Carol Amen, 53; Wrote ‘Testament’

Carol Amen, 53, a writing teacher whose short story was the basis for the 1983 film “Testament,” has died at her home in Sunnyvale near Palo Alto after a yearlong bout with cancer.

Ten days before her death Saturday, she held a “She Lives Until She Dies” party for friends at her home.

“As some of you know, my adventure with cancer is not going well right now,” Mrs. Amen said in the June 18 invitation. “It appears I may not be around to see all your projects reach fruition--best-sellerdom, acclaim of critics, peers and friends.


“While I’m not yet discounting the possibility of a remission or a downright miracle, common sense dictates proper ‘closure’ or taking care of business.”

Mrs. Amen taught writing at area adult schools and colleges. She wrote a three-page story she called “Last Testament” that appeared in print in 1981.

It described a family in a small Northern California town and how it coped in the aftermath of a nuclear explosion.

It was rewritten as a television film but was released in 1983 as a motion picture starring William Devane and Jane Alexander. The next year it was shown on public television.

Mrs. Amen’s husband died in 1985. She is survived by her parents, a daughter, two sons, a brother and a granddaughter.