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Carolyn G. Poundstone
A Life Well Spent
Carolyn was born in Chicago on March 18, 1941 to William and Louise Gilmore,
joining older sister Sallie. Her father served in the U.S. Army during World War II,
and the family lived those few years in Wisconsin. They moved following the war
to Los Angeles.
She attended local public schools and graduated from Venice High School in
1959. She studied at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for about one
year. She was not raised in a religious or church-going home and experienced a
spiritual crisis during her days in college. This led to her Christian conversion,
baptism, and joining a nearby evangelical United Presbyterian Church. There she
met young men who were members of a Christ-centered fraternity at UCLA. In
the fall of 1962 she became a good friend of one of those men, Don Poundstone.
Following his graduation, they were married on November 2, 1963.
A few days into marriage the young couple went to the Univ. of New Mexico as
trainees for the U.S. Peace Corps. Three months later they were approved for
service as volunteers to Brazil. They spent two years in that country as community
development workers, living in the state of Espirito Santo.
They returned to the U.S. in late 1965, and Don studied at Fuller Theological
Seminary for half a year. Carolyn supported the couple financially as a secretary at
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In September 1966 they drove cross country where
Don enrolled at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Carolyn
continued her supportive employment at Honeywell Corp. until she gave birth to
her first child Timothy on their fifth anniversary.
Don completed formal theological studies in June 1969 and began church
ministry labors at a small Orthodox Presbyterian church (OPC) northwest of
Pittsburgh in Sewickley, PA. Two more sons (Benjamin and Andrew) and a
daughter (Margaret) were born to them during the next six years. In early 1976
Don accepted a ministerial call to the First Orthodox Presbyterian Church in
Portland, OR, where he served as pastor for the next 18 years.
In 1994 -- their four children now adults -- Don and Carolyn answered the call of
the OPC Committee on Foreign Missions to serve as missionaries with the Middle
East Reformed Fellowship in Larnaca, Cyprus. While living on that Mediterranean
island they made a couple of trips to Israel as tourists with their daughter
Margaret and youngest son Andrew.
After working in Cyprus for a year and a half, they returned to the States, but
not before spending three months in Eritrea (East Africa) during the restoration
and repair of the OPC’s mission clinic that had been abandoned and damaged
because of a civil war nearly 20 years earlier. During their weeks there Carolyn
prepared three meals a day for 8-10 short-term workers at the clinic.
Back in the U.S., they lived for several months in early 1996 with Don’s widowed
father Dwight in Santa Barbara, CA. While there, the area’s Orthodox Presbyterian
churches invited Don to serve as a regional missionary, overseeing efforts to start
new churches in Arizona, Hawaii, and southern California. Don and Carolyn settled
in Temecula, CA, where they lived for 12 years before Don retired in 2008. They
both traveled extensively throughout Don’s final extended employment. One
memorable trip took them to Suriname in 2004 to visit son Andrew and his wife
Kortney, both Peace Corps volunteers.
Retiring back to Portland (and the home they had purchased 32 years before) to
be near four married children and their grandchildren, Carolyn and Don settled
into a more relaxed season of life. Carolyn led regular Bible study classes for
women at their church and Don preached often at nearby churches when needed.
They enjoyed occasional trips to Hawaii, sailed on ocean cruises to Tahiti and
several others sponsored by National Review magazine, and even returned to
Africa (Uganda) for two months in 2011 to teach classes at an OPC mission work.
At last, in their 70s, time began to catch up with them. Carolyn underwent a
successful aortic valve replacement in 2020. She started to slow down physically
and had to suspend regular exercise sessions at a local fitness club. She also
began to develop what became a disruptive mental decline. She remained in the
family home with Don until late August 2023, when she moved into the
Glendoveer Senior Living home where she received loving and attentive care
throughout her final three weeks. She required a visit to the ER on Sept. 17 and
was diagnosed with pneumonia and other severe problems. She died that evening
and entered her eternal glory and rest with Jesus Christ her Lord.
She will be remembered by those who knew her as a “sweet lady,” a wise
counselor and friend to all, and a willing helper in any work for the kingdom of
God. Her children arise and call her blessed (Proverbs 31:28).
A Visitation will be held at Rose City Cemetery's Chapel, from 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm Thursday, September 28th.
A Committal at Rose City Cemetery will be held at 10:00 am Saturday September 30th, Grave 4, W1/2 Lot 359, Section S
Memorial Church Services will follow at 11:00 am Saturday September 30th, 2023, at First Orthodox Presbyterian Church: 8245 NE Fremont Street, Portland OR 97213
Church Reception to follow service.
In lieu of flowers, the family would ask that charitable contributions be made to Westminster Seminary California