The impact Caryl made extends beyond the Springfield community. In many ways, I feel I am writing on behalf of the multitude of people whose lives were touched by Caryl – a truly remarkable woman – a loving wife, mother, grandmother, professor emeritus, scholar, colleague, woman of excellence, champion for women’s rights, author, mentor, and dear, dear friend to many.
I had the joy of knowing Caryl as my college professor, my academic advisor, my mentor, my fun and loving friend – my teacher of life. Over the years, our relationship grew and changed in many wonderful ways, with one constant ingredient – her empathic ability to gently invite those she encountered in life to change, to grow, to heal and to rise to challenges and life in ways that surpassed one’s reach!
She instilled in me a strong desire to pursue my educational endeavors with passion and a pursuit for excellence. With the gifts of her wisdom, knowledge and gentle persistence, she helped me achieve my educational goals in preparation for the challenges ahead of me.
And, based on conversations I have had over the years with other students, I know that I was not the exception to the rule – my experience was the rule – it was just Caryl’s philosophy on teaching. Caryl inspired those she met along the way to be braver, to be stronger, to be happier, to overcome obstacles and to live life to the fullest.
In 2007, Caryl was named by a panel of historians as one of 12 women who “made a difference” in Springfield. My dear friend, Caryl, was a truly remarkable woman who made a profound difference in my life and all that she met along the way. Her light shines on in us. She taught us to celebrate life.