Obituary: Carolyn H. Chirnside, 79

by | Jan 22, 2021

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Carolyn H. Chirnside, 79, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Jan. 16. Born on Feb. 24, 1941, in Pawtucket, she was the daughter of the late Peter and Jane Chirnside.

Carolyn was educated in the Pawtucket Public Schools. She went on to earn her BA from the University of Rhode Island in 1962, her master of arts in teaching from Rhode Island College in 1974, and completed all of the coursework for a PhD from the University of Connecticut. In 1982, Carolyn attended the Cambridge (England) summer school sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University Evening College and Humanities Institute. An English teacher at Coventry High School, she also served as the head of the department for many years. She loved her job and students and maintained connections with many former students over the years.

A longtime member of the Park Place Congregational Church in Pawtucket, she served in many capacities and became the first woman to serve as president of the church. Her passions in life were travel, theater, family, learning, and her beloved dogs. While she traveled most of Europe, her favorite place was the British Isles. When not traveling or working, she was an avid theatergoer at PPAC, Gamm, Barker Playhouse, Trinity, and many others. Her love of life and passion for living was an inspiration to all who knew her.

Carolyn was the sister of Kenneth Chirnside and his wife Judy of East Greenwich, the late Dorothy Chirnside, and the late Donald Chirnside and his wife Joan. She was the beloved aunt of Jeffrey Chirnside, Jill Shurilla, Jon Chirnside, Joy McLaughlin, Keryn Stoelting, and the late Jay Chirnside. She is also survived by 13 great nieces and nephews.

Due to the pandemic, a memorial service will be scheduled at a later date when it is safe for all to gather. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Coventry Teachers Scholarship Fund or Park Place Congregational Church in Pawtucket. 

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