Carolyn grew up in Northeast Portland, attending The Madeleine and Beaumont grammar schools, Holy Child Academy, and Marylhurst College. Born to Philip Alexander Breen Jr. and Jessie Evelyn Stark Breen, she lived in a storybook house on Bryce street, where she met dear friends, known as the Bryce Street Girls, who stayed in close touch all their lives.

At The Madeleine she made more lifelong friends, who in retirement met regularly for dinner and called themselves The Catholic Group.

As a freshman at Holy Child, Carolyn dove into high school life – singing in The Cornelians; appearing every year in the operettas directed by HCA legend Joanna James Ellis; and dating boys from Central Catholic. On the academic side, she especially loved Latin and literature, taught by her favorite teacher, Mother Rosemary, SHCJ. Later, Carolyn was known to teach her own children about Latin’s influence on the English language, often quoting the derivation of the word umbrella: “Umbra meaning shade, and ella meaning little.” Festive Christmas dinners with Holy Child alumnae continued for over 50 years.

At Marylhurst, Carolyn enjoyed getting to know the Holy Name sisters. The trajectory for Carolyn’s adult life was set on Oct. 17, 1946, when, at a Marylhurst dance, she was introduced to University of Portland student Bob Kolibaba. She laughed out loud when she heard his name; no doubt the rhythm and rhyme tickled her literary fancy. A few weeks later they met again at a party, and became smitten. After an engagement of over two years, they married at St. Rose Church June 4, 1949.

Carolyn and Bob were typical 1950s parents: he worked all day; she created a beautiful and organized home; they reared three daughters. At St. Rita parish, Carolyn made sumptuous lemon meringue pies every year for the spaghetti dinner. She was active in the Mothers’ Club; Bob checked the girls’ homework every night.

Her love of language led Carolyn to nurture a new pursuit in the 1970s: writing for publication, including for the Catholic Sentinel. Former editor, Bob Pfohman, paid her a treasured compliment, referring to her style as “graceful.” Her guest columns included “Teenage Child's Test Drives Parent to Prayer,” Dec. 25,1987, and “Crime and Punishment: Memories of a 1930s Catholic School Girl,” Jan. 7-20, 2011.

Carolyn achieved a little more notoriety as she was a major player in the reintroduction to modern audiences of the 1930s radio serial, “The Cinnamon Bear.” Through dogged research — before the days of the internet — she managed to track down the author/lyricist, Glanville Heisch, with whom she maintained a correspondence. Of special note is the interview of Carolyn aired on KBVM to promote their re-broadcasting of “The Cinnamon Bear.”

After the girls were grown, Carolyn and Bob thoroughly enjoyed being empty-nesters. Their frequent entertaining – whether in their elegant dining room or lush back yard – was usually a team effort. (Carolyn was talented in many domestic arts and sciences, but gardening wasn't among them.) Babysitting grandchildren and great-grandchildren enriched their lives deeply, even though the exertion often drove them to an early happy hour.

Their favorite vacation destination was Kihei on Maui, where they attended St. Theresa Church on Sundays and were enchanted with the Polynesian flair of the liturgical music and dance. Other travels included Scotland, Eastern Europe, and Paris. On one momentous trip, Carolyn and Bob visited Omaha Beach, where, as a 19-year-old soldier, he had landed on D-day.

After Bob’s passing in 2013, Carolyn moved to Cherrywood Village, where she wrote for the newsletter and charmed staff and residents alike with her wit. A favorite visitor during her last years was Fr. Mike Biewind - fittingly, from The Madeleine parish.

Carolyn was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Louis Kolibaba, originally of Sacred Heart Parish in Portland; her parents; and her brother, Donald Breen.

Survivors include daughters Carol Nieman, Anne Kolibaba Larkin (Jerry), and Mary J. Fuhrer (Greg); grandchildren Julie Nieman (Dylan Leeman), Chris Nieman (Seema Patel), Mary Elizabeth Nieman, Laura Bolen, Megan Fuhrer (fiancé, Aaron Hensley), John Fuhrer (Sarah Hunt), and Jacob Fuhrer; great-grandchildren Jade and Talley Rose Leeman, and Alexander and Isabelle Bolen; brother-in-law Donald Kolibaba of Carmichael, California; and two nieces and three nephews.

Donations to SnowCap Community Charities, PO Box 160, Fairview, Oregon, 97233,