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1026
Carol Jean Wehrwein 1946
Carol Jean Wehrwein 1946

George Washington High School, Alexandria, VA, senior photo in the 1946 yearbook, "The Compass"



MEMORIES OF CAROL JEAN WEHRWEIN THOMAS BY MARJORIE LYMAN MILLER

It was early in 1942; our country had just become deeply involved in World War II; one last street was added to the Beverley Hills Community of Alexandria, Virginia and filled with lovely two-story brick colonial homes. Marge Lyman and her family moved into 708 North Overlook Drive and Carol Wehrwein and her family moved into a house across the street. Little did we realize that the friendship forged between those two young teenage girls would thrive and be so meaningful for over 70 wonderful years. Carol and I would meet each school day and walk five blocks to catch the school bus together; we walked home every day after school together; we shared homework in each other’s homes, and we confided teenage secrets with each other.

A major part of our lives was the youth group at Beverley Hills Community Church, where Rev. Bill Basom was our spiritual anchor during those wartime years of fear, anxiety, rationing, and concern for my father, who as a career naval officer, was on board ship fighting in the Pacific. Weekly meetings at the church, confirmation classes, sledding and field trips forged a close bond for our group of about a dozen teenagers that all of us remember to this day.

George Washington High School was our only high school in Alexandria, Virginia and we were diligent students and strong supporters of our teams and our friends. Carol was a member of the Girl’s Glee Club, along with Jane Reynolds (Hayum), Agnes Feild (Burke), and Mary Jane Abdill (Hunt), all members of our Youth Group. On the other hand, I was involved with the Girl’s Athletic Association and played volleyball, basketball, and softball. The statement alongside Carol’s senior picture in The Compass (our high school yearbook) for our 1946 class read: “Carol Jean Wehrwein – rated A by students and teachers alike” to which we all agreed. These were good growing years for both of us, and then we were all off to college – Carol and Mary Jane Abdill to Florida Southern; Marge and Jane Reynolds to Albright College – but even as our paths diverged, we stayed in touch with Christmas and summer visits and letters to each other and by 1950, it seemed those college years had gone by very fast!

And then came the news that Carol was in love and getting married September 9, 1950 – and Carol asked me to be one of her bridesmaids at her wedding where we met Roy Thomas. I remember flying to Detroit, Michigan for several days of wedding preparation and making our own bridesmaid dresses, which were all in lovely pastel colors. An added surprise was that my Dad happened to be on a business trip and arrived by train for the wedding of his neighbor’s daughter and to see his own daughter walk down the aisle as a bridesmaid.

And then on April 16, 1955, Carol was among my bridesmaids when Art Miller and I were married in Beverley Hills Church with Rev. Bill Basom officiating and Mary Jane Abdill as our soloist. Among those attending were Mr. & Mrs.Wehrwein, Roy Thomas, and three-year old Susan who was adorable in a pretty white dress. I still use and cherish the silver tray that Mr. & Mrs. Wehrwein gave us a wedding gift. Carol & Roy’s gift was typical “Carol”, and one of the most valued, appreciated, and ever so practical – ten kitchen utensils in a large waste basket

The years that followed were busy and family-filled as both Carol and I filled our homes with four children each – Carol & Roy in Colorado and Maryland; Art and Marge in Northern Virginia, then Potomac, Maryland and finally in 1974 to Pennsylvania. Thanks to Carol’s genius for clever Christmas cards and an eagerness to stay in touch, our friendship flourished over the years as we watched our sons and daughters mature and grow, marry, and begin families of their own. Carol and Roy traveled to Wayne, PA in April 2005 to help celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, and Marge and Art were honored in 2010 to celebrate with Carol and Roy at their 60th anniversary luncheon in a Georgetown restaurant near Washington, DC. A few years ago, we gathered for a delightful luncheon in Exton, PA where Susan joined us and we shared pictures and stories of our families as well as our mutual interests in music and genealogy.

Now that Carol has gone on ahead of us, it is with gratitude and a thankful heart that I dedicate these fond memories to my longtime friend, Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas. 
 
1027
Carol Jean Wehrwein 1948
Carol Jean Wehrwein 1948

Holton-Arms Junior College, photo in the 1948 yearbook, "The Scribe."  
 
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Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas (1929-2017)
Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas (1929-2017)

MEMORIES OF CAROL JEAN WEHRWEIN THOMAS BY SULEIMAN ALIBHAI, O.D (Low Vision Center, Bethesda MD):

Carol was always so feisty and determined that it really upsets me to think she might have been so debilitated at the end. It is also very hard for the family to watch a loved one go through such a challenging experience and so I hope you feel reassured that at least now she is definitely in a much better place.

