Carol Shinnick Keaton

Feb 6, 1942 – Jul 20, 2017

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Carol “Kingdome” Keaton

Carol lived the life she dreamed of as a little girl.  A few years ago, she described her life this way – “I had many wonderful and remarkable things ‘happen’ to me during my lifetime…. I am grateful and want to count my blessings.”  Carol’s birth came on February 6, 1942, in the midst of World War II and in the month following her maternal grandmother’s unexpected death.  Her mother stayed with her grandfather in Spokane after the funeral, and therefore Carol was born there.

Carol moved to Burien at a young age, and her mother enrolled her into the Betty Clements Dance School.  At the age of three, she was able to transfer her energy to the world of ballet, tap and hula.  She performed at recitals and for veterans returning from World War II.  She was four years old when she had her first performance, a ballet number to “Alice Blue Gown.”

At the age of five, her parents moved their budding young family to a house just off the top of Dravus Hill in the Magnolia district of Seattle.  She attended St. Margaret’s for elementary school until a new Catholic school (Our Lady of Fatima) was built in a valley on the other side of the Dravus Hill.  Dravus was a big hill that she climbed up and down many times over the next 19 years.  Carol and her friends especially liked to sled on the hill when it was closed due to snow.  On hot days, they could stop at the top for a rest and have a drink of water from Mrs. Mandeville, whose house they described as an oasis.

When the family moved to Magnolia, Carol’s mother enrolled her in the Cornish School for Ballet, not to mention private hula lessons, ice skating lessons, swim lessons, and judo lessons.  She described all of these activities as a “kid’s heaven.”

At the age of 11, she also began taking baton twirling, ballet and swim lessons at the Washington Athletic Club, and little did she know at the time that she would go on to achieve great accomplishments with her baton.  As a freshman at Holy Names, she won the Washington State Strutting Championship, which was a baton-twirling event.  She won the contest and made the papers. 

After her freshman year, her parents allowed her to transfer to Queen Anne High School, which turned out to be what she describes as “the happiest time of my life, bar none.  What a great and wonderful experience.  Encouraging teachers, a wonderful school, nice friends, boys (wow), and an opportunity to be a baton twirler for the Queen Anne High School Band.”  Her senior year, Carol was crowned Miss Queen Anne, following which she was thrilled to be voted Seafair Princess.

By the end of Carol’s senior year of high school, she accomplished many accolades with her baton twirling, which led to her receiving one of the first scholarships offered to a woman at the University of Washington, (as they did not have athletic scholarships at that time).  As a freshman, she continued to work towards her goal of being a Majorette with the Husky Marching Band, and was chosen Majorette for the U. W. – R.O.T.C. band.

Earning the rank of Majorette with the Husky Marching Band after her freshman year, she held that position for the next three years until she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation.  During her senior year, she performed enthusiastically in the first of two Rose Bowl parades, when her beloved Huskies played in the Rose Bowl in 1964.

One other aspect of Carol's college life that she loved was being part of the Delta Gamma Sorority, where she met other women who remained friends for life.  She was so proud when her oldest granddaughter Kate followed in her footsteps and became a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority at Washington State University.

In 1965, Carol met and married Phil Shinnick, who had been to the 1964 Olympics as a broad jumper.  Phil went into the Air Force and they were stationed in Los Angeles, where she taught twirling in several high schools and at the Inglewood Recreation Department for four years.  During that time, she got back into dancing (took dancing lessons with Raquel Welch) and did some television bit parts.

As Walt Evans, (the longtime Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Times columnist), wrote in a feature PI article on Carol in 1975 – “In 1970, by then a mother of two girls (Shannon, now 9, and Quincey, now 7), Carol was chosen by the Los Angeles Local of the Musicians Association to lead the association band in the Rose Parade. ‘I was paid scale,’ she said, laughing, ‘and it was quite an honor.’”

This was how Carol described her participation in the 1970 Rose Parade –

“I had trained for at least 4-months, took the fur off the costume and replaced it with white feathers, developed a nice tan, white go-go boots and a really blond hairstyle.  It was the beginning of the women’s’ liberation movement with lots of protesters along the parade route objecting to the beauty queens, etc.  I tucked a note in one of my boots.  When I got to a large group I handed them the note and told them what was in it…that I loved what I was doing, my husband was at home babysitting our two girls and for me, this was liberation.  I did a little routine for them and they cheered.  What fun.”

