Carolyn Dempsey Wilson died on February 7th in Wayzata, Minnesota.
Carolyn was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on November 24, 1931. Her father, Frank E. Dempsey, served in the Army in France during World War I. Her mother, Dorothy (née Reynolds) Dempsey, worked for the Salvation Army.
When World War II began, Carolyn’s father was transferred to a government job in Wickliffe, Ohio. Carolyn was a cheerleader and scorekeeper for the school teams, and editor of the school paper.
In 1949 Carolyn won a scholarship to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She majored in journalism and worked on the student newspaper. She pledged Delta Delta Delta sorority, and was elected Phi Beta Kappa.
At Miami, she met James R. Wilson, from Shandon, Ohio, who was a NROTC scholarship student and member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Jim and Carolyn were married in Holy Trinity Church in Oxford in 1952. Their marriage of 63 years lasted until Jim’s death in 2015.
Jim was on active duty in the Navy for three years and then joined Cargill, Inc. in 1956. During Jim’s 32-year career, the Wilsons lived in the Philippines, the Netherlands, Brazil, Switzerland, Singapore and England. Carolyn embraced the culture of each country and delved into its language, literature and art.
Carolyn finished her BA degree at Philippine Women’s University, and began her teaching career at the International School in Manila, where they lived for seven years. Brazil was the country where they spent the longest stretch: ten years, and Carolyn taught high school English and Humanities at the Escola Graduada de São Paulo.
Following Jim’s retirement from Cargill in 1988, Jim and Carolyn returned to Oxford and their farm on Buckley Road. They opened a used and rare bookstore called Books in Shandon, which they ran for 16 years. When not managing the computer system at the bookstore and chatting with customers, Carolyn attended prayer group at Holy Trinity and focused on volunteer work, including Literacy Volunteers, the League of Women Voters and the TriDelt sorority. Towards the end of her time in Oxford, she enjoyed developing her talent for painting.
Carolyn moved to Folkestone in Wayzata, Minnesota in 2018. She was grateful for all the friends she made over the years, old and new. She had many happy and nostalgic memories, called “saudades” in Portuguese. Carolyn was blessed with her children (Robin Baker, Victoria Wilson, Mark Wilson and Jamie Wilson), grandchildren (Maria, Jimmy, Julia, Sean and Henry), great-grandson Austin, sons-in-law (Jay Baker and David Ericson), grandson-in-law (Brandon Gaige), and with her faith.
A burial service will be held at a later date in Ohio. The family would like to thank the staff at the Gables and at Optage Hospice for their caring attention to Carolyn. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church 25 East Walnut Street, Oxford, OH 45056 (https://holytrinityoxford.org/egiving) or to Optage Hospice (optage.org/donations).
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