I will miss her as she had been my patient for many years and she was always very motivated to try things that might help her see better. May we all have her courage and positive demeanor through our challenges in life.



MEMORIES OF CAROL JEAN WEHRWEIN THOMAS BY JENIFER ROSENZWEIG (Speech Therapist):


I will always remember her for her sharp sense of humor, her beautiful smile, and her love of chocolate ice cream!



MEMORIES OF CAROL JEAN WEHRWEIN THOMAS BY SARAH KUZMACK (Physical Therapist):

Coming into the waiting room to greet Carol for her physical therapy appointments, she never failed to start off our session with "Well there is little Miss Sunshine." She was always skeptical and sarcastic of my encouragement and acknowledgement of all the progress I watched her make our the course of our time together. The clinic assistants would comment to me at the end of our sessions on the notable improvement in her walking ability because of my efforts and patience with her, but I was always quick to attribute all of Carol's improvement and success to her highly motivated character. She will always be remembered for her determination and perseverance with all of the exercises and tasks given to her during each session. Carol is truly missed amongst the clinic staff, and certainly is a face/personality that will never be forgotten.



MEMORIES OF CAROL JEAN WEHRWEIN THOMAS BY TSIPORA (Physical Therapy Assistant):

Carol was an honest, loving person, who tried her best. She never missed an appointment at the clinic. Sarah, her physical therapist, was amazing working with her and, later, with Roy, so patient and professional. Sarah and I went to visit Carol at the rehab nursing home and hope she liked the white teddy bear we gave her. Sarah and I will always remember her!  
 
1029
Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas (1929-2017)
Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas (1929-2017)

MEMORIES OF CAROL JEAN WEHRWEIN THOMAS BY EILEEN DOWER (retired media specialist, Montgomery County Public Schools; Second Wednesday Book Club)

Carol and I had much in common–-we both loved to read and to teach. We first met as media specialists working for MCPS in high school libraries. We were both active in our professional organization.

Carol also worked part-time at Montgomery College, teaching foreign students the art of pronunciation. She was uniquely qualified for this position as her own speech was articulate and precise--a model to emulate!

She discovered that my previous teaching experience included instructing ESOL students in various places--East Africa, New York city, and Montgomery County adult education system. She then introduced me to the Montgomery College administrator, who hired me to teach ESOL part-time at night and on Saturday. Thanks to Carol!

Another fond memory of Carol occurred when we retired librarians started our "Second Wednesday Book Club." She declared at the start: “I don’t read fiction!”

When her turn came to choose a monthly book and serve lunch, she chose "The Professor and the Madman," by Simon Winchester. A work of historical fiction!! We ALL agreed it was one of the best reads that we had ever had!!

Carol was a valuable member of our book club and a loyal friend. I shall miss her! 
 
1030
Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas (1929-2017) Monte Vista CO on a Sunday, 1967
Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas (1929-2017) Monte Vista CO on a Sunday, 1967


MEMORIES OF CAROL JEAN WEHRWEIN THOMAS BY DOLORES VALDEZ de PONG (student, Centauri High School)

Mrs. Carol Thomas was the educator who prepared me the most for my future career as a teacher, though at the time I had no idea that was my calling. She was a perfect example of a passionate teacher who worked energetically to bring out the best in her students. Even as a high school student, I was impressed that she taught five different classes, all with different preparations necessary. I was fortunate to have her as my teacher for English, speech, drama and journalism. I learned to be comfortable speaking in public (and of course with good enunciation) and to not be afraid of the microphone. I learned how to perform in theatrical productions and also how to direct them. This is something I later came to do a lot during my teaching career, as I became a children’s playwright. I wrote and directed my own original musical productions over many years. I also learned in her English class about important events that contributed to our history in the United States, as she used these topics as a springboard for various assignments in her class. I learned her lessons well, and my own students benefited from my having had her for a teacher at such an important time in my life. Something remarkable about Mrs. Thomas, is that she did not quit being my teacher when our ways parted in Colorado. She continued to keep in touch with me, and sometimes over many years, would send me clippings and articles of interest to me. She never quit being my teacher. Whenever asked, who was my favorite teacher, I always say with ease, “Carol Thomas.” Her mark is upon me. 
 
