Carolyn Lapp Black - December 18, 2013Carolyn Lapp Black, 89, died Dec. 18, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz., surrounded by her family. Born in Indianapolis, Ind., on Jan. 25, 1924, Carolyn lived life with a spirit of adventure and abiding love for her family and many friends. Carolyn grew up primarily in Ohio but her youth was marked by frequent moves necessitated by her father’s work, including a move to St. Petersburg, Fla., during her sophomore and junior years in high school. The Florida move allowed Carolyn, a talented athlete, to join the basketball and swim teams and barnstorm through the South with the Gulf Beach Girls softball team. After graduating from Shaker Heights High School in Cleveland, Ohio, she entered college at the Ohio State University, where she became a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority and president of her freshman class.
World War II interrupted her college career and she joined the Navy, stationed in Washington, D.C. During the war she met her future husband, Roe C. Black. The GI Bill enabled Roe to attend Dartmouth College while Carolyn attended nearby Skidmore College. Following her graduation from Skidmore in 1947, she and Roe eloped. In 1949, the year Roe graduated from Dartmouth, their first daughter was born. Carolyn and Roe began ranching in Nebraska and Texas, where Carolyn obtained a pilot’s license, which she used to assist in finding cattle from the air. After their second daughter was born, they moved to Aurora in 1951. Following the birth of her twin sons, Carolyn returned to school to obtain teaching credits. She taught junior high school social studies and English in Bradshaw. Later, she was awarded a master’s in guidance and counseling from Kearney State College (now University of Nebraska at Kearney). In 1969, Carolyn and her husband moved to Philadelphia, where she was assistant dean of student affairs at Penn State University, Ogontz Campus, for 18 years. She was a leader of her profession serving as president of both the Pennsylvania College Personnel Association and the Personnel and Guidance Association of Greater Philadelphia. Her greatest career satisfaction came, however, in helping students achieve their potential. Upon the death of her husband in 1985, Carolyn retired to Florida, where she resided for 17 years enjoying golf, bridge and world travel. Carolyn had traveled to all seven continents before moving to Tempe, Ariz., in 2005.
She will be greatly missed by her four children, Donna C. Watt, Avis E. Black, Thomas C. Black and Phillip R. Black; her seven grandchildren, Carolyn Conquest, Stephen Watt, Rebecca Watt, Matthew T. Black, Jonathan Black, Daniel Black and Aaron Black; and four great-grandchildren, Abigail J. Conquest, Jacqueline A. Conquest, Braeden A. Conquest and Elise C. Watt; and many extended family members and friends.
As Carolyn requested, a party to celebrate life will be held in her memory on Jan. 25, 2014, at Friendship Village Recreation Center, 2645 E Southern Ave., Tempe, Ariz., 85282 from 4 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Living Faith Pre-school, Living Faith Anglican Church, 1945 E Guadalupe Road, Tempe, Ariz., 85283.