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Richard "Rick" Paul Carroll
March 13, 1943 ~ August 6, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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Richard Paul “Rick” Carroll, an adventurous storyteller by nature and profession, died August 6
at Wilcox Medical Center on Kauai after an illness. He was 80. His writing, both journalistic and
creative, won many prizes in California and Hawaii. He worked for newspapers in the San
Francisco Bay Area and Honolulu and later became a freelance travel writer based on Oahu.
Some of his best work as a staff writer for the Honolulu Advertiser included accompanying
doctors on Aloha Medical Missions to remote island communities in the Philippines,
documenting and sometimes holding lights in their makeshift operating rooms.
He loved the Pacific and wrote about its people, from the King of Tonga to Philippine rebels to
the larger-than-life Hawaiian man whose haunting lovesong was known round the world, “Over
the Rainbow/Wonderful World. “ He was most proud of this biography of Israel
Kamakawiwoʻole, IZ Voice of the People, among some 20 Hawaii/Pacific books he wrote,
including a Bess Press series of Best Spooky Tales of supernatural encounters as told by
He was born March 13, 1943, in Fort Dodge, Iowa during World War II to Darralene Oleson
Carroll, while his father, USAF Col. Virgil Carroll, flew missions in both the Pacific and Europe.
He attended Catholic grade school in San Jose, CA, then moved with his family to Okinawa and
graduated from Kubasaki High School before working as an intern for his first newspaper,
Okinawa Morning Star.
He returned to the Bay Area and attended San Jose State University before joining the San Jose
Mercury News covering local news. He served in the US Army Reserves at Fort Ord. In 1972, he
joined the San Francisco Chronicle as a reporter, covering the southern Bay Area. In 1983, he
moved to Honolulu with his reporter wife Marcie who won a Gannett Fellowship in Asian
Studies. He worked for the Honolulu Advertiser with more prize-winning reportage. Together as
freelancers, the Carrolls edited Travelers Tales Hawaii, a collection of essays by famous and
unknown authors, as well as several Hawaii guide books.
The Carrolls moved to Beaufort, NC to be near daughter Shannon Tillett and her sons, Cole,
now 25, and Shane, 22, and bought the waterfront Rocking Chair Bookstore. A lifelong jazz fan,
he interviewed and photographed many jazz legends at the annual Monterey Jazz Festival and
Rick is survived by his wife, Marcie Carroll of Princeville, HI; daughter Shannon Tillett of
Winterville NC, grandsons Cole Tillett of Greenville NC and Shane Tillett of Raleigh NC; his
brother, David Carroll of Vacaville, CA and twin sisters Conni Grod (and husband Thomas Grod)
of Medford, OR and Caren Carroll, of Friday Harbor, WA; as well as nephew Zachary Folkman
and his children Zoey Folkman and Logan Folkman, also of Friday Harbor.
A Celebration of Life is being planned. The family requests that friends and loved ones of Rick make donations in his name to the Hawaii Community Foundation; Maui Strong Fund to help support those affected by the Maui wildfires. Mahalo!