1031
Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas and daughter, Susan Rebecca Thomas in 1954
Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas and daughter, Susan Rebecca Thomas in 1954

As the eldest of four children and the only daughter of Roy & Carol, one might conclude that I was highly favored and most blessed. However, I recall wishing at times that I had at least one older brother who could forge a sure path ahead of me, especially in what must be wildly uncertain teenage years. Unlike Mom who did not have an athletic bent or have siblings, I loved playing outside to explore on foot or on my bicycle, definitely preferred climbing trees, played sports, and pretended to ride horses rather than having dolls or frilly clothes. Driving along country roads on a Sunday afternoon was the best fun because we could stop at any time discovering the beautiful mountainous areas of southern Colorado. My vast rock collection was indeed special, an avid past time no matter where we lived or where I “ended up” as the years progressed. Nose to the ground, that was me! In addition, piano lessons included much dreary practice, and yet being able to read lovely notes on a diverse set of pages was an advantage I enjoyed much later just like our Mom and Dad, but while playing the flute and piccolo beyond college. Our family certainly has a long history of incorporating music into our lives, both choral and instrumental.
Once adult with my own two daughters to raise (no sons, but now four Grandboys!) while moving from Army post to post, my Mom and I began to share more similar experiences than ever before. Husband Jay served as an Army Facility Engineer so that my connections, interests, and literal adjustments managing a growing family took shape just as our mother had to find ways to run a family of six while working full time. Once our daughters reached middle and high school age, I finished my Bachelor's degree, we moved to Jay's last duty station near Atlanta before he retired, and my full time professional career launched. Guess what else? Just like our parents, our family continued moving from place to place for years as Jay's company transferred him to new positions. Thus, my own career took several twists and unexpected turns much more than for Mom.
Here's what's most fascinating: I wanted to be a teacher as a young gal, but actually first spent ten years as a Children's Librarian at a branch library in Chattanooga, TN before obtaining my M.Ed in Elementary Education years later. Our mother began working full time by teaching a variety of English, Drama, and Journalism classes in a small southern Colorado high school in La Jara before spending several decades as a Media Specialist at Rockville High School in Montgomery County, MD. Talk about having much in common as we were both hip-deep into full-time pursuits of family and career!
And yet, our rather diverse hobbies also brought us together even more with hand work like sewing and needlecrafts, customized projects, and homemade gifts. Strange in a way to think about the legacy of Mom's mother and grandmother who focused on delicate filet crochet generations earlier, the very craft I discovered while living in Bavaria, Germany in 1986-89. So delightful and very lovely. For me, it was extremely addictive as I gathered German patterns no matter where we traveled, regardless if magazines and books were in English or German. One of our genealogy trips took us to Rothenberg, Germany to visit a distant cousin. Mom was thrilled to discuss family history printed on a long sheet which they pored over with great detail. This type of dedication and determination to learn through new ventures and to nurture talents is now evident in the next generation. Our daughter Becky's love of quilting no doubt comes from several family members, and more recently knitting just like Grandma Thomas who made some of her own sweaters. Daughter Jennie extends our family's legacy of beautiful photography as well as being an educator and writer. Dare I say that both daughters Becky and Jennie have athletic ambitions unlike their grandmother such as for triathlons, marathons, biking, yoga, and more? No sweat. Mom's not at all jealous, but quite proud of their achievements.
To top it off, Mom always had words and their origins running through her mind so that she would be prepared for tutoring multi-cultural students learning to improve their English speaking skills as a second language. She developed her own course materials and unique approach: created original word games, made numerous lists of word forms, and devised corresponding meanings with appropriate examples taken from real life, of course. No fiction! For nearly ten years I was able to utilize learning American Sign Language in the 1980’s in two different jobs. Thus, another legacy of our mother's was a love of language, good books, great writers, and excellent speaking voices, all of which she could recite at a moment's notice to illustrate a specific point exactly. As Winnie the Pooh would say, “ It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like 'What about lunch?'” Or perhaps, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” That's our Mom! 
 
1032
Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas, 1954
Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas, 1954
 
 
1033
Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas, Monte Vista CO
Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas, Monte Vista CO

From Monte Vista, CO, Carol commuted to Adams Sate College, Alamosa, CO and received a M.S. in Secondary Education. 
 
1034
Carol Jean Wehrwein, 1948
Carol Jean Wehrwein, 1948

Holton-Arms Junior College, then Washington, DC (now Potomac MD to grade 12), senior photo in the 1948 yearbook, "The Scribe."

