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Obituary: Carol McCrann Proom, Formerly of Canton

Carol McCrann Proom
Carol McCrann Proom
Carol McCrann Proom died unexpectedly on May 21 in Portland, Maine, where she had recently moved to be closer to family.

She was born in Hartford on June 14, 1940, the daughter of the late Dr. Donald Joseph McCrann and the late Margaret Cullen McCrann Carol grew up in Bloomfield. She was predeceased by her husband Burt C. Proom, who brought love, happiness, humor and warmth to her life.  They enjoyed blending their families and they cheered with the arrival of each grandchild.

The home that they built in Canton was the center of many happy gatherings with family and friends over the years.  Like Burt, Carol was known for her generosity, her sense of humor, and her joie de vivre.

Carol’s children, grandchildren and extended family were the love and focus of her life.

Carol is survived by her daughters, Betsy Dower Nickerson and her husband Nick of Mansfield, Mass.; Meg Dower Kuhn and her husband John of Fairfield, CT; Sarah Dower Fowler and her husband Michael of Scarborough, Maine; Betsy Proom Lyons and her husband Pat of Franklin, Mass.; and her son Bill Proom and his wife Heidi Peterson of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Carol was the loving and proud grandmother of Molly and Charlie Nickerson, Kate, Declan and Charlotte Kuhn, Will, Ellie, Wyatt, Katrina and James Fowler, and Zoe, Lily, Zachary and Annie Proom. Carol is also survived by her brother, Dr. Donald J. McCrann, Jr.,  his wife Susan Soule of Falmouth, Maine, and their eight children.

In addition, Carol is survived by her cousins Ken and Pat Gately of Westfield, Mass. and Brian and Marilyn Gately of Center Barnstead, N.H.  She counted them among her best friends in the world, and she enjoyed lobsters, cottage gatherings, and sunsets with them each summer on Birch Island.

Also part of her family is Tina Chen Josephson of New York City, an exchange student who lived with the McCranns for several years in the early sixties.

Carol attended the Oxford School in West Hartford and went to college at Emerson in Boston. She earned a Masters’ Degree in Management from Antioch New England Graduate School.

She worked in customer service at Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Company and as a Vice President of Human Resources at American Nuclear Insurers in Farmington.

Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford was a very important part of Carol’s life.  Her father was a long-time and much-beloved member of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Carol worked as a volunteer there for many years.

She was the President of Saint Francis Women’s Auxiliary from 1995-1997 and served on the Board of the Saint Francis Foundation. She loved the work and she loved the friends that she made at Saint Francis.

Carol was an enthusiastic world traveler since the age of 17, when she spent a summer in Switzerland as an exchange student.  She and her former husband, W. Barrett Dower, and their children lived in Paris, France in the early seventies. It then became her favorite place to visit.

She traveled extensively with her husband Burt, and after his death in 2001, she visited China, Vietnam, Japan, Morocco and South Africa. She developed a deep appreciation of foreign cultures through her extensive adventures abroad.

Although her travels took her around the globe, Carol was always happy to come home and spend the summer on Birch Island in Casco Bay, Maine. Her parents and grandparents  instilled in her a love of the Maine Coast and an appreciation for the simplicity and the beauty of island living.

She was happiest sitting on her deck on Birch Island where she watched the tide come and go and shared laughs with family and life-long friends. Carol also loved seeing her grandchildren become the fifth generation to enjoy the magic of Birch Island.

Donations in her memory may be made to The Dr. Donald J. McCrann Fund at Saint Francis Hospital, 114 Woodland St., Hartford CT 06105 or to The Proom Family Scholarship  at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday, May 27, from 4 to 7 p.m. at The Ahern Funeral Home, 180 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT 06105. The Funeral Service is on Wednesday, May 28, at 10:00 am at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 42 Church St., New Hartford, CT 06057.
 
For online condolences to the family, visit the obituary on the Ahern Funeral Home website.

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