Carol Anne (Whalen) Catani-Thebarge, 86, of Charlestown, NH, transitioned to the next level of Spiritual life on January 19, 2021.
She entered the world on July 23, 1934, in Waltham, MA, the daughter of Attorney Charles A. and Mary (Malloy) Whalen. Richard Francis Catani who transitioned in 2014 was the father of their four children. Carol is survived by her children Marguerite (Peggy) Anne Catani-Rea, David Stephan Catani, Therese Martina Catani-Brock, Melanie Marie Thebarge-Edmondson, Todd Thebarge, Mary Anne Thebarge-Dyke; her grandchildren Jennifer Pecor-Coleman, Krystle Lynn Catani-Dyke, Steven Richard Catani, Katlyn Marie Pecor-Santoro, Christopher Emile Catani, Samuel Edmondson, Jacob Edmondson; her great grandchildren, Benjamin Ethan Santoro, Zoey Lynn Dyke, Lila Mae Catani; her treasured friends, Lydia Kimball, John Ostrowski & family, Peter & Jane Smith, John Caramore, Kipp Ryan & family.
Carol, as Nana, will be welcomed by her first born granddaughter, Tara Rae Keefe, who was challenged in 1973 and found her peace in 1977 at the age of four. This courageous champion, our Tara, was followed by her mother, Carol’s first born daughter, Victoria Maria Catani Keefe-Rossena at the age of 52 in 2006. Carol will also be welcomed by her grandson Zachary Mitchell Brock who transitioned in 2019 at the age of 27. In 2007, Carol’s much beloved husband, Emile Julian Thebarge, transitioned to join Victoria and Tara. Emile served as a Liberty Mutual investigator for 42 years and had a second vocation as a loved substitute teacher in four school districts for the following 16 years.
Carol and Emile were affectionately known by their students and the wider community as “Mr. & Mrs. T”. Some notable highlights in this remarkable woman’s life include: In the year 1960, due to the condition Carol’s mother had to endure and noting that many Labeled Afflictions had educational funds to support research and potential cures, she petitioned the then Massachusetts Governor Volpe to establish November as a yearly fundraising month for the Epilepsy Society. These funds provide education to the public as to the lack of stigma due to the condition and the annual fundraising month remains to this day. Carol was active in the political field in Massachusetts and was Ted Kennedy’s campaign manager in Worcester County when he first successfully ran for the United States Senate. Carol was also a published journalist employed by three different publications while living in Whitinsville, MA. The Boutique Shop “SHE” initially was founded in her kitchen in Charlestown, with her best friend Jean Baldasaro.
After managing three publications, she entered her beloved field of education. Carol taught as a Certified Substitute teacher for 36 years, in 32 schools, grades Kindergarten through grade 12 throughout the Fall Mountain District along with Springfield, VT; Bellows Falls, VT; and Claremont, NH. Carol presented seminars through the region termed “Beyond Positive Thinking” which demonstrated various meditation techniques, including how to neutralize negativity which cause painful emotional conditions in people’s lives. In Bellows Falls Union High School, where she served eight years, the students gifted her with the presentation of the 1995 Yearbook dedication. Following this unexpected but delightful surprise, she founded a four-year program for At-Risk Teens, termed The Re-Integration Class where students were able to work from their present level of understanding to increase their self-worth and determination to succeed. In 2001
Carol was nominated by a former student to carry the Salt Lake City Olympic Torch and ran that portion of the event in the City of Lebanon, NH. She retired from education at the age of 79, with the embodiment of such gratitude for all of her beloved friends and fellow educators of every faculty she served through the four school districts and the respect and love for each and every student she served. Her love and her dedication to her students, family and friends continued through her daily posts on Facebook’s “Polishing Halos” blog and frequent student visits to her home. She was also a Justice of the Peace, marrying many couples over the years, including former students, and children and grandchildren of former students. A parade of 176 cars honored her legacy in December 2020, giving friends and family the opportunity to share words of gratitude for the profound impact she made in their lives which were forever changed by this wonderful woman.
The family wishes to thank the many, many people who reached out with personal notes and support giving the family strength over the last few months. In keeping with Carol’s wishes, there will be no services.
You are invited to share a memory of Carol with the family or leave a message of condolence in the family guest book at www.royfuneralhome.com . Arrangements have been entrusted to the Roy Funeral Home and Cremation Service.
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