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1934 Carolyn 2024

Carolyn Day

October 8, 1934 — March 28, 2024

Carolyn Elizabeth (Wood) Day lived a remarkable eighty-nine years until her death on March 27, 2024. Carolyn shared sixty-four of those years with her husband and life-partner, A. Garnett Day, Jr. together with their children, Mark, Stephen, Laura, and David, god-children Marisa and David Schwartz and twelve grandchildren.

Carolyn was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky to Dewey Otis Wood and Charlotte Reed Wood on October 8, 1934. Growing up, Carolyn was a noteworthy academic, famously receiving straight A's throughout her schooling. She played basketball in high school and college, and remained an avid sports fan throughout her life. After graduating with an undergraduate degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY, Carolyn began her teaching career.

Carolyn was a high school English teacher in Florida, and after six years in the Tampa/Clearwater area and the birth of her first three children, she and Garnett moved to the Irvington Historic District of Indianapolis where they welcomed their fourth child, David. While pursuing her Masters of Education at Indiana University, she raised her four children and taught school, first at Parish Country Day School, and then Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). Eventually Carolyn transitioned from teaching to leadership within the IPS administration, both in Public Relations and as the Assistant to the Superintendent for three different Superintendents. While at IPS, Carolyn worked to improve systems and the delivery of education, notably as director of the Exchange/ Intensive Teacher Program in 1990, which was the catalyst for the founding of the first Center for Inquiry (CFI) three years later - a school designed to teach students how to take ownership of learning. Carolyn remained passionate about the importance of education throughout her entire life.

Over the course of her life, Carolyn especially loved having a vegetable garden and cooking. By the mid-1960s after attending a continuing education class hosted at the Ransberg YMCA, taught by a chemist at Eli Lilly, Carolyn became devoted to healthy eating that included preparing nearly all foods from scratch and eating preserved vegetables from her garden year-round. Carolyn took great joy in preparing meals for gatherings in her home - filling the table with delicious foods for friends, family, and her beloved book club. She understood the social importance of sharing nourishing food together, and regularly hosted events where guests began as strangers and left as lifelong friends.

A natural gardener, Carolyn nurtured thriving plants at their homes in Irvington and Lockerbie, and created welcoming spaces for insects and birds which offered her joy until her final days. Carolyn and Garnett both loved the outdoors. They were regulars with the Indianapolis Hiking Club and spent years swimming and hiking near their lake house on Lake Lemon, the summers in northern Minnesota on Hand Lake, and at the Chautauqua Institute in New York. Carolyn had a wonderful sense of humor; her grandchildren, who called her Mema, were ever impressed with her ability to float with all ten fingers and toes above water, and that she could touch her nose (and tie a cherry stem into a knot) with her tongue.

Carolyn believed in the importance of using one's energy and voice to make change through community participation and shared her husband Garnett's life-long dedication to peace and justice reform. She believed in our duty to stay informed and involved, and contributed the power of her intellect and commitment to improving the lives of everyone through a steadfastness in community service. Locally, Carolyn served as director of Irvington Congregations as Partners dedicated to homelessness prevention, knocked hundreds of doors during election years, and proudly housed President Obama's lead campaign state organizer for six months in 2008. In her neighborhood, she tutored students in English and writing at CFI and was a regular volunteer and on the Board at the Mass Ave Global Gifts store.

She was an active member of Downey Avenue Christian Church in Irvington, serving in various capacities including deacon, elder, search committee chair for new ministers, youth group leaders for high schoolers, and a volunteer in the Downey food pantry. She also proudly chaired the national fundraising effort for the Disciples of Christ denominational house at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York - a favorite place for summer learning and time with loved ones.

Carolyn was preceded in death by her husband and her two brothers (Dewey E. Wood and Royce R. Wood). She is survived by her four children (and their spouses, significant others and their children): Mark Day, and children Lauren (Loran Bohall), Christine and Aaron (Katrina Galvez); Stephen Day and daughter Kekeli; Laura (Day) Moore (Paul Hatch) and daughters Mikaela (Gillian Ivey) and Maralina (Sam Tavill); David Day (Regine Day) and sons Ryan (Bella Watters), Myles, Dylan and Gabriel; David Schwartz; and Marisa (Schwartz) Rogers (Scott Rogers) and daughters Ellie and Riley.

To celebrate her life and those who loved her, the family invites any who knew her to join for a memorial service at Downey Avenue Christian Church in Indianapolis on April 6, 2024 at 11:00 AM followed immediately by visitation with the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you offer your remembrance of Carolyn by donating in her name to any of the following charities: Indy Reads (, the Indianapolis Arts Council (, or the food bank of Downey Avenue Christian Church in Indianapolis (

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carolyn Day, please visit our flower store.


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