It is with great sadness that the family of Carolyn Stearns announces her passing on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at the age of 81. Carolyn will be lovingly remembered by her children and step-children, Rebecca (Lew), Jennifer (David), Corinna (David), Andrew (Joyce), Brian (Julie), and Larry (Svetlana); by her brother, Brent and sister, Elinor; by her 13 grandchildren; and by her numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and dear friends.
Carolyn will be remembered for her infectious joy, creativity and irrepressible love of life. She grew up in Cranford, New Jersey, where she began her 40-year dance career as a butterfly in first grade. Carolyn attended Miami University of Ohio, and later earned a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Smith College, studying with modern dance legends Martha Graham and Hanya Holm. As Carolyn Coles, she performed with prominent dance companies including Karamu Dancers in Cleveland and the Jose Limon Dance Company in Philadelphia. Carolyn taught dance at Smith, Swarthmore and Connecticut Colleges and the University of Maryland, and for years was a dance critic for Dance Magazine. As Carolyn began her own bodywork practice, A Moving Meditation psychic body reading and grief massage practice in Washington, D.C., her interests became increasingly spiritual. In 1996, Carolyn moved forward from her dance career to focus completely on writing and artwork. Carolyn’s written work appeared in publications including Reality Change, The Washington Post, Pilgrimage, and Choice Magazine and included numerous books and essays for a variety of audiences, young and old. At the same time, Carolyn developed a unique and distinctive art style with which she created an impressive body of award winning work.
Following her first marriage (William E. Coles, Jr. 1961-1975), Carolyn wed her beloved husband Christopher May in 1987. Chris and Carolyn enjoyed a marriage of love, respect and engagement, which they shared with all fortunate enough to have known them until Chris’ death in 2015. Their greatest joy was time spent with family and friends, traveling frequently to welcome grandchildren and to celebrate touchstone events both big and small. Chris and Carolyn spent their winters in Washington, D.C., and later the small town of Deale, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay, before retiring at Riderwood Village in Silver Spring, Maryland. Summers, however, were their most cherished times, which they spent at Chris’ family home in Union, Maine, and Carolyn’s family home in Lake Weslemkoon, Ontario.