Carroll Eugene Bloyd, Jr. was born in Anderson, Indiana, to Rachel Anne Boggess Bloyd and Carroll Eugene Bloyd. His mother was a social worker and teacher, and his father was a minister in the Church of God. Gene—as he was known to friends and family members—grew up in the Midwest, the eldest of four children.
The family lived in Johnson City, Tennessee; Duluth, Minnesota.; Carlisle, Pennsylvania; and Washington, Indiana, as well as towns in Ohio and Wisconsin.
Carroll began studies at Wilmington College in Ohio but in the late 1960s felt the call of the wider world, so he hitchhiked to California. He made his home in the Golden State for the next thirty years: in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Del Mar, Middletown, and Angwin. He loved the beauty and majesty of the land. On a camping trip in the mountains, Carroll met Ursula Deiss. They welcomed a son, Nikolai Carroll, into the world in 1973, and they were wed in 1975. Carroll once remarked that California was “always paradise” for him.
A conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, Carroll worked for Goodwill in lieu of military service during his first years in California, before taking a job with Armorlite. He joined brother-in-law Dieter Deiss during the formative years of automotive consultancy Deiss and Associates and went on to advise the likes of General Motors and Honda, Mercedes and BMW. Their work required mastery of architecture and IT infrastructure, people and processes. They brought their expertise to Germany and Spain, England and Italy, as well as cities across North America and Southeast Asia. Successful partners in business, Carroll became lifelong friends with Dieter, his wife, Gundi Deiss, and their family.
Business led to lifelong friendship with colleague Dennis Jepsen as well. A language man, Carroll held particular regard for writers who could wield words well, be it conservative intellectual William F. Buckley, Jr., mystery writer Dashiell Hammett, or science fiction writer Ray Bradbury.
He had an abiding intellectual interest in science; it shaped his thinking and approach to his life, to the world. He also had a penchant for mastering a subject from start to finish—evident from an early age, when he methodically read each volume of the encyclopedia, start to finish.
At the dawn of the new millennium, Carroll began a retirement of sorts and a new chapter of life: He moved to Spokane, Washington, and restored a Craftsman bungalow. In 2005, he met Elizabeth Hasen, who joined him in Spokane. They enjoyed hiking in Washington and Idaho in spring and summer and, when winter descended, trekking trails near their Palm Springs home. They explored national parks in the West and they traveled several times to Europe, visiting Carroll's son, his wife, Dalia, and grandsons Keaton and Ellis.
Throughout his life, Carroll provided a home away from home, or in-between homes, for family members—as well as the occasional big dog. He enjoyed hosting holiday feasts, and mornings he gladly opened his refrigerator door to make a big breakfast of eggs and bacon, once he' d had his first vat of coffee. He loved photography and architecture and film. “Not bad,” he might say, when something was handled with impeccable form. Or, more rarely, “Just superb.” And he demanded quiet and complete attention to All the President's Men or the musicals he especially loved in the last months of his life: Oklahoma!, West Side Story, or On the Town. Tropical fish and aquariums fascinated him; he relished one long stretch of years in Angwin when he had an aquarium in every room of the house. He knew computers outside and in, building and rebuilding many a machine over the years—and he talked more than one less-adept family member or friend through swapping out memory chips. Computers also kept him connected to the wider world: in online political chats, games, and forums for language and fish.
Once the diagnosis of Amyotropic Lateral Schlerosis (ALS) was confirmed in 2016, Carroll determined that he would take the steps to legally end his life, as is permitted in Washington State. Carroll died at home, peacefully, with his three siblings, son, and partner with him. “I've had a happy, interesting, exciting, and loving life,” he wrote to friends and family. “So, no complaints.”
Carroll is survived by his son, Nikolai Bloyd (and Dalia Banerjee), of Munich, Germany; brothers Joseph Bloyd, of Santa Fe, New Mexico; Jonn Bloyd (and Lara Bloyd), of Gresham, Oregon; sister Rebekah Bloyd (and Steven Saum), of San Jose, California; grandsons Keaton Bloyd and Ellis Bloyd; niece Tara Bloyd; nephews Tobias Bloyd, Peter Bloyd, Gabriel Bloyd, and Kaleb Saum; great-nephews Neil Dale Norby and Theodore Bloyd; cousins Elizabeth Blevins, Jay Blevins, Frances Rachel Blevins, Jane White, and Terry White. Carroll was preceded in death by his parents, Rachel Bloyd (2009) and Rev. Carroll Bloyd (1982).
Carroll lays claim to discovery of at least one new species—the sly California Tree Alligator—and leaves a legacy of humor, breadth of knowledge, and deep affection for those close to him.
A private memorial was held in Bodega Bay, California, on June 11, 2019.