Today would have been Caron’s 84th birthday.
We are celebrating her with sharing her Obituary and Life Celebration.
You can also make new comments here for her, her family, and her husband, Jim Wilson
Caron Laverne McCloud
April 25, 1937 – March 29, 2021
“Like a bird on a wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free”
~ Leonard Cohen ~
Caron McCloud Obituary
Caron McCloud flew peacefully and powerfully into her future at her home in Port Townsend, Washington. Caron was born in Oakland, California April 25 to Eden McCloud and Eugene Grant.
Caron was married to her Beloved husband of 26 years, Jim Wilson. She is survived by three children. Her son first born child, Brent Johnson and wife Brenda with their three daughters, Kirsten, Morgan, and Haley, their husbands and 6 grandsons. Her cherished daughter, Shannon Cinnamon McCloud (Johnson). Her daughter Shiloh Sophia and husband, Jonathan McCloud. Her sister and best friend, Janet Seaforth, and niece Bridget McBride and her husband, Andrew as well Bridget’s children as Ezekiel and Maia Magdalene Lemann. Her niece Aleta, and nephews Lael and Brian Grant, the children of her brother Bob Grant and her 6 great-nieces and nephews. Her brother Chuck and his wife Sheila Leith and their children Kate and Christopher. Her long-time friends Nanci Gilbert, Brigitta and George D’Amato, Donna Fitzpatrick, Mary MacDonald, Havi Mandell, Denise Wreden, Greg Davis, Tommy Herndon, Molly and Michael Lewis and one her oldest friends, Lloyd Johnson.
Caron is celebrated by hundreds of community members who studied with her in the Intentional Creativity community, specifically Red Madonna, Color of Woman, and Cosmic Cowgirls who knew her as ‘Mama Cloud’.
Caron lived and worked most of her life in the Bay Area, followed by Mendocino County, California and eventually to Washington. Caron was multi-talented, her gifts include seamstress, painter, carpenter, tapestry-maker, teacher, writer, illustrator and designer. She was an avid and well-read scholar and teacher of philosophy, religion, poetry and truly celebrated the intellect. In her early life, she began making dresses with her mother Eden McCloud, also a seamstress and pattern-maker. The mother and daughter opened two shops, one on the Sonoma and one in Sausalito called “The Vagabond House.” Her clothing line was called ‘A Karen Johnson’ and she is the maker of the “Forever Dress.” Caron loved entrepreneurship and thrived as a designer and a manufacturer of a line of dresses which were featured in high-end department stores, appeared on fashion catwalks and in hundreds of stores.
Caron is a poet and wanted to be remembered as a poet. She always said she just wanted the word, POET on her headstone. She published many major award winning books of poetry, and a book of non-fiction and had many more works in progress in the works until the day she left her physical form.
Caron is a member of the Washington Poet’s Association where she has been a semifinalist in the “Bart Baxter Performance Poetry” competition three out of three times entered, and besides winning a “Carlin Aden Award” for her Alexandrine sonnet, Last Trump Tango, she was a 1st place winner of the “Charlie Proctor Award” for her poem Holmes Ranch Hags, which she also read as the introduction for the Alice Walker/Sue Sellars event “Neighbors and Artists” in Berkeley, California. She has been a guest on several radio shows and was a reader for the poetry collection by J. Glenn Evans CD, Windows in the Sky. She was a participant in the “PoetSpeak Reading Series” at Frye Art Museum in Seattle, with poems published in “Poets West Literary Journal.” Her poem Common Ancestry was 1 of 14 of the 400 contest entries selected to be included in the poetry contest chapbook, Saltwater. Besides being published in various other venues she has over a dozen chapbooks to her credit. Caron was also a contributing author to the book Heart of the Visionary for women in business.
Caron wrote and self-published a book called Rachels’ Bag – In Search of the Qabalah of our Mothers bringing justice to the women of the Old Testament and taught her version of Messianic Christianity to many people. She spent the last twenty years teaching and refining her work with the Tree of Life, supporting and encouraging others with their writings and gathering her stout volume of thousands of pages of poetry, teachings, and storytelling. Caron was always willing to question existing systems, challenge old ideas and bring forward the ways the feminine needs to be included in our spiritual beliefs. She often taught on the Creator, Elohim, as being both a masculine and feminine Hebrew word and how that is so often missed in our traditions.
About being an artist of many mediums Caron says this:
“The one thing crosses over and informs the other, as all skills do. Some of my poems are inspired by my art and some of my art arises from my writing. I love the feel of my tools and of my palette of paint and textiles. Working with my hands provides a much-needed balance and reprieve from the intense concentration and involuted process of writing.
My very first memories are of being caught in the spell of some creative process— reading and writing, singing and dancing, drawing, coloring, painting, sewing, crocheting, knitting, carpentry—making things, the feel of a tool in my hand. Even when I was a little kid, I knew there was not going to be time enough. I started taking notes and making lists.
My love of poetry and drawing started before I was old enough to go to school and came from spells cast by my father, Gene Grant— poet, musician, sawfiler, carpenter and fisherman. He used to sign his gifts and letters to me: “Love, Trust, Dare.” I added “Create, Pray, Dance” and made it my slogan. I remember my father’s hands in the lamplight and amber glow from the dial on the console radio, as he peeled the wood with exquisite precision from a yellow #2 pencil with his pocket knife, the smell of tiny shavings and lead scrapings drifting from the emerging, long, shining point; my ecstatic anticipation while waiting to feel the pencil between my fingers, and the excitement of the exact moment when that point would make contact with my clean, white, 8 1/2 x 11-inch sheet of paper, and then— getting to watch where that little trail it laid down would lead me. It has led me to produce over a dozen chapbooks of poetry, and even win some awards. It led to cartooning, fashion renderings, and oil painting.”
