Carol A. Norman, of Centerville, passed away peacefully at the McCarthy Care Hospice Center in Sandwich on Christmas Morning 2020.
Carol was the daughter of Dorris and Walter Longmore and grew up in Mattapoisett where she made life-long friends. She attended the Fairhaven Unitarian Church and sang in the children’s choir that her mother directed. It was a musical family and Carol played the trumpet, piano and sang in choirs and musical groups throughout her life. Carol met her future husband, Richard “Dick” Norman, at the Mattapoisett Public Beach when she was 14 and Dick was 15. They were an “item” from then on. They both attended Fairhaven High School where they played in the marching band. Carol and Dick both graduated from UMass Amherst where Carol joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. She remained close until her death with several of her sorority sisters and their families. Carol and Dick married on September 11, 1954 during a hurricane (they celebrated their 66th Wedding Anniversary this past September). They had five children in quick succession. Carol and Dick brought their family to live next to Walter and Dorris on Point Connett in Mattapoisett in 1957. Summers were filled with beaching, boating and visits from their friends and their ever-growing families. Winters included rooting for the Old Rochester Regional High School basketball team that Dick coached.
In 1966, when Dick became Barnstable Athletic Coordinator they moved to the house in Centerville where they would live for the next 52 years. For her friends and family, she served as her generation’s version of social media. If anyone wanted to share news or information, they called Carol and word spread. Her family was very proud of her many accomplishments, her contributions that reached around the world. Carol was instrumental in starting American Field Service (AFS) on the Cape and bringing exchange students from all over the globe to live with Cape families for a year and local students to study abroad. She worked with hundreds over the years and stayed in touch with many. Her grandchildren are particularly grateful that for them, she brought the world to her living room.
Carol was a member of the Unitarian Church of Barnstable. The Church was her second home. She served as Director of Religious Education there for 20 years. She nurtured the growth and spirituality of children and youth in a church school that, at times, numbered over 100 children. She cared deeply about the plight of children and families worldwide and led awareness/fundraising efforts for UNICEF and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. In 1987, Carol, together with a group of UCB women, started the church’s women’s spirituality group—Womanspirit. She also worked for social justice in her own community, initiating the church’s monthly dinner provided to the NOAH Shelter. She coordinated the church’s monthly Overnight of Hospitality for men experiencing homelessness. She served on countless other committees and was the first recipient of the “Carol Norman Unsung Hero Award” given annually in her name to a church member who exemplifies selfless service and positive contributions to the church and community.
She loved her husband, her family, her friends, her Church and her church family. She promoted world peace, one family at a time, one relationship at a time in the hope that all would learn that, essentially, people are all the same.
Carol is survived by her husband of 66 years, Richard “Dick” Norman of Centerville; her sister, JoAnn Kelley of Yarmouth Port; her children, Susanne Norman of Brewster, Richard “Rick” Norman of Phoenix, AZ, Marcia (and Michael) Bear of Centerville, Nancy Donohue of Centerville and Andrea (and Terry) Meagher of Centerville. She is survived by her 10 grandchildren: Emma and Ben Vaneria; Elizabeth and Jacob Bear; Grace, Anna and Sheila Meagher; Patrick and Claire Donohue; and Sophie Norman. Carol is also survived by her 3 great-grandchildren—Charlie Mae and Teddy Vaneria and Charlie Hunt. There are many AFSers that are now a part of Carol’s family and include Karin of Austria, Donna “Montana”, Elina of Italy and Marianne of Denmark.
A celebration of Carol’s life will be held when it is safe to gather. Memorial donations may be made to American Field Service International at afs.org or The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee c/o Unitarian Church of Barnstable, P.O. Box 3330, Barnstable, MA 02630