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Carole Suzanne Towne-Seaton

October 4, 1945 September 11, 2015
Carole Suzanne Towne-Seaton
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Obituary for Carole Suzanne Towne-Seaton

Tucson, AZ


      Carole Suzanne Towne-Seaton, 69, formerly of Worthington, died September 11, 2015 in Tucson after a three-year battle with a rare cancer. She was born in Jeffersonville, IN, on October 4, 1945, the daughter of Donald Raymond Towne and Helen Kramer Towne. The following year, her family returned to Nobles County, MN, where seven generations of her family have lived.

      She graduated from Worthington High School and the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications. She moved to San Diego and found a job as a receptionist at the San Diego Zoo. Six weeks later, she became assistant to the Zoo’s public relations manager. Progressing through the ranks of the marketing and public relations department, she ultimately became its director, responsible for a multi-million-dollar departmental budget. With her advertising agency, she created award-winning programs which became textbook examples. At the time she was the youngest and only female Zoo department head.

     In her public relations capacity, she planned many high-profile events, including the groundbreaking and opening of the San Diego Wild Animal Park (now the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park). She organized Zoo visits for notables including Emperor Hirohito, the Duke of Edinburgh, First Lady Betty Ford and presidential candidate Jimmy Carter. She traveled widely on every continent except Antarctica. She led a Zoo members’ tour to the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon and participated in Zoo bird collecting expeditions in Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific.

      After her retirement, she moved with her husband Doug to a rural area southwest of Tucson. She edited the newsletter of the Towne Family Association, an organization of descendants of two Towne sisters hanged as witches in Salem, MA, in 1692. She also volunteered at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. She spent part of each year on San Quintin Bay in the state of Baja California Norte, Mexico, where she and her husband stayed in a cabin they built themselves.

     In 1987, she married Doug Seaton, also a graduate of Worthington High School, who survives her. She is also survived by her brother, Larry Towne, sister-in-law Mona Towne, sister-in-law Barbara Seaton Barish and beloved nephews, nieces, cousins, and many friends.

      Funeral services will be held on Thursday, September 17, 2015, at 11:00 a.m., with visitation one hour prior, at the Benson Funeral Home Chapel in Worthington, MN, with Rev. Mark Schreiber officiating. She will be interred in Worthington Cemetery, alongside her grandparents, brother and sister and near her parents.

      Family prefers memorials to the American Cancer Society.

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