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Carolyn "Lynne" PitcaithleyApril 21, 1919 ~ September 28, 2017 (age 98)
Carolyn Pitcaithley died on September 28, 2017.
She was born April 21, 1919 in New Milford, CT at the home of her aunt. Her parents, George W. Townsend (1878-1946) and Louise Thiede (1897-1985), were traveling dramatic show people so she spent the first five years of her life with her grandparents, Otto and Marie Thiede in Staten Island, NY. At the age of five, she joined her mother and stepfather, Roy Mosher, on various dramatic shows. Her childhood was spent traveling the hinterlands, living in hotels, rooming houses and tourist cabins (no motels then). She began to work at age six when she played Little Eva in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”
She met her future husband, Alexander S. Pitcaithley, when she was eight years old and traveling with the Hazel Cass Show touring Iowa. He played the leading man roles opposite her mother. Years later, in 1942 during World War II they met again on the Ginnivan Stock Company playing Indiana and Illinois. By that time Lynne was the leading lady opposite Al. They courted that summer and in the fall Al entered the Army Air Force and was sent to Carlsbad Army Air Field. They were married April 9, 1943 in Omaha, NE on Al’s first furlough. They fell in love with Carlsbad and its friendly people so they decided to stay. They both worked as radio announcers for radio station KAVE.
Lynne always wanted to be a teacher and in 1949 she opened a private kindergarten which she operated for fourteen years. During that time she attended New Mexico State University and the University of Texas-El Paso earning a Bachelors and a Masters in Education. In 1964 she began teaching in the public schools at Eddy Elementary School where she taught until 1998. She taught one year at Sunset School retiring in May of 1999 after fifty years devoted to education and the children she taught.
Along the way, many honors came to her: one of forty-eight teachers chosen from the fifty states to attend an eight-week National Defense Educational Institute in English as a Second Language workshop at the University of Texas-El Paso during the summer of 1966; one of nine Weekly Reader Consultants chosen nationwide, 1972-73; one of her articles was the front page editorial for the May 9, 1973 issue of Weekly Reader; Celebrate Literacy Award from the International Reading Association, 1983-84; Outstanding Teacher of History by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson Chapter, 1990; first recipient of the Arts and Humanities Award given by the Carlsbad Community Foundation, 1993; listed regularly in “Who’s Who Among American Teachers”; named a finalist Walt Disney Teacher of the Year Award, 1993; awarded “Best Actress of the Year” seventeen times by the Carlsbad Community Theater; named one of the “Blue Cross/Blue Shield” “Ageless Heroes” in New Mexico, 2000; named “Outstanding Volunteer” by the readers of the Carlsbad Current Argus, 2003; named Carlsbad Current Argus “Outstanding Citizen of the Year,” 2005; named Carlsbad Elks Lodge #1558 “Distinguished Citizen of the Year,” 2006; included among twenty outstanding women by the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women and inducted into the New Mexico Women’s Hall of Fame, 2011.
She was a charter member of the Carlsbad Community Concert Association, Carlsbad International Reading Association, Carlsbad Community Theater, Cavemen Band-Aides which developed into the parent/band organization of today. She was a board member of Noah’s Ark and then president; Senior Warden for St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, and the co-manager of the Cat’s Meow.
Lynne was preceded in death by her husband and parents. Survivors include a son, Dr. Dwight T. Pitcaithley and wife, Sabette, of Las Cruces, NM; a daughter, Dr. Sandra L. Pitcaithley and husband, Dr. Thomas Lynch, of Fort Collins, CO; four grandchildren: Alec Pitcaithley and wife, Sarah, of Johnstown, CO; Catherine Pitcaithley of Las Cruces, NM; C. J. Phinney of Chicago, IL; and Chase Campen and wife, Dr. Angelique Campen, of Los Angeles, CA; and six great-grandchildren, Sydney, Ava and Grant Pitcaithley, and Hunter, Paris and Scarlett Campen.
Cremation has taken place; a memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM, Thursday, October 19, 2017 at Denton Wood Funeral Home Chapel. Denton-Wood Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Noah’s Ark 5217 Buena Vista, Carlsbad, NM 88220 or the Cat’s Meow, 124 South Canyon Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220 or the Noah’s Ark Fund, Carlsbad Community Foundation, 114 S. Canyon Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220.
Condolences may be expressed at dentonwood.com
124 South Canyon Street, Carlsbad NM 88220
5217 Buena Vista, Carlsbad NM 88220
Noah’s Ark Fund, Carlsbad Community Foundation
114 S. Canyon Street, Carlsbad NM 88220