Obituary: Carol Vetterli

Special education instructor, married 68 years

Carol Vetterli, 89, died peacefully at home in Claremont on November 30, in her own bed as per her wishes, with family at her side. 

Her life was full of love. Carol’s career was spent working with children with special needs. She began volunteering at the Crippled Children’s Society (now AbilityFirst) in 1985, and soon assisted to establish the first preschool program there.

She soon expanded her interests and joined the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Special Education program. Her assignments covered Pomona area schools at various locations and grade levels, in the classroom and the speech department. She retired from LAUSD at the age of 72.

She was born in Oakland and raised in Berkeley and Alamo in the San Ramon Valley, where she graduated high school. Following high school she attended College of the Pacific in Stockton.

On summer break in 1950 she met Ken Vetterli, recently discharged from the military, while vacationing in Capitola. The young couple were engaged and married in 1951 following his return to military duty for the Korean war. The newlyweds lived off base, close to Fort Ord, in Monterey County. 

The young bride soon became pregnant and moved to 6th Army headquarters at the Presidio, in San Francisco. The Vetterli’s first child, Jimmy, was born at Letterman Army Hospital in November 1952.

Two more children, Dick and Janet, were born in Concord. Their fourth child, Anne, was born in Buffalo, New York, where the family had moved due to Mr. Vetterli’s business. Later the family relocated to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and then back to California.

She had the opportunity to visit much of the US and Europe and loved every minute of the adventure. In later years, the couple continued to travel and explore the world with family and friends. 

In 1985, with their children grown, business brought the couple to Southern California to live. On their first visit to Claremont, she immediately fell in love with the city “with a Village.” She lived in Claremont for the rest of her life.

Their family of four children, eight grandchildren, including spouses, and one great-granddaughter, eventually grew to 23. 

The Vetterlis celebrated 68 years of marriage on August 5, 2019. In her words, it was “a wonderful life.”

No local services are planned at this time.


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