Carolyn Jean Williams
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At her core, Carolyn Jean Williams always was a teacher.She did it in obvious ways, working decades teaching for the Gary Community School Corporation. She did it in subtler ways, through lifelong work as a choir member and volunteer at St. Timothy Community Church and her beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She did it as a loving mother, supportive sister and devoted grandparent, sacrificing to make sure her siblings, child and grandchildren had everything she could possibly give. Always, her bright smile and open heart highlighted her devotion to God and the principles of hard work and humility that stood at the core of her being. On March 22, 2020, Carolyn passed on to the next life at age 81, leaving this world a little poorer. Born to parents Fred and Leona McClellan, she was raised in the small town of Indianola, Pa., attending Oakmont High School and Cheyney State College (later renamed Cheyney University), then a renowned historically black school for teachers. In the early 1960s, she came to Gary to work as a teacher, where she met and married Chuck Deggans, father to her son Eric Deggans. Though the marriage didn't last, Carolyn and Chuck remained friends. She sacrificed to send Eric to private middle and high schools in Hammond and Merrillville, teaching him that quality education was the key to success in life. In 1990; she married a fellow English teacher, West Side High School instructor Eulis H. Williams. The two shared 10 happy years before his passing in 2000. Carolyn retired as a teacher in 2010 after 49 years of service, including many years at Edison Middle School. Beyond family, her three biggest loves in life were her church, her music and her sorority. Carolyn lent her voice as lead soloist in choirs at St. Timothy Church for nearly 60 years. Carolyn was a golden, life member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and active in its Gamma Psi Omega chapter in Gary, including its nationally-known Ivy Notes choral ensemble. Carolyn was preceded in death by both parents; husband Eulis Williams; sisters Winifred McClellan and Cynthia Somerville; brothers Maurice McClellan and Fred McClellan; and Chuck Deggans. She is survived by her son, Eric Deggans; grandchildren Zoe, Jessica, Tobias and Marcus Deggans; stepdaughter Natasha Williams; nephews Marcus McClellan, Martin McClellan and Jamal Somerville; brother-in-law Benjamin Williams and his wife Joann Williams. Visitation will be Saturday March 28, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Timothy Community Church, 1600 West 25th Avenue, Gary, IN 46404. People will be admitted to the sanctuary in small groups of less than 10 people, in accordance with Covid-19 social distancing guidelines. The funeral, which begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, will be private on site, but viewable online at lieu of flowers, the family asks that mourners send donations in Carolyn Williams' name to St. Timothy's Community Church, 1600 West 25th Avenue, Gary, IN 46404 or Alpha Kappa Alpha's Gamma Psi Omega Chapter, P.O. Box 64759, Gary, IN 46401.

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Published in Post-Tribune from Mar. 26 to Mar. 27, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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16 entries
March 30, 2020
I'm deeply sorry about the passing of Ms. Williams. She was one of my teachers when I was in the eighth grade and then we became coworkers once I started working with the Gary Community School Corp. She was a beautiful person with a smile that could brighten your day. She will certainly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. May you "trust in God" to help you cope with your grief. (Proverbs 3:5, 6)
March 28, 2020
Gertrude Brown
March 28, 2020

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I remember the days at HANI (Hebrew Academy of Northwest Indiana) when your mom would drop you off at our house for the bus. She always had a smile and Bazooka Bubble Gum for us. She will be missed!!

May God give you comfort in your time of need.
Gordon Sloan
March 28, 2020
Remember weeping endureth for a night but joy comes in the morning.
Sadie Ethridge
March 28, 2020
Betty Johnson
March 27, 2020
Eric, we are sorry for the loss of your Mom. Please know that although we cannot be with you to celebrate your Mom's great life. Continue to remember all of the Great things that your Mom did for you and others. We are with you virtually and will always be here for you! Go to God to give you strength & peace. We love you! Love, Hue Deggans, Cheryl & Kenneth Wright

From: Waxhaw, North Carolina
Cheryl Wright
March 27, 2020
Heartfelt condolences to Eric, the McClellan and Williams families. Carol was a shining star with her friendly smile and that amazing voice. She was also a wonderful friend to me. I know she has a front row seat in the heavenly choir and was warmly welcomed.
Sallie Tanksley
March 27, 2020
Blessings to the family...
Will Hargrove
March 27, 2020
Such a wonderful individual who had a smile for everyone she came in contact with.
Prayers for strength for her family and son,Eric.
Tavia Black
March 27, 2020
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Rickey&Debra Thomas
March 27, 2020
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
March 26, 2020
Eric and family, your mother will truly be missed by the Sanctuary Choir of St.Timothy Community Church. Her versital voice was outstanding. I personally enjoyed her passion for singing.The Lords Blessings. Martha Freeney
March 26, 2020
I had the privilege of singing with Carolyn in St. Timothy Community Church Choirs for almost 50 yrs. Her melodic voice , kindness, and charm will forever be a part of me . What wonderful memories !
- Clarence Murray
March 26, 2020
Janice Williams
March 26, 2020
Carolyn was an awesome many talented member of our Edison family. Her musical contributions to our community are wonderful memories. Her obituary, undoubtedly written by her son, Eric, reflects her amazing role as a parent. Cherish your memories.
March 26, 2020
You will be missed by all. A wonderful person with a great spirit and beautiful voice. Always greeted me with a smile and a hug on Sunday morning before me relocation. As Pastor Lowery you always say Lord Blessing and indeed she was.
Al Mickens
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