Carol A. Head died on April 13, 2021, at age 88, after a long illness. She was surrounded by family and departed gently. On Friday April 16th from 5:00-7:00, the Bradley Funeral home at 345 Main St. in Chatham will host a viewing. Church services will be held at 9:30 am on Saturday at the Presbyterian Church in Madison at 19 Green Ave. Due to COVID 19 restrictions, you MUST reserve your time to attend the Church service using the Sign Up Genius link posted above.
Carol was born in Collins, Iowa on October 11, 1932. She was raised on a farm where she did plenty of chores but also was left to her own devices, often devouring books and following her older brothers around the creeks and corn fields. In High School, she excelled on the basketball court despite her diminutive stature and also sparkled in the classroom, graduating as Salutatorian. Her parents sent her to Drake University for two years and then to Katherine Gibbs where she honed her typing, organizational, and administrative skills. She took a job at the Farm Bureau in Des Moines as the secretary for a young executive named Glenn Head. Though a bit cliché, they fell in love and she wound up leaving Iowa and following him to Manhattan in the early 1950’s. There she lived in a strict rooming house for proper single women, and within a year Glenn and Carol were engaged and soon married. They remained in New York in an apartment on Park Avenue.
She went on to have five children by the time she was 30, at which point the family had moved to the suburbs of NJ and built a house in Madison. While raising the children, she managed to shine in multiple arenas with her characteristic ingenuity, grit, energy, and drive. She joined the boards of Planned Parenthood, the Junior League, and the Colonial Symphony, and was active in the Presbyterian church as a deacon and a board member. She went back to school and studied Political Science when her youngest was five, and was always happy to discuss her papers while driving the carpool. She then went on to get her Master’s in Public Administration at NYU, taking the train to New York three times a week. In her spare time, she threw elegant dinner parties and cooked balanced meals for her family of seven every night. She coached her daughters’ softball teams, hosted lunches for her children’s teachers, and never missed a child’s sporting event or concert. She was a tough tennis player and an easy travel partner. As if five children were not enough, she also welcomed relatives and exchange students into our home for extended periods – most notably Blandine, who was with us for a year and became a loved member of the family.
She went on to start a business, providing financial consulting to non-profits who needed her expertise in producing financial statements and tax returns. She became more like a partner to her clients, caring deeply for their missions and staff and working closely with their directors. She was a devoted wife to Glenn for almost 60 years, supporting his successful career, and his role as Mayor of Madison and then tenderly caring for him as he declined.
In later years, she took delight in her eight grandchildren, making each feel special and loved. At one point she said, “I didn’t imagine how much I would love my grandchildren and the role of grandmother.” She threw them birthday parties with pinatas and presents, and brought out the wit and joy in each of them. They adored her in return.
She was generous and pragmatic, hard-working and stoic, modest and funny. Her laugh was frequent and contagious. We will miss her, of course, but will be forever warmed by our memories of her.
She was preceded in death by her husband Glenn, and her brothers Bill and Gene. She leaves a sister Linda Lein; five children, Kathy Head (Linda Delma), Glenn Head (Xeni Fragakis) Marcia Head, Leslie Head, and Linda Flanagan (Robert); and eight grandchildren, Brian and Jenny Smith; Julie, Jeff, and Paul Flanagan; Caroline and Jessie Scheer; and Kate Head.