Carol Adele GaetjensFayetteville, AR, 1944 - 2021
Carol Adele Gaetjens was born July 2, 1944, in Chicago and died February 27th, 2021, in Fayetteville, Ark. She moved frequently during her youth, but returned to Chicago for graduate school and remained in the Chicago area for the next 44 years. She moved to Northwest Arkansas in 2010 to enjoy the milder climate and slower pace of life.
Carol seemed unstoppable. Despite serious health problems throughout adulthood, she kept exploring new areas in every aspect of life. Her sudden death leaves many in disbelief.
Carol pursued education and learning with passion. She earned a BS from Oberlin College (1966), an MAT from the University of Chicago (1968), an MSW from the University of Illinois (1972) and a PhD from Northwestern University (1991). She taught first at New Trier West High School in Northfield, Ill., then at Northeastern Illinois University and then at Northwestern University. She worked as a licensed counselor for many years in schools, hospitals and in private practice.
As an undergraduate she majored in religion, and spiritual practice remained a central focus of her life. She participated in church activities and advocated for those needing help in many ways. She launched and led for several years the Sage-ing group at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fayetteville that, while currently on pandemic hiatus, will meet again to continue to reflect on the experience of aging from a spiritual perspective. She was a dedicated volunteer with Fayetteville's Genesis Church Actions and Truth program, connecting with the local homeless and working poor population. She opened herself and her home to others, especially adolescents and young adults who needed a boost. She was a surrogate mother, auntie, sister and grandma for countless individuals. She was a strong advocate for improving disability access both in Illinois and Arkansas. Her outgoing personality engaged many people and she made new friends wherever she went and whatever she did.
She is survived by her dog Egan, brother Tony, sister Katie and Peggy Anderson. Donations in her name may be made to the University of Arkansas Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the Southern Poverty Law Center or the Human Rights Campaign.
Arrangements by Benton County Memorial Park Funeral Home, Rogers, Ark. Online guestbook: www.bentoncountymemorialpark.com.
Published March 7, 2021
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Benton County Memorial Park Funeral Home and Crematory
3800 West Walnut, PO Box 328, Rogers, AR