Lucy James Carroll


Lucy James Carroll

November 27, 1934 - July 6, 2022


Lucy passed away peacefully on July 6, 2022, in Kennett Square, PA, from uterine cancer, having said farewell to all her loved ones.

A fervent believer in the joys and benefits of education, Lucy was a lifelong educator. Raised on a farm in Connecticut during the Depression and war years, and taught by her immigrant Jewish Hungarian mother, Irene Donath James, and Baptist father, John William James, to be independent and responsible from a very young age, she graduated with honors from Newtown (Connecticut) High School. She then attended Middlebury College and cherished her time there. Within four years of graduation, she launched her career as an elementary school teacher, married Donald Carroll, established homes in Pittsburgh PA and then Lexington Massachusetts, and gave birth to Curtis and Leah Carroll, for whom she was a devoted mother – and tireless teacher – throughout their childhoods.

In 1972, the family moved from Lincoln, Massachusetts, to Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and Lucy joined the Vanguard School (Malvern, PA) staff, leading job placement and vocational training efforts for special education high school students. In the late 1970s, she made another career move, designing and implementing training programs for AT&T/Bell Atlantic employees. After retirement, she enthusiastically volunteered for Main Line School Night adult education program in Radnor, PA, recruiting teachers, developing curriculum, and designing the course catalog, often touting the interesting and fun courses being offered to all who would listen.

Lucy had many times more energy than most human beings. She often devoted her efforts to organizing events, outings, and initiatives, covering the gamut from college girls’ road trips, family hiking trips, some legendary Carroll family reunions at Half Moon Lake (New Hampshire), a summer-long coast-to-coast family camping trip, international excursions, tennis doubles games, bicycle trips on Rails to Trails paths, bridge parties, and even a disco party. She was also involved in many initiatives at the Main Line Unitarian Church, where she was Pastoral Care Associate, a Board Member and Board Secretary, and member of the Memorial Garden, Social Action, and Membership Committees. From 2010 through 2019, she co-managed and co-led a Small Group Ministry until she moved to Kendal at Longwood in 2019. 

A firm adherent of the Protestant ethic, Lucy believed in hard work, taking pride in one’s work, and independence. In combination with her boundless energy, this philosophy often clashed with her teenage children’s desire to sleep in. On the other hand, while she accepted no excuses, she had an abiding faith in everyone’s capacity to master new skills, no matter what their circumstances. She was generous with her time, efforts, and encouragement to help others achieve this independence, and many benefited from her motivation.

In addition to being a devoted wife, mother, and educator, Lucy will be remembered as a steadfast and loyal friend who stayed in touch, was quick to share a laugh, and remembered when friends were struggling. She was known for her generosity and was quick to help other friends and relatives in times of need. She was known for being positive and fun, with a zeal for life, learning, and friendship. She will be greatly missed.

Lucy is survived by her loving husband, Robert McCaffrey, sister-in-law Kae James, son Curtis (Althaea) and daughter Leah (Gustavo), granddaughters Brianne Carroll, Irene Rojas-Carroll, and Alexa Rojas-Carroll, stepchildren Sheila McCaffrey (Sean), Eileen McCaffrey (Evan), and Brian McCaffrey, and step-grandchildren Joanie Schuman and Brendan Duffin. She was also a beloved aunt to many nieces and nephews all over the U.S. She was predeceased by ex-husband Donald C. Carroll, former husband Anthony Lannutti, and brother John Donath “Don” James. 

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 13, from 2:30-4:30 at the Kendal Longwood Auditorium and on zoom. (For the zoom link, please contact Leah Carroll, In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Lucy’s name to Middlebury College, Main Line Unitarian Church, ACLU, Sierra Club, WHYY, National Parks Conservancy, or Rails to Trails Conservancy.  

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Memorial Service
August 13, 2022

2:30 PM
Kendal at Longwood Auditorium
1109 East Baltimore Pike
Kennett Square, PA 19348
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