Carol Laurene (Bodine) Johnson, a resident of Wellsboro, PA, died peacefully July 27, 2022, in the presence of devoted family members at UPMC Wellsboro Hospital. As Carol would say, she was 85 years young. Born in Wellsboro on August 4, 1936, Carol was the second of George S. and Emily (Miller) Bodine Sr.’s five children.
Carol’s eldest grandson said that Carol was the richest woman in the world with heart. She was known for being generous, strong, brilliant, talented, hardworking and beautiful inside and out. She was also the most dedicated tractor-driving farmer’s wife, mother, Grammy, sister and friend anyone could hope for.
Raised in Wellsboro and Coral Gables, Florida, Carol worked her first job punching the cash register for the family run Concession Stand at the Leonard Harrison rim of the Grand Canyon of PA during the 40s and 50s. Her storied childhood included hunting for coins thrown over the edge of the Overlook, hiking the Canyon from rim to rim and sleeping in bunk beds behind the shop. She loved to visit her grandfather Henry Ellis Bodine’s law office after school to collect a penny to buy a sack of candy. She remained close to him until his death in 1960. The Bodine family was instrumental in the settling and shaping of Wellsboro and the Grand Canyon of PA and dates to 1828 in Tioga County.
After graduating from Wellsboro-Charleston Joint High School in 1954, Carol earned her Registered Nurse certification from Philadelphia General Hospital in 1957. She married Donald, her high school sweetheart, in 1958. They inherited a family farm and four children soon followed.
While raising her children and setting a high bar as a farmer’s wife, Carol became disenchanted with the learning opportunities for one of her children and earned a Master of Education in Special Education from Mansfield University in 1976. Carol enjoyed a varied career in healthcare and education, caring for the disabled, the sick and those challenged by addiction. She held various nursing and teaching positions at Presbyterian Hospital of Philadelphia, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital, and the BLaST Intermediate Unit #17. She did all this while chasing after four children, raising and showing Saint Bernard dogs and running “Swede’s Delight Farms” with her husband.
Carol held a life-long love of music. She held fond memories of marching in Florida Orange Bowl parades and enjoyed singing with Mansfield University’s Festival Chorus for 19 years (with a highlight of performing at Carnegie Hall). Carol served as the beloved pianist and an officer for the Middle Ridge United Methodist Church for 20 years. She performed in local nursing homes with the Kitchen Band for 12 years. Her home was always filled with music as she rehearsed on her beloved late 1800s Chickering Parlor grand piano. An avid outdoors woman, Carol could often be found on a John Deere tractor helping her husband Donald work the fields of their 500-acre dairy farm, as well as tending her vegetable and flower gardens.
Carol loved to travel, attend concerts, knit and crochet, play tennis, and hunt for antique collectibles. She created a hand-knit baby blanket for each grandchild. She made the best apple pie you’ve ever tasted, and her pot roast was unmatched. She was also a talented seamstress, creating costumes and dresses for her girls. She most enjoyed spending time with her family and pets. Despite never seeking fame, Carol and Donald were featured in the centerfold of Time magazine in 2011, as well as numerous other news articles related to gas well fracking and its environmental impact on family farms in Pennsylvania.
Survivors include Donald, Carol’s husband of 64 years, and their children: Joel (Trina) of Wellsboro; Tracey (Bradford) Bowen of Arlington, VT; Judith (Robert) Kennedy of Wellsboro; and Brenda of Louisville, KY; grandchildren Chester Johnson and Yohanna Johnson, Colby Bowen and Kaitlyn Bowen, Troy Kennedy and Ryan Kennedy, and Darcey Kendall Johnson; great-grandchildren Shay and Riley Johnson and Bridget Silva; Carol is survived by her older sister Jeanne B. Hansen of Towson, MD; younger sister Catherine B. (Lew) Shumway of Wellsboro; younger brother George S. (Karen) Bodine Jr. of Latham, NY; and a host of nieces and nephews; sister-in-law Janet Bodine of Punta Gorda, FL; close friends Nina Stryker of Princeton, NJ, and Brad Lang of Richmond, VT. Carol was preceded in death by her parents and a younger brother, Henry “Harry” Ellis Bodine II, and a nephew, Gregory “Gregg” Henry.
The family shares its deep appreciation to Dr. David Pfisterer and the Medical-Surgical staff at UPMC Wellsboro who took care of Carol’s needs and comfort levels—Dr. Christopher Domarew and Marie, Jessica, Felicia and Jubi.
Carol wanted a party to celebrate her life instead of a funeral. Join us on August 6, 2022, from 1-5 pm at the pavilion at Leonard Harrison State Park to celebrate Carol’s life where she held many fond memories of growing up. Please bring a lawn chair. We will sing her favorite hymns at the Overlook at 5 pm.
In accordance with her wishes, Carol’s arrangements have been entrusted to the Tussey-Mosher Funeral Home in Wellsboro. A private graveside service will be held for family and friends on August 6, 2022, at 9:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial donation to one of Carol’s favorite organizations for families living with autism—Camp Kaleidoscope, Common Ground Center, 473 Tatro Road, Starksboro, VT 05487
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