CAROLYN PAUL WHEELER, 77
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WINTER HAVEN - Carolyn Paul Wheeler passed away on February 5, 2013 in Winter Haven, Florida, due to symptoms related to Alzheimer's disease.
Born on January 28, 1936 in Winter Haven, Florida to Robert "Bob" and Ida Frances "Sally" Paul. Carolyn attended and graduated from Winter Haven High School in 1954. She attended Centre College for two years and then the University of Florida, graduating with a degree in English from UF in 1958.
Carolyn returned to Central Florida, where she taught English at Haines City Junior High School in 1958. She met her husband, Irving Wheeler, in 1959 and married him in 1960 at First Presbyterian Church in Winter Haven, FL.
Carolyn and Irving moved to Tallahassee in 1960 and lived there for a year when Irving accepted a job working for the Florida Attorney General. The young couple moved back to Bartow in 1961, where their first child, Irving Weston "Wes" was born. They moved to Winter Haven in 1962, where the second child, David Paul was born. Their third child Sarah Louise "Sally" was born in 1967 and James "Mark," the youngest in 1970.
Carolyn continued to teach English throughout her life, through Polk County Schools, tutoring children needing assistance with reading; adults learning English as a Second Language; and substituting in the public schools. She gave freely of her time; almost always volunteering and cared deeply about those she taught.
A gifted musician, Carolyn was one of the mainstays of her church choir at Hope Presbyterian Church, at which she and Irving were founding members. Her involvement with the Church covered virtually every aspect of church administration, fund-raising, outreach, and leadership. In recognition of her years of self-less and tireless dedication to the church, her husband and children dedicated the Hope Presbyterian Columbarium in March of 2008.
Carolyn also contributed her musical skills, talents and enthusiasm to multiple organizations in Winter Haven. She was a member of the Florida Federation of Music Clubs her entire adult life, and was chair of the Winter Haven Chapter for many of those years, being actively Involved in the annual Jeanie competition. She was a director of the Winter Haven Youth Orchestra; a director of the Winter Haven Symphony Guild; and produced, sang, and performed in plays for elementary school children as a member of the Friendly Players.
She was a director of the Theatre Winter Haven; the Ridge Art Association; and the Girl Scouts Heart of Florida Council. She was very involved and active in each of these organizations and contributed her time and talents to enumerable meetings; events; fund-raisers and performances. She was an active member of the local American Field Service Program; having sponsored two students, Claire Aussilloux, of France, and Adrian Mariscal of Spain, each for a school year with Sally and Mark, respectively.
Carolyn also performed with the New York Treble Singers and the Bach Festival of Central Florida, both under the direction of Virginia Davidson; the Lakeland Choral Society; and the Lake Wales Chorale. She also sang with the Sassy Singers for many years. She performed with the Davidson Singers of New York, touring internationally with the choir.
Carolyn volunteered for decades delivering meals for Meals on Wheels of Winter Haven and was a long-term volunteer for the 10th Circuit Guardian Ad-Litem program in Polk County. She also volunteered for multiple programs and projects at local schools, clinics, libraries and Parent-Teacher organizations. She was a member and President of the local women's affiliate of the Kiwanis Club, the Kiwananne. In recognition and acknowledgement of all these contributions, and more, she was awarded the coveted Winter Haven Banker's Cup in 1987. Carolyn and her father are the only two-generation recipients to have been awarded this honor.
She was truly a friend to all and never had an unkind word to say. She was indifferent to color, class, or creed. She was a devout Christian who served quietly and consistently through her many endeavors. She leaves a legacy of love and fond memories with all who knew her.
Carolyn is survived by her husband, Irving, and four children: Wes and his wife Brenda (Gainesville) and daughters Kara and Jessica; David and his wife Mimi (Lake Placid) and children David Jr., Laura Jo, and Anna Grace; Sally and her husband Bill (New York) and sons William Irving and Liam Henry; and Mark and his wife Christi (Bradenton) and their children, Hannah, Sarah Beth; and Leland. She is also survived by her three brothers, Jack, Gene and Brian Paul, her Aunt Edith Schnell, and by her many in-laws, who have been so supportive in good times and bad.
A visitation gathering will be held at Crisp Coon Funeral Home at 6:00 p.m. on Friday evening, February 8, 2013 and a Memorial Service will be held at Hope Presbyterian Church at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday evening, February 9, 2013.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in her honor be made to Good Shepherd Hospice; Hope Presbyterian Church; Meals on Wheels of Winter Haven; Alzheimer's Association; or any of the charitable or philanthropic organizations listed above.
Published in Ledger from Feb. 7 to Feb. 8, 2013