"Carol Jean Wehrwein. Carol takes an active part in Scroll, Scribe (yearbook), and Happy's modern dance, but she devotes most of her time to music. She is one of our most accomplished pianists, and last year she was in the Glee Club as well civic singing groups. The Call of the West is strong in this transplanted Californian, despite her varied activities here. Holton will miss Carol's determination and ready energy when she leaves this year."


MEMORIES OF CAROL JEAN WEHRWEIN THOMAS BY JOHANNA WENSINK THOMPSON (cousin)

Carol’s mother and my father were sister and brother, and for many of our growing-up years the two families lived in the Washington area. Because of this proximity it became a tradition that we shared holiday dinners (always turkey!)

Aside from listening to endless adult conversation and expert demonstrations of turkey carving, what made at least one of these visits memorable was a kind gesture by Carol. Although she was 8 years older than I, on this occasion she took me and my siblings, her “little” cousins, upstairs to play board games. Far superior to listening to discussions of the best way to counteract dandelions!

Our Grandparents held large open house gatherings to celebrate their 50th and 55 wedding anniversaries. Carol’s family and mine stayed in the family home, and other relatives paid visits. One evening when I was 11 and had been put to bed, I stole a look out the window at the aunts and uncles sitting in the yard. Carol, then 19, wrapped a towel turban-style around her just-washed hair and went out to join the adults. This impressed me as being just terribly glamorous and I repeated it several times after we got home. My mother was not impressed.

A project of Carol and other older cousins at the anniversary gathering was trying to identify all the aunts, uncles and cousins who walked through the house, and determine their relationship to each other. This shared information was then carefully added, following much discussion, to the family tree diagram they were developing.

Carol’s interest in genealogy continued the rest of her life. She did a great deal of research on the European roots of the families and was in touch with a relataive who had compiled a book which traced family roots starting in the early 1800’s in Germany. The book represented a huge investment of time, but was merely the starting point for Carol’s own research. She generously spent quite a bit of time in 2010-2011 sharing this information with me.

Through our parents Carol and I were kept abreast of each other’s lives. I knew that she had married in 1950 and gone to live in Colorado. When I married, in 1959, Carol’s wedding gift to me was a casserole dish with at least a dozen hand-written recipe cards inside. These presumably were fairly fool-proof recipes for the new bride. I still have a number of these cards, and every once in a while will come across one. It makes me smile.
 
 
1035
Carol Jean Wehrwein, Centauri High School, La Jara, CO
Carol Jean Wehrwein, Centauri High School, La Jara, CO

For each of four years, she commuted to La Jara's Centauri High School and taught simultaneously: Third Year English, Journalism I & II (including producing the school newspaper and yearbook), Speech/Drama (including producing the annual senior play).


MEMORIES OF CAROL JEAN WEHRWEIN THOMAS BY WALTER MARES (8th grader, brother of June Mares, a student in Carol's Journalism class, and for years, Managing Editor, now retired, of the award wining "Copper Era," a weekly in southeastern Arizona.)

For what it is worth, I consider myself a living memorial to Carol. She is the root of my many accomplishments in the world of journalism. By that I mean, for one thing, never having written anything that was not true. Never have I written anything with malice. That is one of the most important things I learned from Carol. My sister, June, Class of '68, sends her condolences and is spreading word to some of her classmates. 
 
1036
CAROL Maarten + Russ.jpg
CAROL Maarten + Russ.jpg
 
 
1037
CAROL Maarten 07.jpg
CAROL Maarten 07.jpg
 
 
1038
CAROL Maarten 1.jpg
CAROL Maarten 1.jpg
 
 
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CAROL Maarten 2.jpg
CAROL Maarten 2.jpg
 
 
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CAROL Maarten House of Cards.JPG
CAROL Maarten House of Cards.JPG
 
 
1041
CAROL Russ 1.jpg
CAROL Russ 1.jpg
 
 
1042
CAROL Russ 3 a.jpg
CAROL Russ 3 a.jpg
 
 
1043
CAROL Russ 3.jpg
CAROL Russ 3.jpg
 
 
1044
CAROL Russ in Paris 06.JPG
CAROL Russ in Paris 06.JPG
 
 
1045
At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.
 
 
1046
At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.
 
 
1047
Carolyn F. Cram (1933-2003)
Carolyn F. Cram (1933-2003)

Ancestry.com 
 
1048
At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.
 
 
1049
Carroll Eugene Lancaster- Sr.
Carroll Eugene Lancaster- Sr.
 
 
1050
Carroll Lancaster Face
Carroll Lancaster Face
 
 

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