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Carolyn's Story

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Carolyn Sue Williams Dewees, 75, passed away on July 30, 2014, surrounded by her loving family at home in Huntsville, Texas, following a courageous battle with cancer. Carolyn was born July 8, 1939, in Centralia, IL, to Mary Belle and Cecil C. Williams. Carolyn attended 12 years of public schools in McLeansboro, IL, graduating from McLeansboro High School in 1957. Subsequently, she attended and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Southern Illinois University in 1961. She began her teaching career in Champaign, IL, where she taught first grade for two years. While at SIU, Carolyn met her future husband, Andrew A. Dewees. They were married in McLeansboro, IL, on July 20, 1963. The couple moved to West Lafayette, IN, where Carolyn taught kindergarten for three years while Andrew attended graduate school at Purdue University. In 1967 the couple and their 1-year-old daughter, Emily, moved to Huntsville, Texas, where Andrew took a position in the Biology Department at Sam Houston State University. Soon, daughters Deborah and then Laurel were born in Huntsville. Carolyn became a busy mom, devoted to rearing her three daughters. She was active in her daughters’ classrooms, and often gave presentations on art and music in the schools. Carolyn was very talented in the arts and was an early participant in the Huntsville Enrichment Activities Program. During summers of the 70s and 80s she taught various art and craft activities with HEAP, and her daughters were HEAP students as well. In the community, Carolyn worked in the Community Day Care Center as well as with the Grand Persons Center. She was employed for short periods at J. C. Penney and Fabric Carousel. From 1989 to 1999 Carolyn was Head of the Circulation desk at Newton Gresham Library at SHSU. She very much enjoyed working with the student library workers, and she wrote many letters of recommendation for them as they pursued their careers. Carolyn had a strong interest in history, music and the arts. She and her husband were frequent visitors to museums in Houston and New York City. Carolyn was an enthusiastic overseas traveler with her husband. She enjoyed visiting the museums, churches and monuments of Europe. During their retirement years Carolyn and Andrew made annual summer trips in their small travel trailer to Colorado and Wyoming. They particularly enjoyed their stays in the Big Horn National Forest and with their friends in Dubois, WY. Carolyn was a loving and devoted wife, mother, sister and grandmother. Her family will always remember her unconditional love and support of them. They also took pride and enjoyment in her creativity. She was a skilled ceramicist, visual artist and quilt maker. She enjoyed working for over 15 years with the Monday Quilters Club at the home of Becky Abbott. Carolyn’s daughters and grand children are the recipients of many of her thoughtfully designed quilts. Carolyn leaves behind her husband Andrew Dewees of Huntsville, TX, daughter Emily Dewees and husband Curtis Campbell of Austin, TX, daughter Deborah Dewees of New York City, and daughter Laurel Dunayer and husband Kevin Dunayer of Bristow, VA, her sister Mary Kathleen Harpel and husband John Harpel of Aurora, CO, her brother-in-law Joseph Dewees and wife Becky Dewees of Winchester, IL, three young grandchildren, Aaron Campbell, Amelia Dunayer and Max Dunayer, and three nieces Elise Harpel, Elizabeth Dewees Schumann and Christine Dewees Hennessy. The family expresses thanks to the staff of Consider the Lilies and Thee Hospice for their kindness in caring for Carolyn in her final days. An evening of visitation with family and friends is scheduled for Friday, August 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home at 1700 Normal Park Drive, Huntsville, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Carolyn’s memory to the American Cancer Society or to a charity of your choice. At a later date, Carolyn’s ashes will be interred in a family ceremony at the East Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Herrin, IL. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at www.shmfh.com.
Published on  August 7, 2014
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