Obituary of Carol Bryan
Carol was born Carol Jane Clinesmith on December 15, 1943, in Placerville, California. She grew up on a small farm in Watsonville, California. In 1961 she attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo where she met Harry “Skip” Andersen, and they married in July 1963. In 1964 Skip graduated with a B.S. Degree and a 2nd Lt commission in the Army. Within a year he was called up to serve in Viet Nam and she continued her studies at Cal Poly with her new son Harry. When Skip returned the family moved to the Imperial Valley of California where she had her second son James in 1967.
Skip was killed in an auto accident in late 1967 which prompted Carol to return to Cal Poly for work and furthering her education. It was during this time she met Ronald Lunn and they were married on MAY 2, 1969. Ron Later adopted her two sons Harry and Jim. In 1970 the family moved to Las Vegas where Ron got his Private Pilot License. Carol and Ron bought a 1957 Cessna 172, this was the seed that transformed her desire to get “off the farm” into her lifelong love of travel and adventure. Most weekends and holidays the family could be found flying to some new destination. Trips to Baja California sparked the flame that would eventually become her ongoing love of international travel. The family airplanes got faster and bigger but would remain a mainstay of their lives. The friends they made at their local airports remained close for many years, and were the inspiration for her first business venture. She and some friends began making hats for the local “Airport Bums Flying Club” and the idea took off and became a thriving business. In 1975 the family moved back to California, this time to Ventura, and the flying and travel continued. Carol took flight lessons between 1971 and 1976 but never decided to get her own license. She was content to be the safety pilot in the right seat. During her time in Ventura, she got her Real Estate license and was very successful as an agent and as a partner in several offices. She and Ron divorced in 1981 and Carol moved to Fresno, California with her sons.
Once she moved to Fresno, she began working with the California State Compensation Insurance Fund but was later approached by the law firm of Cole & Fisher and began representing the workman’s side of disability cases and remained there for about 20 years. During that time, she met Gerald Bryan in 1983. Jerry had also grown up on a rural farm with big dreams beyond the fence line. His youth was spent outside Greely Colorado, but by the time Carol met him he was a professor of Marketing at CSU Fresno. They married in September 1987 and Jerry brought his two children Linda and Rich into the family. During this time Jerry’s work with the University Sponsored International Projects had him traveling to over 33 countries and Carol accompanied him on many of the more interesting postings. Carol and Jerry continued to live and work in, and from, Fresno till 1999, when they retired so they could get busy with their real passion… adventure!!! They remained based in Fresno while they crisscrossed the nation a few times researching genealogy for both Carol and Jerry’s families. They would each eventually write books based on their research. By 2001 they had decided to find a nice place to ease into real retired life. Both Carol and Jerry always loved the desert southwest and the Native American Cultures found there. They chose Fountain Hills Arizona and built a house there. Over all the years in the Phoenix area she and Jerry became docents at the Heard Museum which further enriched their love of Native American Art and Culture. However the wanderlust could not be so easily tamed and they continued to travel often in the RV for a few more years. In 2011 they sold the RV and the home and moved to the Royal Oaks Life Care Community. Their travel was now to consist of International Flights and Cruises. They often made room to take the grandchildren along as well. They were quite happy in their new home and began getting involved in the Royal Oaks Community as local project leaders. Their adventures together continued till 2014 when Jerry passed away from a rare blood cancer.
Carol remained very active in the Royal Oaks community and soon discovered an interesting gentleman named William “Bill” Gasta. Finding they enjoyed each other’s company and had many common interests including International Travel and Adventures, their acquaintance blossomed into a deep loving relationship. On July 25, 2019, they formalized this in a beautiful commitment ceremony at Royal Oaks and from then on, they were inseparable. This added Bills four adult children and their respective families to our family. They continued to travel and cruise the world together and often brought friends and family along for the adventure. Both remained very active in the Royal oaks Community. Carol served as Chair for 6 years on the Royal Oaks Board of Trustees. In March Carol received a diagnosis of 3rd stage cancer and had only just begun her treatments. Initially the response to the treatment was good but within only two weeks severe complications began to mount, and they swiftly took her from us. In true Carol style she did not linger, she held out only long enough to help those of us that remain to be OK with her passing, and then went directly and bravely to whatever comes next for us all. She will be missed, until we join her. And I have no doubt we will find her waiting, somewhat impatiently, to show us all the adventures to be had there too.
James Lunn and Harry Lunn