Cover photo for Carole Jean (Rouzer)  Berwager's Obituary
1945 Carole 2024

Carole Jean (Rouzer) Berwager

1945 — 2024

Portland, Oregon

Carole R Berwager, of Portland Oregon, passed away on January 7, 2024. Her passing was unexpected, but peaceful.  She was a fiercely independent and loving light in our lives for all of her 78 years.

Carole was born in Baltimore, MD on May 22, 1945.  She grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from Eichelberger High School in Hanover PA then attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning a degree in Home Economics.  She spent her early career teaching, and for a time she had a job with the government developing recipes for healthy meals using WIC foods.  She married Sydney Berwager in 1968 and together they raised three sons.  The family moved to Portland, OR in 1983, where she spent the rest of her life.  After divorcing, her love of people led her eventually to a career in retail.  She retired as a store manager for Harry and David’s in 2015.  She had a number of offers to move into higher management but didn’t want to lose contact with the day to day customers, which is what she loved about the job.  She also took great pride in “throwing freight” long after she should have passed that duty on to younger backs.  She looked forward to her annual cookie parties with coworkers past and present.

Carole was a lifelong learner and teacher.  She continued taking college classes throughout her life, and if you asked her why, they were “just for her.” She tried to share her love and knowledge of cooking, sewing, and music with her sons, having more success with the next generation.  She played piano for decades, actually taking up lessons again in later life.  In retirement, she taught classes at the local community center.  A favorite was a sewing class she taught for mothers and daughters.  In addition to teaching, she volunteered her time with the library and the food bank.

Carole was absolutely devoted to her family, talking frequently with her siblings scattered around the Western Hemisphere and spending as much time as she was able with her children and grandchildren in the Portland area.  Weekends with the grandchildren spent outside blowing bubbles and drawing on the sidewalk with chalk gave way to baking cookies and digging in the garden which gave way to sewing projects and dinners.  She wasn’t above bragging about her family either.  If you accompanied her to a doctor’s appointment, you’d find that he already knew about your new job and your medical history.

Carole is preceded in death by her parents Ernest Russell Rouzer and Elizabeth (Smith) Rouzer.  She is survived by her siblings Tom, Lin, and Jim, her sons Kyle, Chadd, and Drew, daughter-in-law Rebecca, and grandchildren Kaytlin, Chelsea, Sophia, and Marcus.  She requested to be cremated and to have no funeral service. A celebration of life / open house will be held at her home in the coming weeks and her ashes will be scattered at the coast, her happy place.  For details, or to reach out, please email

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carole Jean (Rouzer) Berwager, please visit our flower store.


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