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Carolyn W. Barr was born in Cleveland, Ohio on July 9, 1946 to Fred R. White, Jr. and Emma R. White. Carolyn lived with her parents and sisters, Emmy and Margaret, in Shaker Heights, Ohio. As a child, she spent every summer with her grandparents in a seaside cottage in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Carolyn loved to sail along the rocky New England coast and sun herself on the beaches. She also managed to make some mischief along the way with cousins near and far.
Carolyn attended Hathaway Brown School and then Miss Hall’s School where she graduated in 1965. She received a BA from Boston University in 1969, then spent the next year traveling throughout Europe with a dear friend. This experience sparked a love of travel and a spirit of adventure that never waned. Carolyn returned to Cleveland and earned a Masters of Social Work from Case Western Reserve University in 1973. Thereafter, she worked as a social worker, providing counseling and guidance to young women in need.
In 1972, Carolyn married her loving husband, Doug, and they settled in Shaker Heights. They soon started their family and welcomed David in 1974 and Katherine in 1978. Carolyn then decided to step away from her work and devote her time to raising her children and bettering her community. She was a dedicated volunteer and board member for many local non-profit organizations, including Visiting Nurse Association, Hathaway Brown School, and Shaker Lakes Garden Club. After several years, Carolyn returned to work in advancement and alumni relations at CWRU, retiring in 2003.
Carolyn was thrilled when David married Sarah in 2004 and Katherine married Adam in 2005. And then the grandchildren began to arrive! David and Sarah welcomed Abigail in 2006 and Isabelle in 2010. Katherine and Adam welcomed Alice in 2008 and Duncan in 2010. Carolyn loved nothing more than hosting big family gatherings over the holidays in Vermont and during summers in Gloucester. She adored a house filled with good food, great conversation, and lots of laughter!
Carolyn loved her family and friends fiercely and they loved her. She was happiest sitting in the sunshine on the beach in Gloucester or working in her gardens at home. Carolyn had a zest for life, an enormous heart, and an infectious smile. She was incredibly patient, supportive, and kind. You always felt like family when you were with her.
For the last 5 years, Carolyn fought mightily against the grips of Alzheimer’s. Despite the ravages of the disease, Carolyn continued to live life to the fullest, including taking a final (and perfect) family adventure to London, England in April 2022. And then the family was able to spend one last Christmas together in Cleveland. On February 28, 2023, Carolyn passed away peacefully, and she is now free to watch over her loved ones and guide them forward in life.
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