Carol L. Daly (nee Wallen), age 85, peacefully drew a last breath on January 13th, 2023, her daughters at her side. With courage and grace, Carol endured Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare neurodegenerative disease, until no longer possible. A Chicago native born in 1937, Carol met and married the love her life, Dick, also from the Windy City, in 1956. They soon headed to Colorado, settling within view of Pike’s Peak, and began raising their children. Nebraska was a short stop in 1966 while Dick pursued his doctorate. In 1968 they arrived in The Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Sunny Arizona called to them in 1991 where they shared an active retirement until Dick’s passing. Carol stayed twenty more years, busy until symptoms of PSP steadily whittled away her social and creative activities. By 2020, after several years of faltering speech, the woman who talked at the speed of light, or as Carol called it, her “Chicagoese,” was mute. Her mind prevailed, she carried on. After a fall in 2021, she came to Minneapolis to be near family.
Family was of utmost importance to Carol. She gave her all as wife and mother, and even more so as grandmother. Her beloved granddaughter aptly named her Wowie from the get-go. Wowie she was, and Carol loved that. Samantha’s presence was always a joy. An athlete as a young woman, Carol brought drive and determination, along with creativity and curiosity, to many pursuits throughout her lifetime. At age 40, following years of admin assistant work, she earned her B.A. degree and enjoyed teaching elementary students until retirement. Carol was also a woman of details and patterns. Beautiful quilts, embroidery, applique, and beaded creations outlive her, as do reams of genealogical history, a pursuit she and Dick together enjoyed. A woman of faith, she lived her values in unassuming and steady ways, inspiring her daughters to work in the service of others. She kept lifelong friends and welcomed in new ones.
Carol was deeply grateful for her many Sun City West quilting sisters, and other dear friends, who offered unyielding outreach and support during these difficult last years. Days here in the northland brightened with visits from Melanie, Katia, Stephanie, Alton, John, and Joe, all of whom brought much laughter and love to Carol right into her final weeks. Her daughters stayed the course with her – Kate, a steady advocate and caregiver, and Lynn, sending daily care from afar, flying in often to bolster support. Carol enlivened when “her girls” were with her, the best balm for a disease without cure. Though her body and voice stilled, her smile remained infectious. She charmed many caregivers who could tell she was “still in there,” noting her spitfire, humor, and dignity in the face of profound challenge. To all those people who saw beyond PSP, we thank you beyond the stars for reassuring Carol she was known and appreciated as the person she was, not as a disease or task, and by talking and engaging with her in kind.
Survived by daughters Kathleen “Kate” Daly/ Minneapolis, and Lynn (John) Borgman/Evans, CO, granddaughter Samantha Eisenhauer (Seamus Hanover)/Laramie, WY, and niece Mary (Joe) Stanola/MO. Preceded in death by husband of 45 years and best friend Richard “Dick” Daly, infant children Michael and Eileen, brother Wallace, and parents M. Pauline Rogers Brandeis and John J. Wallen.
We thank Allison, Brighton Hospice, for her gentle ways. Our gratitude to Cynthia, St. Joan of Arc, who offered steady spiritual support and compassion. We are very grateful for Little Hospice, Edina, where kind and skilled souls brought deeply attentive care and great comfort to Carol and her family the last weeks of her life, all within their peaceful homey setting.
Funeral and interment, Desert Palms Presbyterian Church, Sun City West, AZ, spring 2023. Carol, in service to a greater good, provided data to PSP research, Mayo / FL. Please consider donating directly to the organization CurePSP.org or Carol’s family will forward any offerings sent to Kate Daly c/o MN Cremation Society, 7110 France Avenue South, Edina, MN 55435.