After Los Angeles, Carol and her young family moved first to Berkeley and then to New Jersey.  While in New Jersey, Carol coordinated a statewide physical education program and served on the President’s Planning Commission for Equal Rights for Women in Physical Education.  As part of this Commission, she was involved in setting up pre-school activities and a symposium on Women in Athletics.

Carol returned to Seattle in 1974, and enrolled at the UW Graduate School of Public Affairs.  At the same time, she went to work as a student researcher at the office of King County Executive John Spellman.  As if she wasn’t busy enough juggling her studies and internship, she also went to work for the Sonics basketball team as an official National Basketball Association statistician, one of the first women to serve in this capacity in the NBA.

Carol’s role in John Spellman’s office led to her being hired to work at the Kingdome when it opened in 1976. At a young age, Carol had a terrific desire to excel, and this desire continued with this new stage of her life. During her 24-year career at the Kingdom, she was able to offer her natural talents and creativity effortlessly by serving as the Promotions & Media Relations Manager, Public Information Officer, Special Events Coordinator, Kingdome Tours Coordinator, and Curator of the Kingdome Sports Museum.

She also served as a spokesperson for the stadium, wrote and distributed all public information about the Kingdome, provided advertising and promotional support to tenants (including the Mariners and Seahawks), gave hundreds of presentations to groups, managed budgets, hired and trained support staff, developed promotional programs, coordinated trade show activity and provided organizational support for events of local, national and international significance.  Carol also coordinated regional and national tourism programs with the Seattle-King County Convention & Visitor Bureau.

In addition, Carol also managed the Kingdome press box, judged Sea Gals competitions, and was known for her unique promotional activities.  She oversaw a wide variety of events, including the NFL Pro Bowl, the MLB All Star Game, the NCAA Final Four tournament, not to mention the annual boat shows and home shows, motor cross racing, Monster Truck competitions, high school basketball, baseball and football tournaments, the Airplane Contest, Evel Knievel, Led Zeppelin, Promise Keepers, Billy Graham Crusades, and Barney.

During Carol’s 24 years at the Kingdome, 73 million people came to the Kingdome for one or more of the 3,360 events that occurred under her watch.  The Kingdome was much more than a “job” to Carol, it was her life; and she forged deep friendships with her Kingdome co-workers that lasted for the rest of her life, not to mention all of the other people she worked with both in and out of the Kingdome.

In 1999, given the impact Carol had during her tenure with the Kingdome, she was honored with the Royal Brougham Lifetime Achievement Award at the King County Event Producers Awards ceremony.  This award, named in memory of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer sports editor, is awarded to an individual who has dedicated a lifetime of service towards King County events.

After the Kingdome was imploded in 2000, Carol served as the Program Manager for the Marketing of Recyclable Products in the King County Department of Natural Resources before retiring one year later.

During her illustrious career, Carol was involved with many boards and associations, including the Boys & Girls Club of King County – Greenwood Branch and Corporate Board, Seattle Opera Board, and Chair of the Puget Sound Attractions Council.  She was also a former member of the West Seattle Rotary Club, where she quipped that the reason she joined that Rotary Club was because she could keep her beloved Kingdome in view from their meeting location at Salty’s on Alki.

After retirement, Carol also continued to stay involved in efforts that were near and dear to her heart, including supporting the efforts of the Pacific Northwest Football Hall of Fame.  The skills she honed in her 24 years at the Kingdome came in handy in helping them with their annual awards banquet.

In 2006, Carol was the second woman to be inducted into the Pacific Northwest Football Hall of Fame.  In her introductory speech, Coach Jim Lambright mentioned several aspects of Carol’s life that warrants this special recognition: her efforts as the solo Majorette for the Washington Huskies, twelve years spent supporting international athletic competitions, becoming one of the first female statisticians in the NBA, as well as producing the halftime show for the very first Seattle Seahawks promotional activity, an exhibition game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants in Husky Stadium in 1973.  Mr. Lambright also cited all of her efforts at the Kingdome over the years, including the Kingdome hosting the first sold-out NFL Pro Bowl.

From their early childhood through college, Carol was an ardent and enthusiastic supporter of her daughters’ activities, attending all of their school functions and numerous sporting events.  Considering that her daughters were both multi-sport athletes who went on to receive NCAA athletic scholarships, the number of games she attended in support of them was staggering.

