Carol was born on July 14, 1948 to Jim and Ruth (Semon) Pycha, and was raised on a farm within the Winnebago Indian Reservation in northeast Nebraska. She graduated with a Math Education degree from the University of Nebraska in 1970, and had a career as a teacher and in the finance industry. On August 8, 1970, she married Jim Charling. They raised two children, Brian and Aaron, and are grandparents to Aaron and his wife Audrey's son Eric. Carol's deep faith provided a palpable contentment throughout her life. Carol passed away peacefully at her home on May 13, 2023.
Carol meant so many things to so many of us.
To her husband and travel partner, Carol brought a lifetime of joy and companionship, a complete partner in all the efforts and decisions that make up a nearly 53-year marriage.
To her sons and regular movie dates, "Mom" gave the support and attention to help ensure happy and successful childhoods (games and sports, friendships, church, chores, and pizza nights). Her examples to follow and advice continued through college and adulthoods filled with meaningful relationships and memorable careers.
To her grandson and the reason Carol and Jim moved to Connecticut, "Grandma" was a reading partner, a math tutor, a gingerbread house constructor, and a supportive voice in all of his endeavors.
To her siblings, Katherine, Judy, Joanne, and Bob, Carol led the way as first born, first married, first to have children, and attempted to be the last word in every conversation.
To her volunteering partners, Carol provided elbow grease (a trace ingredient in the thousands of cookies she baked for the Youth Justice Initiative cookie walks), analytic skills and creative fundraisers for Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO), and always a self awareness of how she could best serve the organizations' goals (such as making hundreds of meals on church mission trips or creating a PEO scholarship fund). Her planning, attention to detail, and personal style of leadership attracted friendships and a deep respect from her peers.
To her women's groups and golf leagues, Carol was both inclusive and competitive. She welcomed new members, teaching a new friend the rules to mahjong, for example. And, her studious, numbers-driven approach to golf propelled her well into the third phase of her golf plan -- "Dress the game. Talk the game. Play the game."
And to her friends and fellow members of the church communities, Carol's discipleship came through in her regular involvement in church groups, mission trips, extensively researched Sunday school sessions, and her close relationships she made with church leaders and members alike.
Carol was preceded in death by her parents, Jim and Ruth, and her brother David. She is survived by her husband Jim, her children, Brian and Aaron (Audrey), her grandson Eric, her siblings Katherine (Robert), Judy, Joanne (Terry), and Bob (Mary Lou), and many cousins, nieces, and nephews, aunts, uncles, and in-laws.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, June 3, at Noroton Presbyterian Church, 2011 Post Road, Darien, CT at 10:30 a.m. and Saturday, June 10, at West Des Moines Christian Church, 4501 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, IA at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Memorial Scholarship Fund that Carol helped establish with her local PEO Chapter.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Carol
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Thomas M. Gallagher Funeral Home