Obituary Carol Jean Brown Shilton 9-19-14

September 19, 2014

Carol Jean Brown Shilton

Carol Jean Shilton died on September 11 after a long and active life. Born in 1925, in Santa Paula, to Dr. H.I.Q. and Ellen Chamberlin Brown, Carol Jean (“C.J.”) enjoyed a happy childhood with her brother Warren. She made life-long friends in her Methodist youth group and while camping in the Sierras. The Brown family’s 100-day trip around the world, with a stop at an international Rotary convention, in 1937, inspired her enduring love of travel. Fondness for animals was a constant, from pets throughout her life, to bird watching, to enjoying the animals at this year’s Ventura County Fair.

While at Santa Paula High School, Carol Jean rode her horse to Round-Up, served as Student Body President and was an enthusiastic cheerIeader. With the dream of becoming a doctor, she studied science at Occidental College for three years before attending USC Medical School, where she was one of six women in her seventy-person class.

At USC, Carol Jean met classmate John Baldwin Shilton (Jack), of Chicago, and in 1947, they married. In 1949, their son Tom, was born in Pasadena, followed by David, born in Bakersfield during Jack’s internship. When Jack, who served in the Army in WWII, was called to serve in Korea, C.J. and the boys moved to Santa Paula to be near her parents. Upon Jack’s return, he began private medical practice in Santa Paula, and Carol Jean dedicated herself to being a wife, mother and school volunteer. She had three more children: Paula, John Jr., and Anne. Together, she and Jack provided a beautiful and loving home, instilling a love of family, cooking, reading, music, nature, and life-long learning. Weekends often included local hikes, and the family spent many vacations hiking and fishing throughout the West.   

As her children spread their wings, Carol Jean expanded her volunteer involvement, serving as Treasurer for the fledgling Ventura Symphony; as Chair of the Ventura County Medical Auxiliary, the Blanchard Community Library Board, and the Santa Paula Planning Commission; and on the Scholarship Committee at Santa Paula High School.

After Jack retired in 1982, he and C.J. travelled the world. Visiting her grandchildren and having them visit Santa Paula were among her greatest pleasures. Through the UCLA extension, she took courses in art and literature. With friends, she played tennis, visited the beach and helped organize monthly lunches. She patiently cared for her husband during his final illness. 

Carol Jean is survived by brother, Warren Brown (Diane), and beloved nieces and nephews, as well as by her children and grandchildren. Her loving nature and zest for life will be remembered by Tom and Diane Shilton, of Long Beach, and their children Adrienne and Christopher (April); by David and Mary Shilton, of Alexandria, VA, and children Katie (Nikil Mehta) and Anne Claire (Christopher Derman); by Paula Shilton and Doug Anderson, of Athens, GA, and children Gregory, David and Tyler; by John and Jeanie Shilton, of Cincinnati, OH, and children Werner, Cassandre and Anthony; and by Anne and J. Henry Graumlich, of Santa Paula, and daughter Eliza.   

Carol Jean was a member and supporter of the First United Methodist Church in Santa Paula, Museum of Ventura County, MVC Agriculture Museum, Santa Paula Art Museum, Boys and Girls Club, and Yosemite Conservancy. These organizations would use donations in her memory to support work that she believed in. A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church, in Santa Paula, on Saturday, October 25, at 11:00 a.m.             

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