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Caroline “Carol” (Avera) Farmer, 82, formerly of Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, passed away on April 22, 2023, with her children by her side. She was preceded in death by Louis Hunter Farmer, Jr., her beloved husband of 56 years, and her parents and three siblings. She is survived by her children, Louis Hunter Farmer, III of Pittsburgh and Caroline Farmer Kvitka (Andre) of Belmont, California; grandchildren Ethan Hunter Farmer, Benjamin Louis Farmer, Elizabeth Kate Farmer and Alexander Cole Kvitka; sister Patricia A. Jones, many nieces and nephews and dog Toby.
Carol was born December 31, 1940, in Florence, South Carolina, to William David and Virginia Muldrow Avera. Her family moved to Orlando, Florida, where she attended Edgewater High School and made the Honor Roll. She graduated from Florida State University in 1962, where she was vice president of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, Honor Court Justice, and Military Ball Queen, elected to “Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges” and on the Dean’s List. She moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she taught high school English. There, she met Louis on a blind date set up by his sister Mary Remer. They were married in Atlanta on February 15, 1964, after a whirlwind romance. They honeymooned in Mt. Snow, Vermont, where they learned to ski (skiing became one of the family's most-loved activities). As newlyweds, they lived in New York City and then returned south to Charlotte, North Carolina, where their children were born, and then to Atlanta.
In 1974 they moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where they purchased a historic William T. Fife home built in 1832. The house on Old Washington Road in Upper St. Clair became a passion for Carol, who lovingly restored it and filled it with antiques and memories. In 1979, the Historical Society of Upper St. Clair recognized the significance of the house in the community and presented Carol with a bronze plaque identifying it as a historic structure. Carol liked to joke that it was her “hysterical” house, a nod to the amount of care it required.
In Pittsburgh, Carol was an active volunteer with Camp Fire Inc. (Blue Bird group leader, Festival of Trees committee, district training chairwoman, long-range plan co-chairwoman), Junior League (officer), Building Better Boads/CCAC (advisory committee), Pittsburgh Symphony (Symphony Fashion Gala and Piano Symphony Ball co-chair), West Penn National Amateur Clay Court Championships, Upper St. Clair Historical Society, Southern Club, USC Band Parents and more. She created a curriculum and delivered training on nonprofit board development. She was also an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, where she was a Sunday school teacher, elder and India mission trip participant. In 1984, she was recognized as “Woman of the Year” for her wide-reaching community leadership by the South Hills Jaycees.
She loved to garden, hunt for antiques, entertain, play tennis and golf, dance the jitterbug, write letters, read, do crossword puzzles, watch Jeopardy and travel. She had a hole-in-1 on #5 at St. Clair Country Club, a feat that Louis envied and never achieved. She loved all kinds of music, from the Elvis of her youth to John Denver, Johnny Cash, ABBA and even the new wave music that her son Hunter introduced her to in the 80s.
Carol and Louis taught their children to ski at Peek ‘N Peak in New York and later spent time skiing and hosting friends and family at their condo in Snowshoe, West Virginia. They also enjoyed trips skiing in Colorado and Utah.
Carol was the mother to many furry and feathered friends, including miniature schnauzers Brutus and Gretchen, cats George and Willy, Dwadle the duck, and later Toby, her Shih Tzu. But most notorious was the family’s Golden Retriever, Woody, who would frequently break out of the family’s yard and electric fence and attend High School football games, visit friends around town and land in doggie jail.
In 1991, she and Louis purchased a catamaran and became avid sailors – she was his co-captain in life and on their boat, Lou’s Change. They shared many adventures with friends and family, including sailing in Annapolis, Maryland and around Florida and from Key Largo to the Bahamas. She was active in the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the sailing community in Ocean Reef, Florida, where she taught a boating safety course.
Carol had a sparkle in her beautiful blue eyes, a quick wit, a zest for life and a huge, generous heart. She had a friendly word for all and brought joy to every room she entered. She was a kind and selfless mother and loved her husband with all her heart. She lived a large, long and wonderful life and touched many. She will live on in the hearts and memories of her family and friends, whether they called her mom, Gammy, Aunt Carol, Carol, Caroline or Mrs. Farmer.
Her family is forever grateful to the staff of the Waters of McMurray and Commonwealth Hospice who cared for Carol during the last 14 months of her life and found joy in knowing her.
A celebration of the lives of Louis and Carol Farmer is planned for June 16, 2023, at 4pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair.
Please send condolences to PO Box 156, Bridgeville PA 15017.