Carol Williams, MD, an Adrian Dominican Associate since November 2007, died on January 22, 2018, after a short convalescence. She was the second of two children, born on September 13, 1931 to Frances and Daniel Williams. Carol and her brother Dan grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Carol attended an all-girls prep high school, where she was the valedictorian of her class.
Carol’s father, a general practitioner of medicine, became ill with tuberculosis when Carol was in the eighth grade, and subsequently died while she was a senior in high school. Her mother was a reporter for The Chattanooga Times, and eventually became the editor of the society section of the paper.
Carol attended Vanderbilt University for two years, then transferred to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and graduated with a degree in chemistry. She graduated in 1955 from the Tennessee College of Medicine.
Carol’s accomplishments as a physician were many, including a fellowship in obstetrics-gynecology and gynecologic oncology at Barnes and Allied Hospitals/Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She became head of a residency program and subsequently chief of the department at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis.
In 1975, Carol went into a solo private practice, and was a most beloved doctor. She closed her practice in 1991 and was engaged in delivering and coordinating women’s health care in community and public health settings. From the early 1980’s, she also served in pediatric and adolescent gynecology at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and St. Louis University. Carol was the first woman President of the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society and, in 1992, served as the President of the Missouri State Medical Association.
Carol was married for 20 years to a pediatrician. Early in the marriage she developed breast cancer. Her marriage ended, and an annulment was granted. She had no children.
Carol began her spiritual life as a Southern Baptist, and began daily Bible reading. After being a member of the Episcopal Church, she became a Catholic in 1981. She served on the board of the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, where she earned a master’s degree in theology and certificates in pastoral care, spiritual direction, and preaching. For years, she was an Associate with the Racine Dominican Sisters.
Carol ultimately made her commitment to Adrian Dominican Associate Life on November 27, 2007, mentored by Sisters Patricia Walter, OP and Peggy Coyne, OP.
In her application for Associate Life, Carol wrote the following: “These years as a Catholic have seen the gradual release from the fear of engagement with one’s life issues and the attendant risk of hurt. In spiritual direction the unresolved, unrepented, unforgiven relationships and injuries sustained through seventy five years of living have yielded to the light of God’s care and mercy in Christ in the power of the Spirit. I am grateful to the Lord of the Journey for rescuing me from the trash heap to which I tried to consign myself and bringing me into healing communion with God’s people.”
Carol was very devoted to her Sojourner group in St. Louis – made up of Adrian Dominican Associates – and formed close relationships with both Associates and Sisters. She continued to be present to those who were in crisis with illness and dying.
Carol is preceded in death by her parents and survived by her brother Daniel (Joan) Williams, Jr.; nephew Chris (Terri) Williams and their son Stone Williams; and nephew William Hedrick.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, January 26, 2018, at St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis. Visitation will be at 9:00 a.m. until the Mass at 10:00 a.m. Burial will be during a private service held at a later date in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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