Carol A. Trahan, 84, Sackets Harbor

SACKETS HARBOR, NY  —  Carol Anne (Asp) Trahan, formerly of Sackets Harbor, New York died on May 1, 2020, while a resident of Samaritan Summitt Village, Watertown.

Carol was born March 13, 1936, the daughter ofJessica Martin in a Salvation Army Booth House in Boston Massachusetts. Originally named Anne Marie, her adoptive parents –  Swedish immigrants John August and Ellen Sofia (Nylin) Asp named her Carol Anne.

After the death of her father and severe health issues for her mother, Carol moved to Watertown NY and lived with her adopted sister Barbara Ellen Asp.  She graduated from Watertown High School in 1954.

She married a local factory worker and self taught banjo/guitar player named Henry Trahan. They settled in Adams, NY, were married over twenty years and had five children. Henry died unexpectedly in 1974.

After Henry’s death, Carol was determined to support her family without any type of public assistance. In order to accomplish this she held down two full time jobs for almost ten years. One of her first jobs was a clerk at the Adams Stop and Go.  Through this job she met Mr. and Mrs. Frank Steel, prior owners of the Adams Electric Company. The Steels recognized her grit and intelligence and provided the spark she needed to further her education.  She earned her bachelor’s of science degree in 1985 from SUNY Empire State College, majoring in community mental health.

Prior to receiving her degree, in 1974 she started working at Mercy Hospital in the mental health unit as an aide and was promoted to Mental Health Worker in 1977. These were the early years of establishing mental health services in Watertown.  She assisted Dr. Bajjaly in developing programs and implementing policy.  Her expertise was recognized state wide and she routinely fielded questions from other mental health agencies. In 1976 and 1977 she was awarded the psychiatric aide of the year.

Upon the closing of Mercy Hospital she was employed by Samaritan Hospital in the Mental Health Unit.  Her sustained interest in her patients, dependability in performance of duties, kindness to patients, and excellent rapport with coworkers, families and visitors are just some of the attributes she displayed throughout her career. She was truly a people person whose favorite saying was “you only live this day once, so be nice”. She retired in 2005.

Prior to her career in social work she worked as a cutter at Rice’s factory in Adams, a presser at Gibson’s laundry, a clerk at the Stop and Go, and a seamstress at the Olga Knitting Mill. She was also a bartender at the Sackets Harbor American Legion for over ten years, part of that time while employed full time as a social worker. By example she instilled in her family a strong work ethic.

Carol’s passion in life was her social work. There was nothing she liked better than helping others. She had abounding energy and squeezed every minute out of every day.  She loved baseball, especially the NY Yankees. In her youth she was noted for her strong swimming skills and roller skating ability. She loved country music, especially George Jones, traveling, politics and her dogs Charlie and Chico.

A staunch fiscal Conservative, she was a member of the Adams Women’s Republican Club for several years and was known for quoting Milton Friedman often, saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”.

A skilled seamstress, she made many of her children’s clothes.  A true multitasker – she would often be seen watching television while crocheting or cross stitching.  In her later years her favorite activity was being with her grandchildren and great grand children.

Carol was predeceased by her husband, and a daughter, Denise Michelle.

She is survived by Danielle Marie (Joel) Bartlett of Watertown, Daniel Michael Trahan of Leray, Diane Maureen (David Graham} Weaver of Sackets Harbor, and Damon Mark (Diana) Trahan of Watertown. Also survived by grandchildren Rachel Marie (Bartlett) Curry, Hunter Ian Trahan, David Robert {Stacie} Weaver, Jenna Diane Weaver, Courtney Michelle Trahan;,  great grandchildren Audrey Anne Curry, Henry Joel Curry, Quinn Elizabeth Weaver, Kaison August Clarke, Onaleigh Denise Clarke, Weslyn Trahan, and Evander John Case.

In closing, most people who read this probably never met Carol or knew her. But for those who did, they have lost a true friend, someone who made the most out of life after less than favorable beginnings, a caring empathetic person and someone who loved and appreciated family. Growing up as an adoptee whose older sister was grown up and out of the house by the time she was nine, she told her kids that the neighbors’ house, a family with several children, always sounded so happy. That one remembrance of childhood was the reason she wanted a big family. You did good Mom, you did real good.

Per Carol’s wishes, there will not be any calling hours or funeral service.

Donations in her name may be made to the Jefferson County SPCA 25056 Water Street, Watertown, NY 13601 or a charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be made at