Carmen Spofford


February 14, 2024

On Nov. 2, 2023, after a short but fierce battle with cancer, Carmen Spofford died in Anacortes at the age of 79. Carmen was born on June 7, 1944, in the village of Seeshaupt, Germany, to Margarete Horney. Carmen's father was a French POW who disappeared before she was born.

Margarete was an actress and Carmen was raised by her grandparents until the age of 5, when she and her mother moved to the U.S. in search of a better life. They settled in Plattsburgh, New York, where Margarete met and married Leslie Spofford, a piano tuner and record store owner.

Carmen graduated from high school in Plattsburgh and went on to earn a degree in interior design from the Rochester Institute of Technology, launching her career. She helped continually redesign the department store Filene's in Boston for many years, and eventually did the same at the Bon Marché in Seattle.

In 1972, while visiting a friend in La Conner, Carmen met Bruce Wick, a commercial fisherman. Ten years later they began a bicoastal romance, and 10 years after that they married. In her direct manner she asked him, "When are you going to make an honest girl out of me?" And so he did.

Among Carmen's many passions were modern visual art, music (ranging from opera to jazz), and theater (ranging from Shakespeare to Pinter). Once she moved to Anacortes, she spent time in Seattle every week to take in the many cultural offerings there, but also engaged in the arts in Skagit County. She served as president of the board of directors of the Skagit Symphony for several years.

She was also a gourmet cook, and she and Bruce traveled frequently to Europe, always stopping in Germany to visit her relatives there. She remembered her many friends' birthdays, and called them often, not only to share news but to hear their voices.

Carmen is survived by her loving husband Bruce and several cousins. A celebration of her life will be held this spring. Donations in her memory may be made to the Skagit Symphony or the Museum of Northwest Art.

For every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.


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