Carol (Fredrickson) Trott died peacefully in her own bed at her Eastham home on Nov. 30, 2023. She was 92.
Carol was born on Dec. 28, 1930 in Burley, Idaho, the fifth of nine children of John D. Fredrickson and Sabina (Thorne) Fredrickson. She was brought up in a Mormon household in Declo, Idaho, a town near Snake River Canyon, where her father worked for the Bureau of Reclamation as part of the crew that built the Minidoka Dam.
Carol, whose name reflects her Christmas-season birthday, worked hard on the family farm, despite the fact that she was somewhat sickly as a child. Her chores included churning butter and cleaning fish and chickens. Her mother assigned her those tasks, said her son, Randy, “because she was unfazed by the need to slice fish in half and chop off chicken heads.”
Charged with opening the irrigation gates for the farm, Carol learned to swim in the channels that were used to water the potatoes and other crops. She would outlive all her siblings.
Carol graduated from Acequia High School in Rupert, Idaho in 1949, the valedictorian of a class of 15. She left home at 18 to attend Twins Falls Business School, unusual for a woman at that time, her son said. She later took a job at Magic Valley Memorial Hospital in Great Falls, Mont.
At a bar in Great Falls with a friend one evening, waiting to meet a blind date who never showed up, Carol met George W. Trott, a Nantucket native serving in the Air Force. Carol and George married six weeks later.
When George was transferred to England, Carol, pregnant with her daughter Janice, traveled cross country by train to live with her mother-in-law, Lillian, in Vineyard Haven. Lillian assigned her to pick lobsters clean. Probably because she was pregnant, Carol found the smell nauseating. She hated lobster ever after.
After George left the Air Force, he worked as a fisherman out of several southern Massachusetts towns, including on Martha’s Vineyard and in Fairhaven, New Bedford, Hyannis, and Provincetown. The couple lived in Dennis.
According to Carol’s granddaughter, Hannah, George spent so much time at sea that he used to say he wanted a Viking funeral when he died. Carol objected, saying, “I never knew where you were at sea. You’ll be staying on land where I can find you.” George died in 1997 and was buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Dennis.
Of her own death, Carol would joke that “she was going to be cremated and go into the butter churn,” Randy said. The churn that she later received as a gift was dubbed “The Butter Churn Urn.”
In addition to raising five children, feeding them fresh fish from George’s catches, and becoming a master seafood chef in the process, Carol worked in housekeeping and in home health care.
She was a certified nurse’s aide at Windsor Nursing Home in South Yarmouth and Thirwood Place in Yarmouth. After retiring, she worked at Seniors Helping Seniors in Yarmouth, where she was often older than the clients she served.
Carol took great pleasure in gardening and always kept a vegetable and herb garden; she was especially proud of her rhododendrons, which scaled the full front of her house. She was also skilled with a needle and always stayed fit, swimming no matter the season. Well into her 80s, she drove solo to visit family in the Northwest.
In 2020, Carol relocated to Eastham to live with her son Tim and daughter-in-law Bonnie. Over a daily “happy hour” featuring a glass of room-temperature boxed pinot grigio, Carol told stories about the events in her life. Despite her modest upbringing, the family wrote, “she was very generous and taught us to look for the injustices in the world and speak up for all who could not. And she always had our backs.”
Carol is survived by four children: Steven A. Trott of Powhatan, Va., Timothy F. Trott of Eastham, Bruce J. Trott of Dennis, and Randy G. Trott of Midlothian, Va., as well as several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
She was predeceased by her daughter, Janice C. Scott, who died in 1994. That was, Randy said, “the hardest thing she had ever gone through.” She was also predeceased by her husband, George. She was buried next to him at Oak Ridge Cemetery in South Dennis on Dec. 6.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lily House in Wellfleet or to the Lower Cape Outreach Council.