Carolyn Jean Larson Merrill, 81, of Newark passed away Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, after a short illness. She died peacefully at home after a special day surrounded by her loved ones. Jean was born April 25, 1939, in her grandmother’s home in Champ, Md., to the late Catherine and Loyal Larson. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her siblings Douglas Larson, Audrey Larson, David Larson, Linda Miccarelli, Virginia Whitehead and Larry Larson.
Jean was the third out of 12 children and grew up in Wilmington. She was a 1957 graduate of Wilmington High School. As a mom, she was entertaining and could be full of surprises. She was not easily deterred once she had an idea in her head no matter what anyone thought or what it involved. Running for state senate in 1970 is just one of the many examples. She wanted to do it, so she did. Eventually Jean landed her perfect career as an in-home senior caregiver which she did for many years, and formed lifelong friendships along the way.
She enjoyed sewing, reading, genealogy, puzzles, and anything related to John Wayne. However, her greatest joy was spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Most people she met would quickly hear stories about her great-granddaughters, Norah and Layla, and she did not hesitate to show pictures to anyone who had a minute.
Jean is survived by her three daughters, Catherine Tessein (Ed) of Lewes, Carrie Merrill (Mike Kinney) of Connecticut, Cindy Horwath (Tom) of Bear; grandchildren, James Hunter (Taylor Adler), Jessica Rushman (David), Melissa Shughart (Jeff), Samantha Horwath, Benjamin Bluestein; great-grandchildren, Norah and Layla Shughart; siblings, Neal Larson, Alice Hulbert, Gayle Larson, Christine Larson, and Duane Larson. She is also survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews and her lifelong friend Barbara Esper.
The family would like to express their sincere appreciation for the wonderful care and companionship Mom received over the last couple years from Saint Francis LIFE Center and Lori's Hands. They also are indebted to Compassionate Care Hospice for the care and comfort they provided during Mom’s last several weeks. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to either Lori’s Hands or Saint Francis LIFE Center, Lorishands.org, Trinityhealthma.org/life.
A Celebration of Life will be scheduled at a later date.
Final arrangements were made by Strano & Feeley Family Funeral Home.