Donor Stories

Carolyn Gilbert

Carolyn GilbertDuring her 30 years as a secretary at Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School, Carolyn Gilbert helped students and their parents every day.  Much of that time she worked as the secretary in the Guidance Department, where she saw deserving students every day and knew that many of them struggled to find sufficient funding for college.  Carolyn and her husband, Byron, valued education and worked very hard to assure that their children would have the opportunity to attend college.  Now and forever, Carolyn’s scholarship fund will help provide funding so that deserving students at Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School will also have the opportunity to continue their education.

In December 2007, she approached the Carroll County Community Foundation about starting a scholarship fund with money from her retirement plan. With the help of her family, they established the Carolyn Gilbert Memorial Scholarship Fund. Carolyn passed away at the age of 69 in 2008, but her memory, spirit and kindness live on. The scholarship will be made available forever to graduating high school seniors from Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School.

Carolyn graduated from Burlington High School in 1956 and married Byron D. Gilbert the following year. Carolyn was mother to four children, Melinda (Chuck Petry) Gilbert; David (Norma) Gilbert; Nancy (Jim) Cangany; and Tina (John) Siefert. Upon her passing, she was also a grandmother to Brant (Brandy) Gilbert; Cole (Abby) Gilbert; Hilary Gilbert; Chad and Joe Petry; Ryan and Aidan Cangany; and Will Siefert; and great-grandmother of Haven Gilbert.

She worked as a farm wife, but also held jobs at Waddell’s IGA (Burlington), Zook’s Hardware (Burlington) and Burlington Telephone. In 1978 she began working at Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School where she spent 30 years, until her retirement in January 2008.

Her devotion to her community was evidenced by the activities in which she participated. Carolyn was a member of the Oakland Christian Church in Russiaville and a Carroll Athletic Booster. She was also an honorary member of the FFA (Future Farmers of America). Even with all of these commitments, she was devoted to her family. Carolyn was known to frequently care for a sick grandchild, send care packages to her children and grandchildren, and always let her family know that she was just a phone call away.

After her passing, her family and friends made memorial gifts in her honor to the Carolyn Gilbert Memorial Scholarship Fund.  There was an unprecedented outpouring of support, demonstrating just how loved and respected she was by the Carroll County community.  Starting in 2009, scholarships were awarded from the Carolyn Gilbert Memorial Scholarship thanks to Carolyn, her family and many of her friends.  As with all of the Carroll County Community Foundation endowment funds, gifts may be made to them at all times.

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