Carole Carsey, born June 12, 1940, in Greenville, lived an extraordinary life and died peacefully on March 18, 2013.
Carole was the daughter of Martha and Eben Carsey and the loving wife of William Henning.
Carole led a full life with incredible zest and an amazing emotional capacity to feel and care for others. From the age of 12, Carole was quadriplegic due to polio.
With limited use of her left hand, Carole was able to drive her motorized wheelchair. Her father instilled in her that she could go almost anywhere in a wheelchair. And she did. Carole graduated from SMU with a BA in psychology and from UT-Austin with a master’s in social work
Professionally, Carole worked as a medical social worker for the Texas Institute for Rehabilitation & Research in Houston, served as therapist for Family & Individual Services in Arlington and as an adjunct faculty at UTA.
In 1974 she became a supervisor for Child Protective Services, Dallas. Carole and Willie met in Arlington, fell in love, married on Valentine Day 1974 and became sweethearts for life.
A gifted therapist, Carole began private practice in 1980 and continued serving clients until 2012 when her health began to fail. She led groups for mothers of sexually abused children and served as program director for Incest Recovery Association in Dallas. She served as counselor with the Texas Rehabilitation Commission from 1995-2000.
In 1986 Carole was named Disabled Person of the Year by the Dallas Mayor’s Committee for Disabled Persons. She organized a citywide march to raise awareness for the ADA. In 1992 the Dallas Pilot Club honored her as Disabled Professional Woman of the Year.
The National Association of Social Workers in 2004 recognized Carole with a Lifetime Achievement Award. At the time of this recognition, Carole’s brother Buddy said, “Carole deserves a Lifetime Achievement Award in Life.”
Throughout her life Carole found time for volunteer activities. Her first project following her retirement in 2000 was to organize a recognition of Tom Morrison with the naming of the indoor swimming pool at Bachman Recreation Center, now called the Tom Morrison Pool.
Carole served on the board of the Association for the Disabled and was its president for two years. She served on the board for the United Cerebral Palsy in Dallas.
The North Texas Conference of the United Methodist named Carole as coordinator for the Crisis Rapid Response Team.
At her local church she served on numerous committees, including chairing the Staff Parish Relations Committee. For Resolana, a ministry for women inmates in Dallas, Carole led group therapy for women in the Dallas County Jail.
Voice-recognition technology enabled Carole to write and publish three books, one, “England on a Roll,” about a magical trip she and her husband made to London and the West Country in 1999. The dedication of the book on the English trip reads “To my husband, William Henning, my loving partner, who has made so many rich experiences possible for me.”
Travel and birding have been two of Carole and Willie’s passions which they have shared throughout their marriage. She has been assisted all her life by caring attendants who also became lifelong friends.
Carole’s minister said that Carole was a friend, mentor and inspiration to hundreds. She was a deep, loving, and empathetic spirit, passionate about serving the church and the community. Her smile and passion lit up a room.
Carole is survived by her husband, William Henning; brother Eben “Buddy” Carsey Jr. and wife Lynn Gilbert; a sister, Martha Jane Poindexter and husband Bill; and nieces and nephews.
A memorial service for Carole will be at 10:30 a.m., April 5, at Northaven United Methodist Church, 11211 Preston Road, in Dallas.
Memorial gifts may be made to Reconciling Ministries Network www.rmnetwork.org, Resolana www.resolana.info, and Northaven UMC www.northaven.org.