In Memoriam Carol Holden 1948-2015

Carol Holden

Actress and marketing professional Carol Holden died Saturday, March 14, 2015, in Vancouver, Washington. She was 66.

She is survived by her husband, Douglas Westberg, her sister, Wendy Whiteside, and her stepchildren Nevada Westberg, Sarah Armstrong, Eli Levich, and Hannah Westberg.

Remembrances in Carol’s honor may be made to L’Arche Portland Community (for people with and without developmental disability) at

Please leave your comments, reminiscences, and well wishes by commenting here. Any hard biographical information about Carol pre-Vancouver, Washington, would be very welcome, and I will incorporate it into this page.

A photo album will come soon. If there is a way for the public to add photos, I will implement it. For now, if you want to contribute one or more photos, put a link to the photo in a comment. You do that by right-clicking the photo, wherever it might be on the web, and clicking “copy image location.” Then click inside the comment that you are posting here and paste (ctrl-v). On your smart device, you follow basically the same procedure, except you tap and hold instead of right-clicking.

The biography below is off the top of my head and will be continually refined and expanded in coming weeks.

Thank you one and all for your expressions of tribute and support. It is obvious that her impact on people was far-reaching and invariably deeply felt.



Carol (l) and bff Donna Haub

Carol (l) and bff Donna Haub

Carol Holden was born on December 21, 1948 in New York City to Chuck and Ginnie Holden. Chuck was a producer for CBS television and Carol made her stage and television debuts before the age of ten. A fine singing actress, she acted in theatrical movies, national soap operas, touring shows, commercials, as a talk show host, and in many community theatre productions. She attended Boston Conservatory of Music and studied acting with David LeGrant. Since moving to the Pacific Northwest in 1980, she appeared in Doubt, Curse of the Starving Class, On Golden Pond (for which The Oregonian described hers as the “definitive performance”), Fiddler on the Roof, Dearly Departed, Arsenic and Old Lace (Donna Haub played the other sister), I Hate Hamlet, It’s a Wonderful Life, and others. Her last role was Mrs. Ethel Banks in Barefoot in the Park for Valley Repertory Theatre in Newberg.

Carol married Douglas Westberg in 2012  after a whirlwind 14-year courtship during which she helped raise Westberg’s three daughters, Sarah, Eli, and Hannah. With Westberg, she co-wrote, co-starred, and directed a cabaret musical comedy called The Almost Has-Been and the Nearly Never-Was which ran for almost a year. Her involvement in the community did not end with theatre; among other things, for several years she conducted the Vancouver Girl Scouts annual public Christmas carol sing.

Wedding Album:




  1. Pingback: In Memoriam Carol Holden 1948-2015 | SunWinks!

  2. It breaks me up to talk about Carol in the past tense. But I remember when I first met her at my parent’s house. I cracked her up telling a funny story and she was laughing right along with me before she heard the punch line. Later we would stay up drinking too much wine and laughing until early in the morning– girl chat. Later we discovered we could do the same thing without the hangover. All I can say is she was ” bigger than life” and so much fun and so sentimental and so kind and generous. I am still devastated by her leaving too soon, but I know those left behind are the ones who lament. Carol is at peace. I get some solace there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry, Doug. Beautiful things are so fleeting, like a breathtaking rose that blooms, then is no more. We must not hesitate to breathe in their beauty all we can because too soon they are gone. Life is fickle by nature…giving and taking without thought of the joy or pain it renders in doing so. We can see in your writing that you treasured Carol. I remember the photos you posted of you both dancing at your wedding. You were loved and you both floated on the elation that brings. Hold onto those moments. So few are blessed with love like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My sister, the most wonderful woman I have ever known has taken my heart with her. I love her so much and am the luckiest person alive to have 66 years of wonderful memories with her. Since she was born and my parents gave her to me, we have been closer than any two human beings can be. We had so many laughs and good times and gotten through so many tough times together. I am not surprised that she touched so many lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Even though we were mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, Carol and I had a fun relationship. When I first met her, Carol asked me what I would like to be called and I said Jacq (Pronounced Jack). She decided that we should have lunch together on the 5th of every month. and so we did. I will miss being called Jacq and also those fun lunches on the 5th. How fitting that this first one will be on Easter Sunday. I will say a prayer for her. Carol made our son, Doug, very happy, and now he has many good memories. What a shock this has been for our whole family. Goodbye Carol.

    Love, Mom/Jacq Westberg

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Doug, good job! I miss her and think of her so often. I can hardly believe that I won’t be able to see her or talk to her again. Oh my, the stories I could tell! I met Carol @ DHL, where she was “Volcano Lady” to our manager, Ron. She came to work on the day Mt. St. Helens erupted (or around that time anyway). Carol was an incredible sales person. She had a sense of style like no other. Carol was loved by so many. She had a way of making people feel comfortable. People sought out her advice and she always had time to listen. She was so nurturing and fun and funny. She was a very wise woman, too. I think of her so often when I’m writing. She’s always here correcting my grammar. (I know there are some errors here, Carol). She will be truly missed by many. So sorry for your loss, Doug. I know she loved you very much. Take care! Susie

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So I’m the “bff” in the top photo, and Carol and I were truly best friends. We met while performing a play called Dearly Departed and just “clicked” immediately. We shared a love of theatre and could talk for hours on the subject, knowing we wouldn’t bore each other to death! Our marathon lunches at Stanford’s are now the stuff of legend. When I got Doug’s e-mail saying “she’s gone” I felt as though it was some horrible mistake. Yes, like so many others I’m still dealing with speaking about her in the past tense. Doug, she loved you so much. And so many people loved her laughter, intelligence – and HATS. Rest in peace, my beloved friend. Break a leg, wherever you may be.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carol and I worked together at Kelly Services for several years, and she was the light of our office, so effective and efficient with a wonderful sense of humor every day. We have warmly stayed in touch since we both left Kelly, and I feel blessed to have enjoyed lunch with her a week before her death.

    To say that Carol made a difference is an understatement. Just look at all the comments. Such a talented woman in so many ways, and I was so pleased when she and Doug married. It was a loving relationship, and as much as I know you miss her, Doug, consider yourself lucky to have shared such happiness together.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So sad hearing about Carol i know she passed years ago but i just found out now, it’s awful to not know about the passing of such a wonderful lady whom encouraged me so much while acting alongside her in You Can’t Take It With You at Theatre In The Grove.


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