If the proverb "like mother, like daughter" holds true, Woodinville is a vivacious, compassionate and humble community. Carol Edwards, known to...
If the proverb “like mother, like daughter” holds true, Woodinville is a vivacious, compassionate and humble community.
Carol Edwards, known to many as the “Mother of Woodinville,” took a small town under her wing when she moved there in 1976. By creating The Woodinville Weekly, organizing the first All Fool’s Day Parade and founding the Woodinville Community Band, she helped rear what is now a full-grown city.
Ms. Edwards also co-founded the city’s chamber of commerce, farmers market and wine festival as well as Teen Northshore, a nonprofit organization supporting youth activities.
“She was the community; and I don’t just say that out of love, I say that out of absolute historic practicality,” said Barbara Grube, advertising director for The Woodinville Weekly. “Carol started, encouraged and empowered this community.”
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Ms. Edwards died Saturday (Oct. 27) of complications related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. She was 65.
Her death came just hours after a dedication ceremony to open the new Carol Edwards Center, named in her honor.
“It seems kind of appropriate that she was going out while this center that’s going to serve the community is coming on,” said Lane Youngblood, director of Woodinville Parks and Recreation. “She was such a force in this community. … She was everywhere — the ubiquitous Carol Edwards.”
She was born Sept. 18, 1942, in Pasco to Dorothy and Earl Dahlin. When she was in second grade, the family moved to Seattle, where she attended Hawthorne Elementary School and, later, Sharples Junior High, Franklin High School and the University of Washington.
In June 1963 she married Ed Boselly. Two months later she graduated from the UW with a degree in political science with an emphasis in international relations and a minor in secondary education.
Ms. Edwards taught social studies at Rainier Beach Junior-Senior High School in South Seattle for four years until she and her husband moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, and, later, to Biloxi, Miss. They had three children before they divorced.
In 1975 she married Bill Edwards, with whom she had her fourth child. The family moved from Riverside, Calif., to Woodinville in June 1976. After having trouble finding information on local activities and events in the small town, the community activist began The Woodinville Weekly in November of the same year with a press she bought at a garage sale.
“We grew up partially at The Woodinville Weekly,” said Wendy Usher, her youngest daughter. “I think she just wanted everybody to be involved [in the community], so she made sure her kids were an example.”
In 1978, Ms. Edwards began Woodinville’s All Fool’s Day Parade, a yearly event that celebrates the community. She divorced in 1980 and continued organizing area activities as a single mother.
She formed the Woodinville Community Band in 1993 after placing a call to musicians in her newspaper. Although she enjoyed all instruments, “she wasn’t musical,” Usher said.
For Ms. Edwards, community activities were a way for residents to have fun together. “She didn’t set out to change anything; that was never her goal,” Grube said. “It was to make them more fun for all different kinds of people.”
Shortly after her ALS diagnosis in 2004, Ms. Edwards handed off The Woodinville Weekly’s day-to-day operations to her daughter Julie Boselly, who now has the title of associate publisher.
Despite her various accomplishments, Ms. Edwards preferred to stay behind the scenes.
“Underneath her gregariousness, she was shy,” Grube said. “She didn’t want you to tell her how great she was because she didn’t do it for her, she did it for you.”
The community saw a way to honor Ms. Edwards when the new community center was named after her.
She is survived by her partner Rex Knight; daughter Jennifer Noyd, son-in-law Michael Noyd and grandchildren Vivian, Cassandra, Olivia and Zachary Noyd, all of Wenatchee; son Jeffrey Boselly, daughter-in-law Angela Berg and grandson Benjamin Boselly, all of Woodinville; daughter Julie Boselly and grandchildren Jackson and Katherine Unruh, all of Woodinville; daughter Wendy Usher, son-in-law Brent Usher and granddaughter Ellie Usher, all of Portland.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Hollywood Schoolhouse, 14810 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ALS Association Evergreen Chapter, the Northwest Parks Association for the Carol Edwards Loop or another charity.
Meghan Peters: 206-464-8305 or email@example.com