton Elementary students with the history book, “Reflections of Carlton,” and serving on the Yamhill County Mental Health Advisory Board.

Carol loved nature: the rhythm of the changing seasons, snow, the beach (especially sunsets), digging in good garden dirt, and tracking the daily weather. She was also known to enjoy a good day at the Casino.

She was always humble but was proud to receive the Yamhill County 4-H Alumni Recognition Award, American Milking Shorthorn Society Breeder of the Year Award, Oregon State University Extension Service Director’s Coin Certificate, and Oregon State University Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Career Achievement Registry Award.

Carol will be lovingly remembered by untold numbers of friends and others whose lives she touched, as well as her nieces and nephews and their families. She will be forever missed by her family: Sue Baumgartner (Bob); Shari Sitton (Mark); Kraig Sitton (Lisa), Amelia and Henry; Mitch Sitton (Chrissy), Trace, Julia, and Owen; Nicole (Sitton) Griffin (David) and Codie; Will Baumgartner (Kristin); and Dan Baumgartner (Bradi Van Atta). She was predeceased by her parents, Lloyd and Elsie Rowland; her husband, Al; her sisters, Marian Gray and Doris Wiles; and her brother, Ward Rowland.

Carol’s family would like to thank the many dedicated staff members at Providence Health & Services/Newberg Hospital, Valley Medical Center, Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital, and Hillside Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Services who assisted her with the health challenges of the past year and a half. A special thank you to the caregivers who helped her live on her beloved farm as long as possible, and to those at Pinnacle Hospice and Myers Care Home for their warm welcome and compassionate care over the last few months.

Sharing a pie or bouquet and a few laughs with a friend, or any other act of kindness, would be a meaningful way to honor Carol. Should you wish to make a memorial gift, these programs were especially close to her heart: Yamhill County 4-H Program Fund (2050 Lafayette Avenue Suite A, McMinnville, OR 97128); Yamhill Valley Heritage Center (11275 S.W. Durham Lane McMinnville, OR 97128 or; Y-C Education Foundation (c/o Y-C High School 275 N. Maple Street Yamhill, OR 97148); and the Carlton Fire Department (P.O. Box 718 Carlton, OR 97111 or

A Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, June 28, at the Chapel of Macy & Son in McMinnville.


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