It is with broken hearts that the family of Carolyn Lowe (Brightenstine) announces her passing on July 1, 2022. All of her loved ones were by her side when she left this earth to rejoin her beloved husband, parents and other treasured family members in what must have been the most joyous reunion of love and laughter. Carolyn’s last moments were filled with incredible love and peace.

Carolyn was born in September 1939 in San Francisco to Ivan and Dorothea Brightenstine. One of Carolyn’s favorite stories to tell was how her father was very close to carrying the wrong baby out of the hospital doors due to the identification process of the babies at the time. A nurse came running down the hall shouting, “Stop Mr. Brightenstine, you have the wrong baby!” Poor Ivan was already frazzled from a long train ride where he had to ride in an open caboose as the train was overbooked and no seating was available. Carolyn loved her father dearly and her favorite stories to tell were of him.

The new family made their way back to their beloved Buck Mountain, where Ivan’s family had lived for many years. They lived there until they sadly lost the home to a fire. They moved to the small community of Mina after the fire, where they lived until Carolyn was old enough to begin school. Some of Carolyn’s happiest memories were of the time she and her parents lived in the mountains. In those days it was a place like heaven on earth. Between the people who lived there and the beauty and bounty of the land, there will never be another place or time like it. There were so many stories of raising animals, vegetables and beautiful gardens full of flowers. The neighbors shared their bounty with each other, and were always there to help one another. Back then everyone got together often to share a meal, play music, and sing and dance until the wee hours of the morning. Ivan loved to play the fiddle, and continued to play until his final days. They all loved each other and their lives together. It was truly a very special kind of life.

In the late 50s, Carolyn met her husband-to-be, Ronald Lowe, during a family outing at beautiful Bear River. Shortly after they met, Ron went into the service and went overseas. They kept in contact with many letters that are quite a treasure today.

Ronald Lowe and Carolyn were married in December 1964 just days after the famous and devastating flood. They purchased a home and property where they built a life raising two daughters, Mary Dishmon and Anna Dotson.

They raised animals, and enough fruits and vegetables to feed family, friends and the entire neighborhood for many years. Ron was a farmer and loved cows, and the cows loved to find their way out of the pastures. The neighbors called often to have him come and round them up. Luckily the cows never caused too much trouble, but Carolyn sure gave Ron a piece of her mind after every escape.

Ron and Carolyn welcomed their son-in-law to be, Jeff Dishmon, into their lives in 1985. They loved him dearly and considered him their son. He added a great deal of laughter and fun to their days. Carolyn loved to laugh and tell stories. Her father and Jeff share the gift of a wonderful sense of humor. After losing her beloved father, Jeff always kept Carolyn laughing. She was still laughing with him in her final days.

Ron and Carolyn were delighted to become grandparents to two beautiful granddaughters, Ashleana and Mariah Dishmon. The girls added so much happiness and joy to their grandparent’s lives. After becoming a grandmother, Carolyn became known forevermore as “Nanie.” It is a name chosen by two precious children and upon hearing it fills your heart with joy. The past generations of women in Carolyn’s family and Carolyn herself all had “Fire in their Veins.” Her spirited nature can also be found in the current generations.

Tragically Ron was taken much too early from the family in a car accident in 2006. His loss is still deeply felt today. His legacy will continue forever through his land … in his gardens, orchard, and pastures. With every passing season he is there guiding us.

There are always gifts and miracles around every corner. Carolyn was overjoyed to become a great-grandmother to a boy who shares many personality traits and qualities of his Great Papa Lowe. Watch out world, this boy is also full of fire and will accomplish many great things in his life.

Carolyn and her family were extremely blessed to spend time together almost every day. Carolyn loved children. She loved playing with and reading to them, and baking special goodies for everyone’s delight. Her happiest days were spent with her granddaughters and great-grandson. These times and memories created a very special bond that will last for eternity. Carolyn was loved deeply by many people. There are not enough words or space to include and recognize all the special people that have been part of Carolyn’s life. You all gave Carolyn so much love. The family is deeply thankful to each and every one of you! Many special celebrations were shared over the years.

Carolyn loved to garden and inherited the love of beautiful flowers from many generations before her. She was fortunate to continue that love right up to a short hospitalization. Thankfully, she was able to return home to the love of her family. She was surrounded by all of her loved ones at the time of her passing.

If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.”

  • Christopher Robin

Carolyn is survived by her daughters, granddaughters and great-grandson.

Arrangements were made by Humboldt Cremation. A private family service will take place.

If you would like to honor Carolyn’s memory, please consider donating to a local Hospice organization as they are truly angels here on Earth.


The obituary above was submitted by Carolyn’s loved onesThe Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email