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Carol Lynn Brassey ’74

June 1, 2020, in Boise, Idaho.

Born in Boise, Carol spent her summers in Placerville, Idaho, where her father owned a logging operation. She was student body president of her junior high school and graduated from Capital High School, where she edited the yearbook, was student body treasurer, and honed her skills on the debate team, which was her true love.

At Reed, she wrote her thesis, “An Evaluation of Pupil Characteristics and Their Implications for Learning in an Alternative School,” with Prof. Carol Creedon [psychology 1957–91]. She also studied calligraphy and was known for her beautiful calligraphic handwriting. After earning a JD from the University of Oregon, she passed the Idaho and Oregon bar examinations, and clerked for Justice Joseph McFadden of the Idaho Supreme Court.

Carol started her legal career with the Idaho Department of Employment (now the Department of Labor) as a deputy attorney general in 1979. Three years later, she was named chief counsel for the department, which she held until her retirement in 2008. She made many good friends while working at the department.

Honored at both the state and national levels for her work in labor law, Carol drafted several pieces of legislation that are in the U.S. Code. She also provided pro bono counsel to the Idaho Assistance League.

Through her work at the Department of Employment, she met her husband, Steve Parry, and they married in 1987 at St. John’s Cathedral in Boise. They loved to play cribbage, and Carol chronicled all the game results in her notebook. She often said that she learned to count by playing cribbage and credited her success at the game to the many hours she played it in Placerville.

Carol and Steve purchased a summer cabin in McCall, Idaho—which she referred to as “Parrydise”—and made many close friends at KP Cove. They had several different boats over the years, beginning with a sailboat and advancing to a pontoon boat for their retirement years, which was perfect for the two-hour tours of Payette Lake that Carol hosted, providing a running narrative of the history of the lake and its surroundings.

One of her favorite activities at the cabin was picking huckleberries in late July and early August with her younger sister Eve and her nieces. Carol made her grandmother’s huckleberry sauce recipe that she would serve for special dinners.

In 1990, Carol and Steve moved into their Boise home, sitting at the top of a hill. They obtained the lot next door and created Birdseed Park; Carol made sure the bird feeders were always full. In the spring and summer, she deadheaded the irises and trimmed the bitterbrush. The mayor presented a neighborhood award to Carol for her work in Birdseed Park.

After retiring, Carol volunteered for the Idaho Democratic Party and was a generous supporter of the Women’s and Children’s Alliance, Interfaith Sanctuary, and Land Trust of the Treasure Valley.

She is survived by her husband, Steve Parry; her sisters, Ann Norris and Eve Chandler; and her brother, Vern Brassey II.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2020

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