Carol Mae Vander Yacht

June 06, 1931 - April 17, 2023

Carol Mae Vander Yacht

June 06, 1931 - April 17, 2023


Carol Mae Vander Yacht passed away peacefully on April 17th at the age of 91, surrounded by her family. Born to George and Connie Zwick in 1931, Carol was a lifelong resident of Whatcom County. She met and married her sweetheart, Burke “Bill” Vander Yacht when she was 16 years old. They had a long, wonderful marriage of 74 years, until Bill’s passing in July of 2021.

In 1958 the two of them bought a little ramshackle house on 18 acres. Over many years and hundreds of bonfires they cleared the land bit by bit. Fruit trees, a garden and livestock were added and the little farm provided almost everything the family needed. They remodeled and added to the tiny house to accommodate their growing family, and turned it into the homestead it is today.

Carol had many traditions that she held very dear; Holiday family get togethers, hanging outdoor Christmas lights, family picnics, church activities and growing her garden. She loved her garden. Carol especially enjoyed sharing the food and flowers she grew with anyone that happened by. She loved to can, freeze and put-up food, and enjoyed passing on her knowledge of those tasks to the younger generations. Cooking and baking were her true passions. She loved to feed people! To the delight of her family she kept all of these things up even after Bill’s passing.

The highlight of her life was owning Carol’s Coffee Cup. It was always her dream to own a restaurant, and in 1974 they bought a little pink and white striped cafe in Deming. Building and adding bit by bit, they turned that cafe into an iconic business in Whatcom County. She made lifelong friends there and employed and taught many local high school girls how to “do things right”. We’d be remiss not to mention those wonderful cinnamon rolls that she was famous for!

Carol also enjoyed golfing with Bill. Many fun RV trips were made around the state with friends after they retired. She even got a hole-in-one once and made the local newspaper for it!

Carol was very involved with her church family at Immanuel Lutheran. She spent countless hours planning and working at the annual Strawberry Social. She ran the kitchen for the yearly Fall Festival to benefit local charities. She loved to cook for the Wednesday After School Program. Her yearly Lutefisk dinners were unparalleled. She quilted for Lutheran World Relief weekly, and they sent dozens of beautiful handmade quilts twice a year to remote needy areas in the world.

For about the last 15 years one of the things she most looked forward to was her “Monday Card Day”. Some assortment of her kids and grandkids and even great-grandkids would show up every week without fail for lunch and card or dice games. She was a savvy player of all games, but Carol never wanted to win more than once a day. She liked the wins to be spread around so everyone was happy!

Carol was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, her beloved grandson Joshua, her grandson-in-law Ed Conners, her son-in-law Denny Hillard, and her husband and soulmate Bill.

She is survived by her 4 children: Kathy Hillard (Denny), Bill Vander Yacht (Debbie), Susie O’Connor (Gerald), and Bob Vander Yacht (Janine). 12 Grandchildren: Kari Conners (Ed), Craig Harris, Dennis and Don Hillard, Debby Schwab (Nick), Kira Sleveland (Jason), Eric Sleveland, Jeff Davis (Shara), Jana Schmidt (Mike), Aaron Griffith-Vander Yacht (Kristen), Jessie Riggs, and Cole Vander Yacht. 23 Great-Grandchildren: Jordan Granacki, Kelly Conners, Abbey, Matt Hillard (My), Jenny Langston (Stephen), Jake Hillard (Bailey), Seth Hillard (Kallie), Samantha and Nicholas Schwab, Bella Sleveland, Mady Hodges, Kaylea Weinheimer (Brody), Tanner Sleveland, Blake, Nate, Dylan and Sydney Whitall, Kale and Logan Davis, Alyssa and Kaleb Riggs, Hugo and Eoghan Griffith-Vander Yacht. Also, three Great Great-Grandchildren: Tay, Eliza and Grayson Hillard and 2 more on the way.

Carol was simply adored by her family and friends. She was truly one of a kind. If you knew her you loved her, and she loved you. She was sweet, hardworking, fiercely loving,
absolutely accepting and welcoming to all. She will be greatly missed.

The family wants to thank Whatcom Hospice for their wonderful compassionate care of our Mom and Nana. They enabled us to have Mom at home until the end and it was a gift we’ll never forget.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of her favorite places: Immanuel Lutheran Church – Everson, Washington ( or PeaceHealth Whatcom Hospice & Hospice House

We will celebrate Carol’s life on Friday April 28. A short graveside service will be at 10 AM at Greenacres. Service to follow at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 5782 Lawrence Rd at 12:00PM with a light lunch to follow.

Graveside Service

  • Date & Time: April 28, 2023 (10:00 AM)
  • Venue: Moles Farewell Tributes Greenacres
  • Location: 5700 Northwest Drive Ferndale, WA 98248 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (360) 384-3401

Memorial Service

  • Date & Time: April 28, 2023 (12:00 PM)
  • Venue: Immanuel Lutheran Church
  • Location: 5782 Lawrence Road Bellingham, WA 98247 - (Get Directions)

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7 responses to Carol Mae Vander Yacht

  1. She will be missed by so many, what a rich history she had, great experiences, great stories, lovely lady.

  2. Greg Grant says:

    Always a smile and a friendly greeting when you walked into the restaurant. It was one of my favorite places. She was a Whatcom County “Treasure” (and her cinnamon rolls were so good, we ordered them by the dozen and took them home!!) Blessings on the family and thanks for sharing her with us.

  3. Carol Mae was so lovely, sweet and kind. She welcomed me right into her family on my first visit and every visit thereafter she was warm and kind. I will miss her.

  4. I met Carol, at Carols Coffee cup in 1974. She and Bill were always there welcoming customers with friendly smiles. Her cinnamon rolls were legendary! Even after she retired, I think she still made them for Kathy when she took over. She and Bill would feed the Puget Power line crews during storms , sometimes after hours so they, we, could get back to work getting the lights back on. There was a wide spot on the Truck Road behind the café that we could park the Puget Power trucks to be out of sight and out of the way to have coffee and a cinnamon roll on the way up river to work when we went that way. Once after Kathy took over, I went there to have breakfast and Carol was “guest cooking”, and I have never, to this day, seen more perfectly cooked eggs! She was the master! I’ll never forget seeing she and Bill when we walked in. Condolences to the family as I’m sure she lived a long and healthy life.

  5. I was so blessed to have met Carol and Bill by having Susie as my sister in law. Carol was one of the classiest ladies I have ever known. Her love of family was immense and everyone was welcome to the yearly picnics at the pond. Heaven has gained a very special lady. Rest in peace beautiful lady!

    Kim Roberts

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