Carolyn K. Post was welcomed into the arms of our Lord on Sunday, 26 March 2023 in Lancaster, PA. The daughter of Caroline Leach Kelly and Clement Alpheus Kelly, Carolyn was born on 22 December 1923 in Dansville, NY. She had three younger brothers, James Kelly of Liverpool, NY; Richard Kelly of Lithgow, Australia; and Clement A. (Fr. James, O.S.B.) Kelly of Mount Savior Monastery, Pine City NY.
Carolyn’s hometown of Dansville, NY is where she spent her formative years. At Dansville High School, where she graduated salutatorian of her 1941 class, Carolyn’s favorite subject was typing and she longed to become a secretary. She was often heard cheering “Red and Black, push ‘em back!” for the D.H.S. Mustangs. Maureen O’Sullivan and Humphrey Bogart were her favorite movie stars at that time. Jean Fowler’s song, “Can’t We Begin Again?” always made Carolyn smile. She regarded swimming as a great way to spend a summer’s day with friends.
Carolyn attended Nazareth College (now Nazareth University) prior to transferring to Michigan State, cheering for her Spartans even in her last year of life. Graduating with a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology in 1945 was a feat that gave Carolyn great pride. She would later go on to earn an M.S. in Library Science from SUNY Albany in 1968.
Upon graduating from Michigan State, she married her high school sweetheart, Frederick H. Post, in July 1945 in Harlingen, TX. As the wife of a U.S. Air Force Chief Warrant Officer 4, Carolyn adjusted quickly to life on the road, traveling across the country and around the world, including Hawaii, Guam, England, Kansas, Alaska, and the Carolinas before finally settling down in Walden, NY. Despite having moved 17 times within 28 years, Carolyn easily made everlasting friendships wherever she went.
An educator for almost 30 years, Carolyn took great pride in her chosen profession. She began teaching fifth grade in Texas, then Latin in North Carolina, and was the librarian at Montgomery Elementary School in NY for the majority of her career. Enriching the lives of her students, Carolyn fostered a love of reading and learning, challenging her students to meet their potential. She played the piano for numerous productions and recitals and arranged field trips for her students. She loved the people and camaraderie of M.E.S. and the laughter abounded when they were together! On weekends, she and her M.E.S. colleagues enjoyed camping, telling stories, and sharing Fred’s homemade wine, which brought smiles aplenty.
A remarkable woman, Carolyn stayed the course after Fred’s death in 1982. Upon her retirement in 1985, she continued to volunteer for various organizations, reveled in her local ladies’ bridge group, and still managed to travel. Carolyn delighted in kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland, truly believing her newly bestowed “gift of gab” would enhance her ability to tell a joke–or at least stave off her tears of laughter before getting to the punchline. After traveling to Spain and Greece, making the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with her brother, Fr. James Kelly, as her guide proved a most memorable experience.
Carolyn belonged to a multitude of organizations. She was a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Honor Society, MARTA, School Librarians of Southeastern New York, Chairman of the School Library Media Specialists of NY, a 50+ year member and former President of the Walden’s Woman’s Club, Treasurer of the 9th District NYS Women’s Club, Breakaway Cloggers, the Bridge Club at the Powelton Club, and a nearly 30-year member of the Pine Bush Community Band. A competitive spirit compelled Carolyn to earn the rank of Silver Life Master with the American Contract Bridge League and she was quite content with that distinction.
Her most rewarding experience, however, was that of Mom. As her husband was transferred often, Carolyn managed those transitions all while raising six busy children, teaching full-time, and advancing her own education. Yet, she made the time to knit and sew, chauffeur her kids to music lessons and sports practices, and type innumerable thesis papers, from Jules Verne to existentialism. She instilled a sense of self-worth in each of her children, allowing them to flourish, flounder, or fail while always believing in their abilities. Education was imperative and Carolyn provided unique opportunities for her family.
Carolyn is predeceased by her loving husband, parents, three brothers, and her beloved son, James F. Post of Middletown, NY (2019).
She is survived by her children, Michael H. Post (Renee), Florida, NY; Barbara Barone (Steve) Walden, NY; Nancy Houghtaling (Bruce), Lancaster, PA; Thomas C. Post, Walker Valley, NY; and Vicki P. Vermilyea, Walden, NY. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Amy Mitchell Pooley (Dave); Thomas A. Mitchell IV (Sahalie); Emily DiCuio (Anthony); Katie Vermilyea (Jan Michael Maluto); Paul D-M Vermilyea; Amy Nash (Evan). In addition, she is survived by 6 great-grandchildren (with another on the way) as well as several nieces and nephews, including Nora K. and Don Lampman, Montour Falls, NY.
Mom truly gave us roots and wings for which we will be eternally grateful. Carolyn K. Post: A life well-lived, a woman well-loved.
A funeral mass will be held Monday, 10 April 2023 at 11 AM at Our Lady of the Lake Chapel at Orange Lake in Newburgh, NY.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Josephine-Louise Public Library, 5 Scofield St., Walden, NY 12586.
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Josephine-Louise Public Library
5 Scofield St., Walden NY 12586