Carolyn Rachel Cartmell passed away at age 90 on June 1, 2019 at the KYR Tender Care ALF in Eustis, Florida. She was born on January 4, 1929 in Orlando, Florida, to Herbert and Bertha (Dawson) Thorndike. The family moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin when she was a teenager. She graduated with honors from Oshkosh High School in June of 1946 where she was one of the class speakers. She went to Downer College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and then became a dental assistant.
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Carolyn married Gerald Kratsch in 1948 and they had two sons, Doug and Kevin.
In the 1960s, she was president of a civil rights group and led a successful fight for the city’s first open housing law in Oshkosh.
In the 1970s, she started what was one of the first, if not THE first, dental consultant business owned by a woman. She traveled throughout the Midwest and the east coast and lectured on practice management at dental conferences.
In 1972 she married John Cartmell and they traveled extensively in a camper. In Ohio in the 1980s, she and John led a winning court fight to extend local voting rights to mobile home parks.
They later settled in Florida and served as volunteer reading tutors at elementary schools for several years. They also enjoyed playing golf and tennis. Carolyn was a talented pianist, an accomplished artist, and loved animals. She never met a cat or dog that didn’t love her too.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, John; her sister, Beth Feirer Spicer; and her niece, Joan Mokhtari.
Her survivors include her sons Doug, Madison, Wisconsin and his son, Joe; and Kevin, Oshkosh, Wisconsin and his sons, Ryan and Nathan. Also very special to Carolyn are John’s daughter, Theresa and his sons, John and Paul and their families. Her memory will be cherished by her niece and nephew-in-law, Patti and Dave Hable, Oshkosh, Wisconsin; her nephew, David Feirer, Arizona; her former daughters-in-law, Karla and Heidi and other relatives and friends, including Carole, June and Patti who visited her regularly.
The family would like to thank Robin Patrowicz for her help and advocacy these last months; Bobbie Haverly, the nurse consultant who went out of her way to add some special moments to her life; and Yula Rampersad and the staff at KYR Tender Care for their special care these last few months.
Per Carolyn’s request, there will not be any services. She will be interred at the Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando.