ST. ALBANS — Carolyn P Leavitt [Lyn] passed away on Nov. 27, 2016 from complications at the end of a long road traveled with leukemia.
Lyn was born Carolyn Westlin Peabody in New Rochelle, N.Y. to Ethel and Kemper Peabody on April 20, 1929. Her family moved to Vermont in 1942 to the Ingleside Dairy Farm in Saint Albans. Lyn attended BFA in Saint Albans, and went on to graduate from Skidmore College in 1951 with a degree in English.
She spent her next years raising her family and volunteering with her church and local schools. She eventually returned to college, acquired her teaching certification, and embarked upon a teaching career in the Burlington school district. Over several decades, Lyn taught elementary grades at Lawrence Barnes, the Barnes Annex and ended her teaching career at CP Smith Elementary in the late 1980s.
Lyn took her involvement with children out into the community when she joined the board of the Sara Holbrook Community Center in 1972, with a mandate to ‘fix’ the nursery school program, a challenge she happily accepted. She continued to work with the board and outreach programs, the teachers and staff, the children and families of the Sara Holbrook Community Center for over forty years. On June 4, 2011 Lyn was honored with the State of Vermont Governor’s Award for a lifetime of Outstanding Community Service. She stepped away from active service to SHCC with the greatest of regret when she became ill in 2012.
Lyn was always interested in people, listened well, and was endlessly generous with her time and appreciation of others. She spoke to children with engagement and respect, and to adults with compassion, reason and humor. On many occasions she opened her home to friends and acquaintances when their lives were in transition.
Lyn truly loved being at her summer home, Redwood, on Lake Champlain where ‘her cedars took care of her’.
She appreciated the wonders of nature: sunsets, moonrises, wildlife, the sounds of water, and her beautiful woodside gardens, which brought her great joy and inner peace. She enjoyed entertaining friends and family with cocktails and lively discussion on her deck, overlooking her piece of paradise.
Lyn cherished small and most personal adventures such as: the joy of walking along the ocean in Maine, visiting museums or shows in Boston, Montreal and New York with friends, watching the sunrise over Monument Valley on a family trip, taking a canoe up Mill River with good company, dining out with friends and family, working on a challenging puzzle, or playing a game of bridge with a scotch.
Lyn drew life from and delighted in friends of all ages, in her children and in her chosen extended family. She is survived by her children Kristin Leavitt, Marianne Shibata and husband, Ichiro, and Frank Leavitt and by her ‘heart’ family Linda Carroll, Jacky DeForge, and the children of her dear friend Katy Lockhart – Ellen George, Betsy Lamontagne, Peggy Manahan, James and Andrew Lockhart and their expanding generations.
The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Dr. Kim Dittus and her staff, to UVMMC Hematology/Oncology and PPR departments, and to the staff on UVMMC Shepardson 4 for their professional and compassionate care given to Lyn on her journey.
There will be a reception to celebrate Lyn’s life on Monday, Dec. 12 from 3 to 6 p.m. in the “Seasons on the Lake” ballroom of the Hilton Hotel, Burlington. Family remarks will be shared at 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions would be welcomed to the Sara Holbrook Community Center, or any local charity of personal choice.
Arrangements are under the care of LaVigne Funeral Home and Cremation service. Condolences may be shared at www.lavignefuneralhome.com.