Carol Gustafson Weddle
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Carol Gustafson Weddle
  • September 24, 1929 - September 8, 2017
  • Front Royal, Virginia

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Carol Ann Gustafson Weddle

Carol was born in Union Hospital, Lynn, Mass. on September 4, 1929, to Nils Robert Gustafson and Gladys Cynthia Moore Gustafson. She graduated from Lynn English High School in 1946. Carol attended New England Deaconess Hospital Nursing School and graduated as an RN with honors. She then worked in the Deaconess Hospital Diabetic ward as a bedside nurse and as Supervising Nurse.

Carol married Ben Weddle first on Feb 12 1951 in the Christiansburg Presbyterian Church and a second time for family on June 25, 1951 in the Swedish Congregational Church, Lynn, Mass. That is an interesting story in itself. She moved to Blacksburg, VA with Ben as he finished his senior year at Virginia Tech (VPI). During that period she worked as a nurse in the Radford hospital.

After Ben graduated, he began his career with the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension Service and they moved to Rappahannock County and then to Warren County in 1953 where Ben served as County Agent. Their first residence in Warren County was a small cottage on the Archie and Mattie Trenary farm, and Carol began working at the Warren Memorial Hospital, where in later years she was asked by the hospital administration to initiate an epidemiology system for the hospital which she did with some objections from a few doctors. Carol and Ben moved to Folly Farm in 1956 and she became a farmer's wife raising her five children, Jeff, Lisa, Sam, Caryl Leigh, and Cynthia.

Carol did hospital and private nursing on a continuing basis while her children were growing . Her firm belief was that it was better for her to stay home with her children until they were of age to attend 1st grade; rather than to work and farm her children out to others to train during that period of their life. She also worked with the Warren County Welfare Dept. to organize and teach Health Care to mostly teenage and single pregnant girls. Most of the classes were taught at Cedarville, in Warren County. Carol provided health care workshops with and though the Community Church.

Carol loved to collect antiques and craft pieces. At first it was mostly to stock up their "new" Folly Farm home, but later for decorating and later still for sale. Carol opened and operated the Folly Farm Arts and Crafts Shoppe in the family's new recreation room. Not long after than, she and her best buddy, Scottie Thomson, turned the one-room schoolhouse where her 4 eldest children attended into The Old Rockland School Antique and Craft Shop, which has remained open for close to 50 years under their supervision. When Ben and Carol moved to Northwood, New Hampshire in 1978, she opened the Cats Paw Antiques and Crafts Shoppe in the barn connected to their house. She loved it.

The family all traveled to Raleigh NC in 1965 and took residence while Ben studied for his Masters degree. Living in a college town made many plays, sport games, and other events and activities more inviting. Carol enjoyed them all.

Carol became a kindergarten teacher's aide at the Stevens City Elementary school while Cynthia was a kindergarten student there.

In the early 1970's when Ben took residence at NC State back in Raleigh for further study, Carol became the primary farmer at Folly farm and made it all work with the Lisa, Sam, Caryl Leigh and Cynthia helping.

Carol and Ben tried their best to be firm and fair backups for each of their children, including their daughter Cynthia, (Snoopy) the youngest who attended Durham High School in New Hampshire. Cynthia and Lisa drove to Durham with Ben in his little Ford truck every morning with Cynthia in the middle where she shifted gears for Ben very well!

Caryl Leigh lived at home in New Hampshire with Ben and Carol and taught 2nd grade at Epsom Central Elementary School.

Their house in Northwood, NH was cold in the winter. Ben tried for several years to keep everyone warm with the house's ancient furnace in place. One morning Carol and Ben awoke to see icicles hanging from the ceiling. That's when Carol insisted they modernize the heating system! Doing that finally heated the kitchen and family room downstairs and the bathroom upstairs. There was a mad dash from downstairs to upstairs every night seeking heat-and lots of warm blankets for the beds!

The Weddle home in Northwood was about half way between where her sister Debbie lived in Bridgewater NH and where sister Nancy lived in Salisbury, Mass. This allowed Carol to organize several family reunions at their Northwood home.

While living in New Hampshire, Carol was able to assist close relatives and a close family friend with health care and other affairs at the end of their lives.

Carol loved to go to the beach just over the state line in Maine. She and the girls could get into the water, but it was too cold for Ben! Carol and Ben often traveled to the mountains of New Hampshire, especially the White Mountains, and also frequented Lake Winnipesaukee and Newfound Lake. She never tired of being a tourist along the coast of Maine. She and Ben finally did one trip to visit almost every town along the coast from Kittery to Eastport.

In 1981 Carol and Ben had the very real pleasure of hosting a Japanese exchange student, Yuko Morisita from Motojuku, Japan. Yuko quickly became a sister to their daughters Caryl Leigh and Cynthia, and to Carol and Ben. She blessed them constantly. Since she spoke almost no English, Yuko wrote out in her limited English, "Mrs. Weddle, when I met you first time I thought as if you were my true mother, and Mr. Weddle I soon felt your great kindness. So please let me call you Daddy and Mommy."

While in New Hampshire,

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