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Carol Van Orden

Lead Summary

Carol Ann Van Orden was born February 4, 1944, in Heron Lake, Minnesota, and passed to our Lord peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her children and grandchildren in Vancouver, Washington, on July 30, 2015. If you knew Carol, then you knew that her laugh would not just light up a room, it would light up the entire neighborhood. It was infectious and just made you feel alive. Carol graduated from Luverne High School in 1962. She was very active in school where she played drums in the band, was a member of the GAA, was the Freshman Princess in the Homecoming Court and was voted Homecoming Queen her senior year. Carol had a heart for the less fortunate and a strong sense of social justice. She caused a sensation by traveling to the Deep South to register blacks to vote during the struggle for civil rights and was held at gunpoint by locals who did not appreciate her efforts. This did not curb her enthusiasm for helping others as she continued to do so the rest of her life. She was very proud to have been invited to the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter. Carol was a huge sports fan who both loved to watch and participate. She played in league softball and bowling for many years. For a short time, she edited the sports page for the Worthington Daily Globe. Carol and her boys moved to Hartland, Wisconsin, and eventually Portland, Oregon, as she continued to be promoted as an office manager for the insurance company INA that eventually became Cigna Insurance. Carol was an innovator in the field of what is now known as cyber security, being responsible to protect the private information of those insured in the Pacific Northwest. She had a very strong Midwestern work ethic and was jokingly known as “Warden Van Orden” at her Portland office headquarters. She eventually retired from this office as the Western Region Operations Manager for Cigna's worker's compensation division with the offices in Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Salt Lake, Anchorage, Boise, and Montana reporting to her. Carol inherited her mother, Esther Mulligan’s, green thumb and could make flowers grow on pavement. She was known in her local Portland neighborhood for her beautiful roses that she loved to spend hours attending to. Carol was also a vital member of her parish in Portland and an active member of the Alter Society, the funeral committee, and a regular volunteer at the Thrifty Cottage. Carol is preceded in death by her father, Frank and mother Esther Mulligan; brothers Donald (Ida) Mulligan; Gene (Elsie) Mulligan; and Richard Mulligan. She is survived by her sons, Kurt and his daughter Emily Van Orden; Derrick (Sara) Van Orden and their children, Sydney (Chris) Martenis; Abby Williams (Eric), Teddy, and Danny. Brothers, Robert (Mary Jean) Mulligan; Jack (Deloris) Mulligan; James (Dottie) Mulligan; William (Mary Lou) Mulligan, Mike Mulligan, and sister Rosie (Dale) Moerke, and many, many nieces and nephews. Services were held at St. Catherine’s and her earthly remains are interned with her family at St. Catherine’s cemetery. She was very loved in life and will be sorely missed.

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