Carol Williams


Carol Ann (née Traynor) Williams, 82, passed away on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Chicago, Ill.

Born in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., on Oct. 16, 1935, she was the daughter of the late Gerald A. and Marie E. (née Rogstad) Traynor. Mrs. Williams graduated from Pierrepont School and Rutherford High School (Class of 1953), both in Rutherford, N.J. She attended Gettysburg College in Adams County, Pa., and graduated in 1957 with a BA in English. Upon graduation, she worked in New York City as an associate art director at Charm Magazine: A Magazine for Women Who Work.

She went on to complete her education with an MA in English from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1961, and then a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1967. Mrs. Williams taught English at Indiana University Northwest, Roosevelt University and Indiana University, and returned to Roosevelt University in 1967 to teach within the Adult Education Degree Program, where she remained until her retirement in 2001. During her academic career, she authored two books — “The Dream Beside Me” (Fairleigh Dickinson, 1980) and “It’s Time for My Story” (Praeger, 1992) — and went on to become a sought-after pop-culture expert.

In 2002, she moved to her beloved Mount Desert Island home in Maine, where she had spent summers with her family since 1970. She returned to her journalist roots as a reporter with the Bar Harbor Times and enjoyed gardening, hiking, sailing and, most of all, swimming in the ocean.

She returned to Chicago in 2014 to be with her family. Mrs. Williams is survived by her three children, Joseph G. (Christine) Williams, Megan K. Williams and Christopher J. Williams; and her four grandchildren, Katherine and Nicholas Williams, and Lily and Calvin Beckert; all of Chicago, Ill.

The family will hold a private memorial. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mrs. Williams’ name to the Southwest Harbor Public Library ( or the Friends of Acadia (

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