This devotion to supporting her family continued when she was blessed with six grandchildren, and she was in the stands supporting them just like she did for her daughters.  She also enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren whenever possible, including trips to Longview, Portland, Whidbey Island, and Hawaii.

In her retirement years, Carol enjoyed caring for her aging parents at their home on Mercer Island and spending time at her home on Whidbey Island.  Purchasing the home during one of the Kingdome’s most difficult times (the ceiling tiles crisis), she came to treasure what “country living” (in her own words) offered: deer stepping out of the woods into her yard, the cries of hawks, eagles, and even the seagulls circling overhead, spectacular sunsets over Admiralty Inlet with the Olympic Mountain Range in the foreground, not to mention all of the dinners she hosted with dear friends enjoying the setting.

It was at her home on Whidbey Island that she spent the last days of her remarkable life before succumbing to illness on July 20, 2017, with family by her side.  Carol was preceded in death by her parents, Virgil (2009) and Jane (2011) Peterson.  She is survived by her two daughters, Shannon (Cameron) Smock, of Normandy Park, WA, and Quincey Shinnick, of Longview, WA; six grandchildren, Kate, Matt, and Eric Hisken and Jakoby, Roman and Heaven Burr; two brothers, Dale Peterson and Mark (Suzanne Swadener) Peterson; and numerous other cousins and extended family with whom she served as an inspiration.

There will be a memorial to celebrate her extraordinary life on Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 2:00 PM at the Rainier Golf & Country Club, 11133 Des Moines Memorial Drive S., Seattle, WA 98168.  Memorials are suggested to the Husky Marching Band Alumni Association via their website - http://www.hmbaa.org.

Guestbook

Jeromy Hansen
Orlando, Fl
Oct 1, 2017

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one. It is not an easy thing for any of us to go through. This bible scripture at Revelation 21: 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” Along with this website at http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/lv/r1/lp-e/0/22695 has comforted me and and many others. This web site answers a lot of life's biggest questions from the Bible including the loss of our loved one and will we see them again? I hope this brings your family some comfort as it has mine.

Joe Russian
Seattle & Greenbank, WA
Sep 13, 2017

My wife Teiry (T) and I enjoyed many great times with Carol as her long time Whidbey Island neighbor ; leisurely dinners....watching holiday fireworks...deck dancing....and exploring Whidbey Island including taking in the many seasonal street fairs on the island invariably buying those cute things we didn't need or use. For a lot of those years we only spent weekends on the island and as soon as we arrived on at our house from Seattle our dog Gracie would abandon T and I and race over to the sliding doors at the back of Carol's house. Gracie knew Carol was a soft touch and would have a welcome dog treat ready for her and they formed a strong bond through the years....Gracie misses Carol as much as T and I do which is reflected in her sad eyes as she longingly looks at Carol's place on a regular basis.

Carol and I even got a kick out of occasional trips to the county dump; joking that it didn't take much to make us happy in our retirement years. The real highlight of the trip was enjoying a nice lunch at a new place each time; a great way to sample various local restaurants and avoid the weekend crowds.

Carol was a lifelong sports fan...but be warned sitting next to her during a game was not for the faint of heart. Which I quickly learned after attending my one and only live Husky football game with her...at kick off she morphed into super fan. I often kidded her that my hearing will return to normal some day.

One of Carol's favorite restaurants was Seattle's Wedgwood Broiler (the Wedge) where Carol, T and I had many meals together over our forty years of friendship....We always sat in a cozy cocktail lounge booth. On the wall behind each booth was a large framed photo of men working as loggers in our northwest forests. Carol felt a kinship to the men depicted in the photos and often commented that she was probably related to the many of them since there was a history of her father and relatives working in the lumber and forestry industry. Now each time T and I visit the Wedge we feel Carol's spirt and toast her.... thankful for her friendship and the good times we spent with her.

Joe Russian

Seattle and Whidbey Island

Teiry Furman
Seattle, Wa
Sep 4, 2017

Carol, O, Carol where for out thou? At peace I know!

Carol and I met over 40 years ago at various convention shindigs. I was starting a national tour, special event and meeting company and she was beginning her wonderful career as the Kingdome public relations director.. We hit it off immediately! I was taken back when she asked me to help seat VIP's during the Kingdomes opening ceremonies. Another invite was to her engagement party on Mercer Island. I came through the door and she threw her arms around me sounding a big hello - then screamed...as we were both wearing the same knit dress.

