Carole Bradford has left the building … Carole B. Bradford, 82, was born Carole Louise Lewis on March 23, 1931, in Austin, Mower County, Minn., at 1:30 p.m. and passed away on Jan. 24, 2014, at 11:20 a.m. in Sonoma.

Carole was talented, brilliant and humorous. She loved to read, play poker and bird watch. She was an admirer of the arts – ballet, (especially Mikhail Baryshnikov); music of all kinds: jazz, blues, country, drumming and the classical; as well as the many other medians of art – painting, sculpture and sometimes the very odd and unusual. Carole loved the old movies – and, of course, Monte Python. Her awareness of history and current climates all over was spot on. She had a wonderful and straightforward personality. Nothing conventional was interesting to her. Hence, it was this collaboration that made her very interesting.

In the 1950s, she taught dance for Arthur Miller, and in the 1970s became the first woman to be a fleet salesperson to sell Mercedes Benz vehicles at Pollard, Whitman and Robb dealership in Los Angeles while being a single mother and buying her own home.

Carole met and married Gerald Duane Baxter, and during their marriage, had a baby boy, Jeff Nelson, on Jan. 7, 1959, whom they eventually put up for adoption. By the grace of God and his perseverance, Carole and Jeff were reunited in recent years. Meeting him and his wife and their children gave many blessings to Carole.

Carole and Gerald then had a daughter, Cassandra Carter Baxter on Jan. 31, 1967. As writer of this obituary, Cassandra says, “I gave my mother lots of blessings and work! I’m honored she was my mother.”

It was in Sonoma that she and her second husband, Jim Barron, owned and operated Barron’s Floor Service for many years.

Carole is now with her favorite cat, Sheba, playing poker, and visiting with her “Aunt Merie.”

Carole is survived by her son, Jeff Nelson, his wife, Denise, and their children, Scott, Krystal and Bobby Nelson, all of Manchester, NH; and her daughter, Cassandra Carter Baxter, of Glen Ellen; and her grandchildren, Stella and Timmy. She is also survived by her caregiver of five years, Anna, who gave her friendship, time and care all of which comforted Carole.

A private celebration of life is being planned for a future date. Memorial donations in Carole’s honor may be made to: The Madrone Audubon Society of Sonoma County, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Rosa, CA 95402; or to a local Audubon Society of the donor’s choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of Duggan’s Mission Chapel, Mission Cremation Service. They can be contacted for more information at (707) 996-3655, or by visiting their website at