Carol Hassen died January 2, 2021, as the result of an aggressive brain cancer. She was born in LaPorte, Indiana, on January 9, 1943, to Delbert Hassen and Kathryn (Meek) Hassen, the fourth of five children. Her family moved repeatedly for better jobs, mostly in Oregon, which for Carol meant attending 13 schools in 12 years. She attended junior and senior grades in Redmond, OR, where she met John Moisan and they were married in 1962. Returning from their honeymoon at the Seattle World’s Fair, they were involved in a severe head-on collision from which Carol had lifelong complications. These did not slow her down then, or later, as anyone that has worked with her can attest.
Carol trained as a legal secretary and paralegal. She and John had one son born in Oregon and adopted a daughter when they moved to Kentucky. It was here that Carol took her first art class at the age of 30 and realized then that she was an artist at heart. She moved to Corvalis, attended Oregon State University and earned a BFA degree in fiber arts and K-12 teaching certification in 1977.
In 1979 she moved to Ellensburg for a teaching position at Ellensburg High School which was suddenly defunded. Carol was able to get a part-time position in 1981 at CWU teaching fiber arts in the Home Economics Department. Over nine years she took a struggling program and made it into one of the department’s most popular. She started taking studio classes in the Art Department and with help from a Ruth Harrington Scholarship, Carol graduated with an MFA in 1983.
It was there that she met Bob Fisher. They married in August 1986 and lived in Yakima until 2008. Carol was director of the YVCC Larson Gallery from 1989-2006, turning it into the art hub of central Washington. She worked closely with other institutions and helped buoy them in bringing art to this region. Carol was a panelist for the Washington State Arts Commission, Artist Trust and Seattle Art Museum, juror for numerous regional competitions, and advisory member for the CWU College of Arts and Humanities. Her organizational skills and legal background made her a dynamic advocate for art and artists.
She was honored by Governor Gary Locke with the Washington State Arts Award (for artist, educator and director), Yakima YWCA, the Kennedy Center Award for an art resource and curriculum guide, Yakima Allied Arts, and Larson Gallery among others. She was the art curator for The Capitol Theatre and played a significant role in the design of the 4th Street Theatre. Carol was director of Ellensburg’s Gallery One 2010-14 where she revitalized the gallery’s community presence and was exhibit curator for one year. In her “spare time” she produced artwork that was shown regionally and nationally, garnered numerous awards and is represented in many private and public collections. She loved to travel and meet new people and experience new customs.
Carol is preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Dean, Jack and Chuck (“Bud”) Hassen, and her first husband John Moisan. She is survived by Bob Fisher, her husband of 34 years, her son Jeff Moisan (and Ulrike Moisan; Ferndale, WA), her daughter Jennifer Moisan (Lacey, WA), her sister Judith Hassen (and Mike Johnson; Chiloquin, OR), her “second daughter” Trish Smith (Ellensburg), nieces and nephews, in-laws and outlaws, too many friends to count, and two loving dogs.
There will be no service. Her ashes will be scattered at her favorite spot on the Oregon coast and a wake will be held in her honor at a later date. Donations may be made in her memory to the Larson Gallery Endowment Fund or the Gallery One Endowment Fund, both of which she spearheaded.
She was a force of nature and will be missed.