Caroline Crutcher Simmons

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Caroline Crutcher Simmons Obituary
SIMMONS Caroline Crutcher, 89, passed away at home, peacefully, on November 1, 2013. Caroline was worldly, intelligent, well-read, sometimes stubborn, a red-dog Democrat and a lover of life. She was born in Marshall, MO (Mizzura) during the summer of 1924 to Estus and Louise Crutcher, engineer and schoolteacher, who taught her to be practical yet inquisitive. Her love of learning was first demonstrated in the first grade when she was moved through the first and second grades in one year. Being the smartest was, in part, compensation for always being the youngest and shortest. Her sister, also named Louise, was tall and good-looking. Caroline immensely enjoyed being a student. After graduating from Marshall High School, she attended Missouri Valley College during the war years and then went on to earn a Masters degree in History at Washington University in St. Louis. As an adult, Caroline pursued several interesting careers: librarian at the Missouri Historical Society, social studies and English teacher at Webster Groves Jr. High, book shop manager, assistant head librarian at the Lexington Public Library and public television (assistant) publicist. Along the way she was a parent to two daughters, involved herself in politics as a precinct captain, actively participated in the civil rights movement, became a "liberated" woman and picked up a second graduate degree in library science from the University of Kentucky. Despite endless moves earlier, she ultimately settled in Lexington, KY. It was there that she tragically endured first the loss of her youngest daughter Anne and, years later, oldest daughter Kate. While not looking for love, she met her second husband, Joe Argabrite, while at church, affirming her position that the Presbyterian faith had the most to offer. In the eyes of her stepson, Joe Jr., her crowning achievement was masterminding the reuniting of him and his father after years of estrangement. After 14 years of marriage, Joe's life sadly came to an end as a result of an auto accident just two blocks from their home. The ensuing years, however, were filled with the joy of building and nurturing friendships and her stepfamily, Joe, Pam and their son Zak. Caroline also volunteered in the library at Hospice of the Bluegrass and with the Lexington Chamber Music Society. When she was diagnosed with lymphoma and then Alzheimer's disease, she chose not to endure the difficult medical treatment plan but to instead, live life to its fullest and demanded that she remain in her own home throughout. Caroline pushed her cancer into remission more than once and at one point even thought her Alzheimer's was "getting better ". Her friendships blossomed and they would subsequently become the official "friends of Caroline". Later, when her health issues began their final, relentless push, she conspired with her hospice-based caregivers, friends and family, and doubled her efforts at living life to the fullest. While she was prepared for the end, she had too many things to do first. She particularly found caregiver Crystal Golden a willing partner in this quest and, without their awareness, all the friends, family and care-givers were to become the angels who would carry her to "the other side". Caroline's life will be celebrated with a service at Hunter Presbyterian Church, 109 Rosemont Garden, Lexington, KY at 4:30pm on Monday, November 11, 2013. A graveside service will be held at a later date in Marshall, MO. Expressions of sympathy may be made to Hospice of the Bluegrass, 2312 Alexandria Drive, Lexington, KY 40504.

Published in Lexington Herald-Leader on Nov. 7, 2013
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