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Helen Patricia Carichoff

October 6, 1923 February 25, 2010
Helen Patricia Carichoff
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Obituary for Helen Patricia Carichoff

Helen Patricia Carichoff October 6, 1923 - February 25, 2010 Helen Patricia Carichoff passed away peacefully in her home Thursday, February 25 at the age of 86. Pat was born in Tujunga, California on October 6, 1923, the youngest of four daughters born to Martha and Charles Conway. Having survived the death of her father, earthquakes, floods, the Great Depression and a flirtation with gang life via membership in the Becket Street Rowdies, Pat graduated from Verdugo Hills High School in 1942, and joined her mother and sisters working at Sunland Telephone Company. Encouraged by her USMC brother-in-law, Pat and her sister Haley joined the United States Marine Corps Women's Reserves in 1943. Pat worked as an airplane mechanic until the end of WWII, reaching the rank of Sgt, an accomplishment of which she was extremely proud. After her discharge, Pat worked as a telephone operator in Guam, and as a Howard Johnson's waitress in Boston. On a trip to New Hampshire, she was named the Snow Train Outstanding Girl, an honor, she sometimes confessed, owed mainly to her fabulous ski sweater. Not content to rest on that laurel, Pat found herself a crew member on the Gilnokie, a sailboat bound for Honolulu. Finding the island to her liking, Pat stayed in Hawaii when the boat left, working at United Airlines until her marriage to Air Force Lt. Jack S. Carichoff on February 8th, 1952. Pat spent the next 20 years as chief logistic officer of the Carichoff family, moving hearth and home between bases in California, Japan, Illinois, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and South Carolina. A non-conforming officer's wife, Pat preferred battling the base housing authorities for permission to paint her walls white instead of joining coffee cliques. Not even her best Marine Sgt demeanor could cut through base bureaucracy, however. In 1970, Jack retired and Pat coordinated the last move to Gold Beach, where they finally stopped being referred to as "those new folks on Cape Sebastian" after 30 years of residence. She worked at Tu Tu Tun Lodge and was a 1980 Census taker, but was most happy looking out her kitchen window at the view of the Meyers Creek rocks. Slowed by a minor stroke in 1992 and other health issues, Pat did join her only Gold Beach group in 2005. As a member of the Knifty Knitters, Pat crafted hats as unconventional as her views on being a wife and mother. Pat was preceded in death by her parents and sisters Sara, Peggy and Haley. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Jack; her daughters Chris and Cathy; her son-in-law Allen; nieces Julie, Micheal, Nancy and nephew Jon. Pat will be missed by all those who were privileged to share her life and experienced her strong-willed, independent spirit. Per the Sargent's orders there will be no memorial service and the family requests in lieu of flowers donations be made to Curry County Home Health and Hospice.

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