Carolyn was born on October 21, 1933 in Weiser, Idaho to Carl and Frances Widener. She was named for her father and was the youngest of four sisters; Mayme, Rozena, and Frances. Life was financially challenging to the family, but they more than made up for it with music. Carl was a naturally gifted fiddler and Carolyn loved to accompany him on the piano. Her love of music carried her through much of her life and she lived for it and the joy it brought to others.
She married Robert L. (Bob) Bray on October 15, 1951 after a lifetime courtship. Bob and Carolyn were first-grade sweethearts. He would walk her home and run back to his ranch so he wouldn’t get in trouble. They started dating as high school freshmen, went steady as sophomores, and got engaged as juniors. Bob joined the Navy and they eloped to Tijuana, Mexico. They enjoyed the life they built in Clearwater County until Bob’s death in 1998.
The music sustained Carolyn after Bob’s passing. She sang and played piano and wrote her own music. She cherished the friendships made along the way.
She is survived by daughters Kolleen Bray of Nampa, ID, Vickie Bray of Littleton, CO, and grandson Christopher Shelley of Irvine, CA and sister Frances Widener of Arvada, CO. She was preceded in death by her parents and sisters, Mayme and Rozena.
Carolyn passed peacefully in Nampa, Idaho on September 9, 2019 of natural causes. The family will hold a private service at the Northfork of the Clearwater River. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in the name of Bob and Carolyn Bray to benefit brain cancer research through St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or another suitable organization of your choice.