Caron did a lot of moving on and what she called ‘the Next Great Adventure” One time when Shannon, The Cinnamon Cowgirl, asked her mother to explain some of what informed her life choices, Caron responded with this quote, now famous in our family.
“We have arrived at our truths
by forgetting the parts we didn’t like,
making up the parts that were missing
and holding on for dear life
to the little we came upon
that we could trust.”
Pursuing a creative life took many forms for Caron over the years. In her late forties, following her sister Janet and life-long friend Sue Hoya Sellars, Caron and her family moved to the Anderson Valley. Caron was a big part of the community through her writing and her marriage to Donald Pardini for over ten years. It is here that she began writing her stories and poetry and began performing poetry at open mics and publishing her ‘chapbooks’. She received many awards and publications of her work and resided at Greenwood Ridge where she had lived over twenty-five years before.
Caron met and married Jim Wilson when they were in their late 50’s. Jim was also an artist living in the Anderson Valley. The two were proud members of AA, and would fondly tell the story of meeting each other at a local meeting. The two fell madly in love and were ready for the next great adventure and so off they went to Port Townsend, Washington where the two lived on Water Street pursuing their art and their spiritual path. Caron’s mother Eden came along with them and enjoyed life as an artist as well, having her work featured in galleries. Caron and Jim were avid Sabbath keepers and the pair were very devoted to devotion and fellowship and attended the Seventh Day Adventist Church for many years. Caron and Jim shared a profoundly loving connection and relationship with their Lord and the Great Mystery. Even though far away from her family in California, Caron got to spend time with her brother Bob’s family in Washington in the last twenty years of her life.
Caron and Jim made regular trips to California as she began her teaching career and to see her children and grandchildren. Caron taught along with Sue Hoya Sellars and her daughter Shiloh Sophia in Intentional Creativity and informed a legacy of teachings. She is considered an ‘Art Ancestor’ in the community and is part of founding a lineage of teachings. The foundational teachings were sparked by Caron’s views on the story. For the first few years, Caron taught in person and recorded several video classes and poetry performances. Then in 2010, she began to develop a curriculum which she taught online.
Caron was a painter, as well as a phenomenal fiber artist, creating tapestries that many in the field of quilting consider unparalleled. She started making tapestries in her 50ies using the left over fabric from her design work. She completed over six major tapestries some up to 8X5 feet wide.
Caron believed that each one of us needed to decide that we mattered, and to start acting accordingly so that each of us could become the author of our own life. Her teachings would reach over 100,000 women throughout the world over the years, and she brought a new level of awareness to the shaping of each person’s content, and curation of our identity. She felt we had a lot of authorship in what we could make of ourselves and our lives and felt that art, writing, and drawing specifically were one of the ways to access our own story and information.
We must also mention that Caron loved to dance! On her 80th birthday, her family hired a band and Caron danced the night away as well as performed poetry. She inspired many young women that night. Her sensuality, personality, and charm astonished all who beheld her graceful prowess that night. She got to dance with two others, who became Art Ancestors that night, Mary Gibbons Landor and Carmen Baraka.
Caron partook in a very deep relationship with all three of her children. She spoke to her son Brent for hours about God and the great adventure and with her daughter Shannon, she shared a love of humor, irony, and music. With her daughter Shiloh, she shared in the love of art, the feminine, and creativity, and the two worked together on publishing, poetry, and creating a ‘church’ for their women’s circle. Caron enjoyed a rich and storied relationship with her sister Janet Seaforth and her brother Bob Grant – their father Eugene was an artist of many trades and he passed that onto his children, all became artists of different mediums.
In her early life, Caron was a Civil Rights and Women’s Rights activist. She was always an advocate for the underdog and sought justice and to eliminate systemic oppression of every kind. One of Caron’s gifts was the ‘see the other side’ of every situation, and she was known for a depth of compassion that few had ever experienced.
Caron McCloud is brilliant and beautiful. All who know her agreed that she is one of the most extraordinary people they had ever met. Her ability to treat others as if they truly mattered was one of her unique gifts, she could find the best in everyone and bring it forward in them. Many people said that no one had ever felt seen like that before. She brought out the best in others and was naturally joyful and witty in groups, often becoming the life of the party.
Caron was also one of the wildest truest souls most of us had ever met. She blessed our lives with immeasurable love, wisdom, and creativity. She will be remembered and her teachings practiced. Her daughter Shiloh says “My Mama embodied compassion, wild wisdom and grace. She taught many of us to see the world with new eyes. Her perspective informed my way of seeing, and shaped the life work that I do with women. She was my most powerful partner in business and teaching. She taught with me until she was 82 years old. She is the best friend I have ever had.”
Caron will be greatly missed by many for all of our lives. She was laid to rest in a green burial in Herland Forest in Washington in a circle of ancient oak trees. Her family also sprinkled the ashes of her mother Eden McCloud at the same time. May she rest in peace in the arms of our Lord, for He was her shepherd. Shannon says “ I believe that my Mama and Gramma they will be spending a lot of time working in the Garden of Eden and with the Tree of Life. That is also another place we call HOME.” Fly free Caron McCloud, your life is cherished. Your name is spoken. Your words are read. Your life mattered.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” ~ Gospel of John
To contribute in honor of Caron you can visit and purchase from her Mattering Matters design project. During a visit in December, Caron was clear that she wanted to design one last project that mattered to her. Caron was a lifelong entrepreneur and so the family got together to support her in bringing the project to life. https://fineartamerica.com/featured/mattering-matters-caron-mccloud.html