Carol Louise Stolte Paden

Carol Louise Stolte Paden, 95, passed away peacefully in her sleep on the morning of April 27, 2020. In her whole life, she had not lived more than 50 miles from the town she called home, Alameda. Carol was born on June 11, 1924, in Oakland, to Elizabeth Moran Stolte and Ferdinand Charles Stolte. She spent her first few years living in the Oakland hills on Fruitvale Avenue.

They moved briefly to Saratoga where her late brother, Charlie, was born, and where Carol went to kindergarten and first grade. Her father’s dream of becoming a gentleman farmer in Saratoga was drastically changed by the crash of 1929. In order to be closer to his construction company, the family moved to Alameda in 1935.

This move started a new life chapter that would eventually become epic. During her early years, Carol and the Stolte family spent the summers living near some of her father’s construction projects; in particular, two projects for William Randolph Hearst. The first was his fishing and hunting lodge on the McCloud River and the second was Hearst Castle in San Simeon. During these summers, she became playmates (and lifelong friends) with Bill Apperson, a grandnephew of Phoebe Apperson Hearst. 

Carol continued her elementary school education in Alameda.  During her eighth-grade year, she met William W. (Bill) Paden, the son of Irene D. Paden and William Guy Paden, superintendent of schools in Alameda. This was another life-changing event. They continued on to attend Alameda High School on a year-round schedule, graduating in three years, as the class of January 1941.

College followed, and Carol attended UC Berkeley where she graduated in October 1944 and received her bachelor of science in dietetics and nutrition. Carol and Bill were married on Dec. 30, 1944, their union lasting nearly 60 years until Bill passed away June 23, 2004.

Carol was an avid reader and horse enthusiast, a clever knitter and crafter. She was very loyal, gracious and kind. As a perpetual optimist, she could always see the silver lining. As a loving mother, she wore many hats. She was a “stay-at-home mom,” dietician, part-time bookkeeper, tour director, amateur attorney, puppeteer, nurse, swimming instructor and construction foreman, as the situation required.

Horseback riding and swimming were the sports she especially loved. She kept herself involved in both for almost all of her life, especially with decades of teaching swimming to the youngsters of Alameda and managing the teenage pool lifeguards during the summers.

From 1960 to 1964, Carol, Bill and the four Paden children were lucky enough to be able to take summer car and trailer trips criss-crossing the U.S. and southern Canada. At the end of these journeys, they had visited every continental state, except Florida and Alaska, and all of the southern provinces of Canada.

During her lifetime, Carol also volunteered with the Girl’s Club, Garden Branch, Alameda Hospital Auxiliary, Children’s Hospital, The East Bay Dental Auxiliary, and became a Founding Member of The Alameda Swimming Pool Association and The Hearst Castle Foundation.

Carol is survived by her daughters, Christine P. Greenlaw (Russ) of Livermore, Jan P. Covell (Steve), of Pacific Grove, her son, Dr. William S. Paden (Becky) of Alameda; six loving grandchildren: Kimberly G. Baker (Joshua), Craig P. Greenlaw, Kelley C. McCarthy (David), Stephen W.D. Covell, William R. Paden (Kristin), Amanda P. Rojas (Jesus); and eight adorable great-grandchildren: Clare Baker, Quinn Baker, Mason Greenlaw, Samuel Greenlaw, Madeline McCarthy, Connor McCarthy, William J. Paden, and Elliot Paden. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. William W. Paden, orthodontist, and their daughter, Dr. Susan Elizabeth Paden, each of Alameda.

A memorial service will be announced at a future date.  To make a donation in memory of Carol Paden, please consider the Alameda Swimming Pool Association, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide safe instructional swimming activity for Alameda children, as well as encouragement and support for adult and U.S. team swimming.  

For more information contact Harry W. Greer, funeral director (FDR-745).