Carolyn Anderson Landwehr

April 4, 2022


Carolyn Anderson Landwehr passed away peacefully at Beacon Hill health center in Lombard, IL on Monday, April 4, 2022, just 8 weeks shy of her 101st birthday after a short illness. She was born in New York City on May 27, 1921 to Carl B. Anderson and Clare DeWolf Anderson. Carolyn grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where her father worked as a consulting geologist for Gulf Oil. As a child, she enjoyed playing with her brother Dana and going on youth hosteling trips by bicycle with him in such faraway places as Arkansas and Wisconsin.

The family moved to Illinois in 1936, and she attended high school first in Flora and then Mattoon, where she graduated in 1938. She entered the University of Illinois that fall, joining the Chi Omega sorority, and meeting her future husband, H. Marlin Landwehr, when she was a freshman and he a senior. Their romance blossomed as he worked in the newspaper business in Chicago and commuted to Champaign while she completed her studies. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1942 with academic honors as a Bronze Tablet Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa. They were married shortly before her graduation and spent the war years primarily in Philadelphia as Marlin served in the Navy. After the war they settled in Northbrook, near Marlin’s parents. They celebrated their 58th anniversary before his death in 2001.

She worked briefly in publishing in Chicago and then raised three children, moving to Elmhurst in 1953. Her children well along in school, she returned to work full time as an English teacher at York Community High School in Elmhurst in 1963. Subsequently, she earned an M.A. in English Literature from Northwestern University and continued teaching at York for more than 20 years. Long after she had retired, one of her high school students wrote to tell her how her insistence that he chose a more challenging novel for a senior project had changed the course of his life.

Carolyn began her long career in activism as a young mother in Northbrook, where she was instrumental in starting the town’s first library. When the family moved to Elmhurst in 1953, she continued to support libraries, serving for many years on the Elmhurst Public Library board. She also became active in the local League of Women Voters. As a dedicated member she held many positions of responsibility, and was honored with the Carrie Chapman Catt Award by the Illinois State League of Women Voters for her service. Carolyn was also active in other community organizations, including the DuPage County Council on Aging. 

She had a lifelong interest in foreign languages and enjoyed reading novels in both French and Spanish. She enjoyed participating in a reading group with fellow students from her Spanish class over many years.

An active member of the First Congregational Church (now the United Church of Christ) in Elmhurst, she particularly enjoyed the music. At home, she regularly played the piano, and hymns were among her favorite pieces. Her children remember the many songs from her girlhood and sorority years that she would sing in the kitchen as well.

Travel was one of her great pleasures. She told a story that as a child she spun a globe, and stopped it with her finger to pick a place she would visit. Her finger landed on Nepal, and she did visit there, along with destinations on nearly every continent. She and Marlin made many trips abroad together, starting with a visit to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. After Marlin’s death, she continued her travels, including participation in a social work project in Indonesia when she was well into her 80’s.

Photography was another of her avocations. She took the family movies in the 1950s and arranged to preserve them on digital media. Her many photo albums of trips and family events brought her and her family joy even after her ability to travel became limited.

She had always planned to enter a retirement community eventually, and in 2006 she chose Beacon Hill in Lombard as her home. She was attracted both by friends already there and by its swimming pool. She enjoyed swimming all her life and continued using the pool for many years at Beacon Hill. She made many friends at Beacon Hill among residents, staff, and care-givers. She served as a Wing Leader and enjoyed helping to keep the library in shape and selecting movies for group viewing. She also contributed to many classes and discussion groups. Cultural activities remained important to her; she attended many plays and concerts, and she continued to take the train to the loop for visits to the Lyric Opera and Art Institute well into her 90’s. In the past few years she especially enjoyed visits to the Morton Arboretum.

Her children remember her fondly as a warm mother, always interested in what they had learned in school each day, happy to review papers, and always with something tasty in the kitchen. Her warm smile, insatiable curiosity, ready wit and amiable personality will be remembered and missed by all who knew her.

She is survived by sons James M. Landwehr (Jacqueline Wallace) of Summit, New Jersey, and Carl Landwehr (Jurate Maciunas) of Washington D.C. and Michiana Michigan, daughter Barbara Landwehr, of Concord, New Hampshire; six grandchildren (Rebecca Olgeirson, Diana McHale, Neil Landwehr, Dennis Feehan, Noah Feehan, and Peter Landwehr), and seven great-grandchildren (Asher Olgeirson, Emma Olgeirson, Eamon McHale, Brendan McHale, Maeve McHale, Samuel Feehan, and Anna Feehan).

A memorial service will be held in the DuPahze hall at Beacon Hill, 2400 S. Finley Rd., Lombard, IL, (630-620-5850) on April 14 at 2:00 pm; all are welcome.

Donations in her honor may be made to the Beacon Hill Team Member Appreciation Fund, 2400 S. Finley Rd., Lombard, 60148.


Memorial Service
April 14, 2022

2:00 PM
Beacon Hill, DuPahze Hall
2400 S. Finley Road
Lombard, IL 60148


Beacon Hill Team Member Appreciation Fund
2400 S. Finley Road, Lombard IL 60148
Tel: 1-630-620-5850

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