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CAROLYN VANCE

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April 16, 1924 - October 11, 2012 EDMOND Carolyn Campbell Vance was born on April 16, 1924, in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. She deeply loved the people and plains of Osage County, perhaps her favorite place on earth, even during the Dust Bowl days, though she traveled far and wide during her blessed life. Carolyn was raised by a stern, though very loving, mother and father from whom she learned the importance of a strong family (including three cantankerous, yet sweet, brothers), a healthy respect for others, and the benefits of a good education. She was extremely proud of her family, present and past, which was versed in a variety of trades and professions, from blacksmiths, textile workers, millers, and farmers to mariners, ministers, lawyers, legislators, and mayors. During high school, the Campbell clan moved to Arlington, Virginia, where she graduated from Washington-Lee High School and where her mother also taught math and served as a school leader. At Randolph Macon Women's College, where she graduated in 1947, she transformed herself into a prototypical Southern Lady well-versed in the social graces. She was drawn back to Oklahoma and Tulsa, beginning her brief professional career with Shell Oil Company. Though a beautiful and independent young woman, it was primarily an engaging personality and intelligence that attracted the love of her life, Mike Vance, a Kansas geologist whom she married in 1951. The couple followed Mike's professional opportunities in the oil and gas business to Durango, Colorado; Springfield, Illinois; and then Tulsa, adding three baby boys — Mark, John and Brian — along the way. After a few years in Oklahoma City, Carolyn supported Mike as he branched out on his own in partnership with good friend, Milton Deason, moving to their eventual home of Edmond for the final 48 years of her life. In Edmond, she blossomed as an active leader in a community just then experiencing exponential growth. Whether it was her sons' schools, Scouts, peewee baseball, summer camps, volunteering, or her church — First Presbyterian, of which she was enormously proud — Carolyn was actively involved. At First Presbyterian, perhaps more than anything, she loved singing in the choir. Many will attest that she had a beautiful singing voice, which she also used often while doing chores around the home. Other than her family and church and substantial accomplishments on countless associations, organizations and committees, she was perhaps most proud of her role in founding Edmond's Mobile Meals program, which recently served its 500,000th hot, home-delivered meal to elderly citizens and other Edmondites in need. Quietly but resolutely, both she and Mike never really turned down a friend or charity in need of assistance. Helping those less fortunate — or those experiencing misfortune — was a duty and a passion they shared throughout 57 memorable years. Carolyn is survived by her sons, John and Brian; daughters-in-law, Vicky Vance, Jami Vance, and Stacy Vance; grandchildren, Megan Ochs, Garrett Vance, Derek Vance, Kristen Vance, Caroline Vance, Caitlin Vance, Sydney Vance, Annie Workman Coots, and J.B. Workman; six great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and her faithful companion, Walker. She was preceded in death by her parents, John Brooks and Mary Dyer Campbell; her three brothers, Jim, Jack, and Tom; husband, M.L. "Mike" Vance; and her dear son, Mark. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mobile Meals of Edmond or another . A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16, 2012, at the First Presbyterian Church of Edmond.

Published in The Oklahoman on Oct. 14, 2012
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