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In Memoriam: Carol Michalowski


The Village notes with sorrow the passing of longtime member Carol Michalowski this past weekend. Carol was a beloved friend to many in our Village, a longtime member of the book club, and most recently was a valued member of the weekly poetry group, often impressing others with her ability to recite poetry from memory. Below are some words about Carol contributed by Village member and volunteer Susan Quainton: 


"Carol was a constant inspiration for her courage and resilience, in the face of countless set-backs. Her physical ailments deepened and multiplied; she was in and out of hospital; she went from independent living to stints of rehab, to complete nursing home care. She persevered with physical therapy and occupational therapy, even though  she sometimes had to re-start almost from ground zero. 


"Through it all, she kept up her cheerfulness, sense of humor, and lively interest in many subjects. Her academic and professional background was impressive and varied, including such disparate elements as German history and accountancy. She persevered in her final position as a lecturer in American art in the OLLI program at AU even while her health concerns multiplied and made the work overwhelmingly fatiguing. I had the great pleasure of visiting her to read aloud from books she was interested in. Together we discovered the lives of American women who had had their portraits painted by John Singer Sargent. Before the pandemic shut down all nursing home visits,  we were reading the stories of expatriate Americans  in Paris during the 19th Century, including such surprises as  "General" Tom Thumb to Samuel F.B. Morse, then an aspiring painter. Conversation was wide-ranging and always interesting.


Carol was a devout Catholic. She greatly missed being able to go to church, but she faithfully  attended Mass by television. She had been to a Catholic girls' high school in Pittsburgh, and, through email, she kept in close touch with a a group or friends from that time, who supported her in her illnesses and desperately state of health.


It is a sad time for all of Carol's friends, but at the end, her quality of life had so diminished and her pain was so great that one can only be grateful that she has finally been granted relief."

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