Carol Catherine Chase
PINE PLAINS — Carol Catherine Chase of Springdale, Arkansas, died on May 1, 2023. She was born on Oct. 8, 1939, in New York City to Claire Farley Chase and Kenneth Fulton Chase D.D.S. Carol was a popular, precocious, tough-as-nails, middle child who revered her big sister, Gene and adored her baby brother, Barry.
Chaseholm Farm and the small town of Pine Plains, New York, were the backdrop for her early years. In addition to farming, Kenneth and Claire ran a family dentistry business.
Carol went on to study at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts, and became a Kindergarten teacher after graduation. Children were her life-long passion. She and her late ex-husband Dick Stewart had four. Their oldest, Ricky, died at sixteen in 1980, and Christopher, Timothy and Kristin survive today along with Cori Hart and K.C. Shaver, whom Carol blended into her family for all-time, when she later partnered with their father, Bud.
The early years in Arkansas featured home-schooling, beekeeping, live music and gardening. Many wonderful books were read, such as “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “The Little House on the Prairie” series, “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.” Eventually the family moved to Fayetteville, and then Springdale, where Carol operated a home daycare business for twelve years.
At the age of 50, Carol earned her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Arkansas. She spent the next thirty years at the Infant Development Center, where she went from grad student on work-study to Lead Teacher and Lecturer. She spent summers traveling back to Pine Plains and Connecticut to visit her brother and sister, nieces and nephews, cousins and friends, and her daughter in New York City.
Throughout her life, Carol had a special penchant for reading children’s books out loud…she was a star in this regard, delighting young and old alike. She especially loved reading to her grandchildren, Chase Hart and Adam and Alissa Stewart.
Carol enjoyed rich lifelong friendships — she seemed to have a place in her heart for everyone. She loved playing volleyball, dancing to the Cate Brothers, a cast-iron cooked steak, books and films, a good bull shot, and finally, feeding families of possums, skunks, raccoons and birds on her front porch.
Carol was beloved by so many for her humor, quick wit, her generosity of emotion and her one-of-a-kind spirit. More than once Carol kept the peace in public places by hugging angry men who had been set on fighting. We’re grateful for the memories we have of Carol — “luminous traces of her remarkable life” — as a friend so aptly put it. A private memorial was held at the family home in Springdale on May 7, 2023.