Rest in peace, Carlin Paige Holden

Carlin Paige Holden, 80, of San Francisco, died peacefully Tuesday evening August 8, 2023 in the caring facility of Coming Home Hospice, from complications of heart disease. She was smiling and in gratitude with friends throughout the day.

Born February 21, 1943 to Harlan C Paige and Beatrice (Bea) Paige (nee Clark) in the state of New York, Carlin called North East, Pennsylvania her hometown, and had ties to Branford, Connecticut. She studied Sociology at Denison University and received a Masters from Michigan State in 1970. During a period of brief marriage, Carlin lived and worked in Michigan and Oregon. In 1975 she made the decision to move to San Francisco. She found home.

Carlin’s entire life was about giving and service, traditions passed down by her parents. San Francisco became her beloved community and she thrived. She was a volunteer, mentor, and philanthropist, and worked as a massage therapist and gardener. A good friend to many in the Bay Area, she also remained true to her New England roots and friends. She was an engaging conversationalist with a wonderful sense of humor, and loved a good story.

Carlin’s nature and humanity was to engage deeply in all of her various communities. She was most proud of her decades long AIDS volunteer work with both Shanti Project and Coming Home Hospice as an emotional support volunteer and massage therapist; with the National AIDS Memorial as a 10-year board member, 28-year volunteer and steward of the AIDS Memorial Grove; and with the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

In addition, for over three decades, Carlin was a bright light in the recovery community, sharing her experience, strength, and hope with others. She engaged with Potrero Boosters as a neighborhood activist. As the great great-granddaughter of Lieutenant Harlan Paige (1838-1901), she gifted a family legacy of his Civil War era collection of letters, documents, and photographs to the Bailey/Howe Library at the University of Vermont.

Carlin enthusiastically supported friends who had innovative ideas. She was a true friend and although her light will be missed, she will shine on within the hearts of so many she touched.

A memorial Celebration of Life will be held at the National AIDS Memorial Grove on September 30 from 11:00AM to 1:00 PM in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California. Carlin’s name will be inscribed in the Circle of Friends at the Grove in October. Donations for this may be made to National AIDS Memorial, P.O. Box 2270, San Francisco, CA 94126-2270 with a simple note – for Carlin.

“Carlin was a bright light in the recovery community, sharing her experience, strength, and hope with others.”

- Anonymous

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