Needless to say, she "changed".

During the years that followed Carol and I spent more and more time together. She became my big sister and I became her little sis. My husband Joe and I invited her to spend a weekend at our Whidbey Island summer home. She was so enamored with the peace/tranquility and beautiful water and mountain views. that she came up by herself frequently to get away from the stress and hub-bub of her job. Our 85 year old neighbor was getting ready to sell and asked Carol is she was interested in purchasing her home. The rest is history.

We shared many a Crab Louie and Vodka Tonic's over the years. "Where's the lime?". "You said you had a lime" no YOU said you had the lime"...and so it went.

We still find ourselves looking over to see if she is home...

RIP, Carol, RIP!

From me heart, because I love you.

RB
Wilmington , NC
Aug 28, 2017

In this time of deep sorrow my prayers are with the family. The prospect of living forever in complete health and happiness with love ones is made possible through Jesus which is the will of God.  Please accept this in your time of grief. May it bring the family comfort as well as provide peace and hope in order to cope. John 6:40, Revelation 21:3

Sue and Gerry Brown
Mukilteo, Wa
Aug 26, 2017

We are so saddened that Carol has passed away. We first met Carol when we were neighbors on Phinney Ridge. We were charmed by her energy, enthusiasm, and effervescent personality. What an accomplished woman. Carol loved her family dearly and was the first to brag about them, with good reason. She was a wonderful, dedicated, daughter, mother, and grandmother. She will be missed by so many. Our hearts and prayers are with the family. We hope all the wonderful memories of Carol will give you peace in the coming days.

Gerry and Sue Brown

Jasmine
S, W
Aug 22, 2017

My condolences to the family during this difficult time, 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 describes a god of comfort, may god comfort you and may you find comfort in his promise at John 5:28,29, a promise of a resurrection.

trent burr
longview, wa
Aug 16, 2017

I met Carol in 1988, Met my former wife at PSU she was vollreyball I was football. Remember when the first time i went to Seattle and met her I was nervous. An oky meeting an an upy. She was so up standing, Right off the bat she said you need to see Seattle. She took Quincey and i through the whole city. The underground tour, the locks etcs. We ended the day eating dinner at the Space needle. We sit down and i see a shrimp fork, a salad fork and a dinner fork. Then see a soup spoon and a dinner spoon, I"ll never forget it I looked at her being from a steak and potatoe guy. What is this? She said you need to know the difference and explained it. As I ate my dinner she lauphed becuase I ate it all with my dinner fork.One thing i loved about her is she never judged. Her dad was a lumber man and some how we clcked. Her dad Popa Pete would take rides with John Macky and I in the mountains. Your talking of a man that owned the company and John was a loger his best friend. I have many more stories. Loved this lady like a mom.

Ralph Munro
Olympia, wa
Aug 14, 2017

I LOVED your mom. We worked together on many occasions while she was at the KIngdome. She was such a fine friend and you could 'always count on Carol' to deliver what she promised.

Had no idea that she was sick. I hope that one of the daughters will send me an email.

Your mom was quite the lady. I will always admire and remember her.

Ralph Munro, Secretary of State, 1980-2001

ralph@munro.com

Cathy Betts
Renton, WA
Aug 14, 2017

I was one of the many people that worked along side of Carol at the Kingdome after I graduated from WSU in 1976 I was subing as Ted Bowsfield secretary when Carol came in for her interview. My thoughts and prayers goes to Carol's family.

Jack & Macel Posey
Dallas, OR
Aug 13, 2017

We met Carol at PSU when her daughter Quincy was playing volleyball there. She was a delightful lady and we enjoyed her friendship so much. I always regretted that we lived so far apart and were so busy with family and work that we never were able to see much of one another. We had no idea of all her accomplishments. She will be missed by those who loved her.

Carol and Donald Root
Issaquah, Wa
Aug 13, 2017

Carol really liked people---young, middles or even old like us.

We know how difficult this loss must be for you. Please take comfort in knowing you are thought of and cared about by

that wide circle of friends who share such happy memories.

Ann Werelius Revelle
Seattle, WA
Aug 13, 2017

Carol and I were first playmates as we lived just down the alley from each other on Magnolia. I'll always remember her beautiful beaming smile and baton talent as she entertained her Queen Anne Highschool classmates at football games. She was the nicest person to all and l miss her so much.

Amy Kretz
Lynnwood, WA
Aug 13, 2017

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.

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