Carolyn Bryan Kirkpatrick

Carolyn Bryan Kirkpatrick, 96, died in peace as the super moon rose on November 13, 2016, in Newton, Massachusetts. She loved every minute of life and was she always interested and curious about everyone and everything that was happening around her. Throughout her last year she was surrounded and cared for by her family and the loving caregivers at both the Falls at Cordingly Dam Assisted Living and Compassionate Care Hospice.

Carol had a twinkle in her eyes and smile, an endearing warmth and kindness for those who crossed her path, and a love for adventure and mischief. She cared deeply about her family, friends, and all those acquainted, and was always willing to offer sound problem-solving wisdom. She gave of herself in various volunteer capacities including counseling work with Planned Parenthood, and years spent on the Board of the Reading Public Museum (Pennsylvania) where she turned her passion for old movies into a yearly Classical Film series.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 11, 1920 to Caroline Guild Bryan and Mahlon Philip Bryan, she was raised in Abington and Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and Great Neck, Long Island, and even home-schooled for a year at Happy Camp, a gold mine along the Klamath River in northern California. She graduated from Wheaton College in Massachusetts and later earned a Masters in Education from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

She loved summers spent as a camper at Camp Oneka in Tafton, Pennsylvania, and as a counselor at Camp Wyonegonic in Denmark, Maine. Through a special camp friendship she met her love, Bill Kirkpatrick. Teenage sweethearts, they married before he served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps overseas during World War II. When the war ended they moved to New Haven, Connecticut while Bill studied architecture at Yale and she worked at the Gesell Institute for Child Development. Returning to Pennsylvania they raised their family in Wyomissing, where they lived for 53 years before retiring to Duxbury, Massachusetts. Their early adventures were filled with canoeing, camping and hiking in New Hampshire and Maine. In later years they loved exploring the New England and Mid Atlantic coasts from their sailboat, Elle.

Carolyn’s husband of 68 years, William Sharp Kirkpatrick, and her son Bryan predeceased her. Another son William Dawson and daughter Amy Lindsey, and grandson William Tuthill Dickerson died young, compromised by mitochondrial dysfunction. Her spirit lives on through her daughter Amanda Kirkpatrick Dickerson and her husband Willard Dwight Dickerson of Dover, Massachusetts, and in her grandchildren Christopher Kirkpatrick Dickerson, Zoë Caroline Dickerson, Molly Kirkpatrick of Reno, Nevada, and Hannah Kirkpatrick of Norfolk, Virginia.

She will be honored in a family service to be held at a later date. Memorial donations are gratefully appreciated and may be made to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, 8086 Saltsburg Road, Suite 201, Pittsburgh, PA 15239 or via

To leave a condolence, please click below.


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

7 Condolences

  1. Marion Lisko on December 4, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Dear Amanda:
    Natalie has been forwarding the difficult news of your last year. I so wish I was closer. I love your words of your Mom as she really did always have a twinkle in her eye. I wish my Mom had been able to see yours even two years ago as she loved her so.
    My deepest wishes for a recovery for you.
    In heartfelt sorrow for your losses,

  2. Barbara Heck Reeser on December 4, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Dear Amanda,

    I knew your parents well as a lifelong resident of Wyomissing and admired them dearly. I babysat you and your brother Bryan when you were quite young. My deepest sympathies to you and your family and know that you were blessed to have such wonderful, loving parents. May God bless you at this time of grief.

  3. Saloni Malhotra on December 5, 2016 at 1:37 am

    Dear Amanda,
    A wonderful tribute to your Mom Carol. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to care for her on the last leg of her wonderful life’s journey. Her beautiful spirit lives on in Zoe, Hannah, Molly, Kip & mostly in you. She was blessed to have a caring & compassionate daughter like you. May your cache of cherished memories of Carol, bring you & your family solace.~sending you all love, light & reiki healing.

  4. Janet Schlegel on December 5, 2016 at 2:49 am

    Dear Amanda,
    The obituary captured the essence of your mother..I felt that in very limited conversations. My husband, Dave and son Scott, traveled on ELLE from Old Saybrook to Camden, ME in dense fog and I and son Philip, drove the crew back to Reading. We grieved every time we walked on the Wyomissing Creek path when we went past the site of their home.
    You are fortunate to be able to carry on Carolyn’s spirit.
    Fondly, Janet and Dave Schlegel

  5. Dinah Moyer on December 6, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Carol was a peach. She indeed had a great twinkle. I enjoyed all of the time I got to spend with her and Bill. Many wonderful adventures! Thinking of you all. Love Dinah

  6. Jennifer Radtke Noll on December 6, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Dear Amanda,
    Just wanted to say hello and send my condolences… Your mother was a part of my childhood and remember her bright and happy disposition… Your mom with with my dad as a new ? He too passes away at 96 last December…
    Love to stay in touch. Please find me Facebook as Jennifer Radtke Noll
    Blessings to you and your family ?

  7. Lisa Harvey on December 8, 2016 at 3:02 am

    How clearly I can see your mother in your family’s home in Wyomissing! She had a joie de vivre that everyone felt. And her mischief lives in you too! While my memories date back a while, my hope is that you can slip back to those years to relish your mother in her vibrant days, which lasted a long time. How fortunate she was to have you nearby. Your dedication and concern was palpable and your on-going efforts were selfless. Know you did everything possible in her final years. I am so sorry that you have lost her.

Leave a Condolence