Carolyn Jean Dodds passed away at home with her loving husband by her side on Sunday, December 6, 2020 in Coloma, Wisconsin.
Carolyn Jean Basile was born on May 6, 1948 in Columbus, Ohio to Arthur and Betty (Swank) Basile. The family lived in Ohio until 1962 when they moved to Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Carolyn graduated from Wauwatosa East High School in 1966. She then decided to attend Ottawa University in Ottawa, KS. She graduated with a degree in elementary education in 1970. From there she took a job as a kindergarten teacher at Central Heights in Richmond, KS. This began her 38 year teaching career. She taught at Central Heights until the spring of 1975.
In 1974 Phillip Dodds was invited to come see his relatives and Carolyn’s colleagues. He told them that he would come down if he had someone to go on a date with; so that they could double. That person was Carolyn. The two got married on August 3, 1975 in Ottawa, KS. Added to this union were two daughters; Kimberly and Megan.
Being a pioneer in her own right Carolyn finished her Master’s Degree in July of 1975 in Special Education from Wichita State University. She then began teaching for USD 379 in 1975 and taught until 2009 when she retired. During that time, she taught at McKinley Middle School and completed her career at Garfield Elementary, she retired in May of 2009.
In addition to teaching Carolyn and Phillip were very active in the First Baptist Church of Clay Center, KS. When they were first married, they served as youth leaders. Also, Phillip and Carolyn regularly attended a Friday night bible study. They had lots of fun with these folks. Carolyn told the children’ story once a month for a very long time. On Kimberly’s graduation in 1997 she read “Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss and had all of the high school seniors come down front. You never knew when you were going to be the subject of a children’s story. One Sunday she brought a toy cow that mooed in church and woke up all the people in the front row and then on another the pet gerbil came and was on display.
Phillip and Carolyn owned and operated Dodds’ Dairy until 1995 outside of Green. They kept the farm until 2018 after moving to Wisconsin to be near Megan and her family.
Carolyn was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004 and for the last 6 years Phillip has been her caregiver. While she was able, she participated in and helped lead the Parkinson’s group in Clay Center, KS.
Carolyn is survived by Phillip; her husband of 45 years, her daughters Kimberly Wright of Ozawkie, KS and Megan (Cory) Gabor of Coloma, WI, her grandchildren Joe Wright (Shauna Woodward) of Topeka, KS and Joshua, Jenna, Jonny, James, and Josiah Gabor of Coloma, WI. She is also survived by her great-grandchildren Shaylynn, Tate, and Easton in Topeka, KS.
Carolyn is also survived by her sisters: Susan (Bill) Hausler of Madison, WI, Marianne (Jud) Hunt of Plano, TX, and Barbara Basile (Felix) of Chicago, IL. She is also survived by her in -laws: Diana (Finis) Shaner of Green, KS, Bruce (Barbara) Dodds of Clay Center, KS and Wanda (Gary) Gunn of Cresson, TX. She is also survived by 2 nephews and 6 nieces and their families as well her large extended family.
Those that left this earth before Carolyn are her parents; Arthur and Betty Basile; her in laws Gene and Bertha Dodds, and her son in law Mike Wright. Carolyn was a very dedicated teacher and because of this the family asks that you make donations to your local library or elementary school in her honor to let her legacy live on.
A memorial service will be held in the summer of 2021 in Clay Center, KS at the First Baptist Church; date and time to be determined.
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