Carolyn Folsom


STARKE, Fla. — Carolyn Folsom, our cherished mother, sister and friend died Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Starke, Florida.

Carolyn Mae Westrick was born June 2, 1941, to Bernard and Helen (Singer) Westrick, Defiance. She grew up on a farm with her four sisters and three brothers. A 1959 Defiance High School graduate, she married Charles Downs Sr. in 1962. They had a son, Charles Donald Downs Jr.

She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Defiance College in 1966, at age 25, and began her teaching career at St. John’s Catholic School, Defiance, where she taught the first grade for 10 years.

In 1975, Carolyn moved from Ohio to Ocala, Florida, where she taught at Anthony Elementary School. In 1979, Carolyn moved to Starke and married Gene Folsom. She continued her teaching career at Lawtey Community School where she taught middle school. In 1981, Carolyn and Gene welcomed a daughter, Bonnie Jean Folsom. In 1987, Carolyn received her master’s degree in education. She was a curriculum specialist at Lawtey Community School for 15 years. During the last five years of her career she was the title one director at Bradford County School District Office.

Passionate with a zeal and enthusiasm for life, the three areas Carolyn was most devoted to were faith in God, her family and her teaching career which spanned 42 years. She enjoyed spending time with her grandsons, Logan and Brian Downs, and with her family at Kingsley Lake for 35 years. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Clifton Eugene “Gene” Folsom. Surviving are her children Charles “Chuck” Downs, Texas, and Bonnie Jean Folsom, Florida. Also surviving her are siblings, Rosanne (Jim) Nusbaum, Sherwood, Donna (Ronnie) Lingvai, Edgerton, and Rita Jean Stoufer (Tom), George (Rita) Westrick, Joseph (Linda) Westrick and Bill (Wendy) Westrick, all of Defiance. Her grandchildren are Logan and Brian Downs, Florida. Surviving step-children are Danny Folsom, Suzanne Stone, Laura Folsom, Tabitha Brownfield and Angela Watson.

There will be a memorial service for all family and friends at 1 p.m., Sunday, December 12, in Toledo Edison Memorial Hall, 2120 Baltimore St., Defiance.

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