A vibrant, passionate and deeply devoted wife and mother, Carolina Paz Mathews was a radiant woman whose unique light brightened the lives of everyone she encountered.
Sadly, she passed away on September 24, 2021, at the age of 48, leaving behind a large and loving family and many beloved friends.
Caro (as she was affectionately known) came into this world on December 8, 1972, amidst the vineyards and beauty of Colchagua, Chile. She grew up in the small, closely bound community of Isla de Yaquil. 100% Chilean by birth, she was always close to her large family there and intensely proud of her heritage.
As a young girl she attended Catholic school where her luminous personality and contagious laugh earned her plenty of attention. That, along with her beauty — jet black hair and dark, soulful eyes always drew others to her
Despite her love for her home country, her life was destined to change when she took an interest in an American passing through Chile on his own journey.
At the time, Caro spoke no English and Christopher no Spanish, but the language barrier never impeded the couple’s intense connection. After an initial night of dancing and roaming the city of Santiago, the connection was undeniable and in the end, a bit of destiny for each. As Christopher says: “She was this bright fire and I was really just a moth.”
Several years of long-distance romance later, Caro moved to the states to be with Christopher, leaving behind a promising career in Santiago. Their union resulted in two beautiful children: Sophia and Thomas (both of whom are dual U.S. and Chilean citizens). They returned to Chile every year to connect with family and nurture their roots in the country, but they made their way in the states, building a business and growing their family in Bellingham, Washington. Caro always had her feet firmly planted in the US, but her heart was in Chile.
A talented, self-taught chef, Caro had the unique ability to customize and improvise her cuisine to the tastes of each individual diner. Starting with just the essentials, she had a special talent for gathering ingredients and fashioning meals to everyone's particular taste. Details and doing things right were important to her and making every moment special for others was something that gave her real joy.
Building a loving home and raising her children was truly Caro’s proudest accomplishment, and she created a remarkable space where her family could blossom and grow, secure in the strength of her love. Through her willingness to love with abandon, she taught her husband — and children — that family is forever.
The family foursome traveled extensively together in many countries throughout the world, sharing and growing their passion for other cultures throughout Sophia and Thomas’s childhood. They often joked about never taking a trip as a couple and only traveling together as a family but in reality, they would have it no other way. They spent a six-month period in South America, where the family had the chance to be immersed in Chilean culture and travel throughout the continent. The experience was transformative.
Fiercely loyal and intensely loving, Caro was never reserved about her affections. She enjoyed entertaining, and had the gift of bringing people together. Her inner light, strength of character and affinity for hugging you when she first met you, made it easy for people to love her.
She loved hiking and traveling, reading and dancing. She adored her nieces and nephews; Clemente, Isadora, Columba, Amelia, Martin and Sara, with all of her heart.
Her generosity of spirit and time knew no bounds, and she perpetually put others before herself, offering a helping hand or a sympathetic ear to anyone in need.
Caro was predeceased by her father, Manuel Antonio Sanchez.
Carolina is survived by her husband of 21 years, Christopher; her children Sophia and Thomas; her brother Manuel Antonio Sanchez; her sister Magaly Sanchez; and her mother Magaly Yanez Sanchez.
The world is a little darker with her passing. Hers was a life filled with meaning and love every day that she drew a breath. In the words of Seneca: “As is a tale, so is a life. Not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”
The family would like to thank everyone who has reached out and rushed to their side with a meal, a hug, and an offer of a shoulder to cry on. Caro was loved by so many and so deeply that they haven’t been able to respond and offer thanks in ways they would hope. While broken by the loss of her now… in time, they want to come together with those who cared for her to share in her genuine love of life. Please join them on November 13th at 11AM at the Squalicum Boathouse to do just that.
They would like you to please consider a donation to Whatcom Hospice in lieu of flowers or gift.