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Carolyn J. Threadgill ’67

July 25, 2022, in Seattle, Washington.

Carolyn was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, and grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where her pet dog, Satan, made sure the kids stayed out of the arroyo during flash floods and kept the feral goats at bay. Carolyn spent two years of high school in Mexico City and then came to Reed, where she majored in classical studies. Advised by Prof. Frederic Peachy [classics 1956–82], she wrote her thesis, “The Rudens of Plautus: An Analysis,” entirely in Latin with the exception of the acknowledgments section, which was written in ancient Greek. She credited Reed with instilling in her the courage and analytical skills to tackle anything.

“I decided if I could do Reed, I could do anything,” Carolyn said. “Indeed, nothing since has been as difficult to succeed in. I learned the lessons I would need well.”

Carolyn was a book lover by nature and a book publisher by profession.

After completing a master’s degree in history at the University of Kansas, she moved her young family to Seattle, where she worked at Globe Pequot Press and then became executive director of Pacific Search Press, where she brought her background in the classics to a company whose shelves creaked with cookbooks and books on the outdoors, animals, travel, and recreation. Her aim was to produce books that were a cross “between the purely academic and the totally watered-down.”

She worked to make the Northwest a good area for publishing and was president of the Pacific Northwest Publishers Association. “What happens too often,” she said, “is that authors go east as soon as they can. I’d like to see that changed. I’d like to see our good authors stick around.”

Carolyn became the publisher at Parenting Press, which focused on books for children and those who cared for them.

She inherited a love of the outdoors, which she passed on to her children and grandchildren. The Olympic Peninsula was the family playground, though later in life Carolyn gravitated towards Mt. Baker and Chuckanut Drive, Washington’s original scenic byway. Oysters were frequently featured on the menu, and Classical King FM was always on the radio. She was a member of the Shoreline Unitarian Church, where she served on the board and managed the construction of new church buildings. As with everything else in life, she managed those missions with kind words and high expectations.

Carolyn is survived by her children, Amanda Threadgill and Brendan Threadgill, and her two sisters, Julia and Priscilla.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2022

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