Carol S. Lauhon, 77, died Aug. 3 at her home in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, succumbing after years of resisting a neuroendocrine form of cancer.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Lake Street Church in Evanston, at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Lake Street.
Born Carol Sinclair Cameron on Nov. 13, 1943, in Ann Arbor, Mich., Carol grew up in nearby Chelsea, a hometown she never stopped loving, successfully managing as a school child the effects of her father’s prominence as Superintendent of Schools. She also loved Kalamazoo College, from which she graduated in 1966, after a one-year delay for spinal surgery.
In 1966 she married Edward Brooks Lauhon, confirming the love that began for them in Chelsea High School. She completed an M.A. in Special Education at the University of Michigan in 1969, taught in the Ann Arbor school system and supported Ed’s progress toward his 1979 University of Michigan Ph.D. in Education and his appointment to the faculty of Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., all while adding children to the family: Lincoln in 1971, Alicia in 1975 and Jordan in 1977.
Apparently in perfect health, in 1984 Ed suffered a cardiac arrest after running a routine weekend race. Revived but paralyzed and unable to speak due to brain damage, Ed survived five years at home, cared for by Carol and the children and caregivers, until passing away in January 1990.
Carol continued rearing her children through middle school, high school and college, while also continuing to pursue her own Ph.D. and teaching creative nonfiction writing at the University of Iowa and in private classes in the Quad Cities. She also worked for years leading the group that brought a Planned Parenthood clinic to the Quad Cities.
Her teaching – in-person and online – was remarkable for its personal effect on students; her evaluations often included “best teacher I’ve ever had.” She said she did not want to approach writing as therapy, but her persuasion that truth in writing usually produced better writing seemed to have wholesome effects. A friend from her Kalamazoo College years, Randy Huyck, became a companion in these years.
In 2004 she moved to Chicago, where Lincoln and his wife Maureen had settled and where Alicia also settled later. She finished her dissertation and received her Ph.D. in 2005, and she continued her progressive commitments in major committee work for Lake Street Church in Evanston and for Gale Elementary School in her adopted neighborhood of Rogers Park.
Carol is survived by her son Lincoln, his wife, Maureen Bolon and their daughter, Elena; her daughter, Alicia, and her husband, Thomas Gansauge; her son Jordan, his wife Rosana Avila and their daughter Emilia; her brother, Charles Cameron, his wife Barbara and their children, Tim, Virginia, Jay, Matt and Jenny; her brother, Jim Cameron, his wife Marcia and their children Kyle, Kelsey and Dan; her brother, George Cameron, his wife Karen and their children Amber, Gabe, Charlie and Carol; spouses and children of nieces and nephews; her companion Randy Huyck and his children, Matthew, David and Teddy, who are also devoted to Carol; and many other friends and relatives.