Obituary: Carol Marks, 1939 - 2024

Nantucket Current •

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Carol Ann Marks, a beloved figure in our community whose enduring strength, kindness, and selfless service left an indelible impression on the lives she touched. Born on August 9, 1939, in Canton, MA, to Helen and Harold Pike, Carol's journey through life was marked with joy, compassion, and an unwavering sense of duty to those around her.

Carol passed on last Thursday, Feb. 8th at home on Nantucket with her family by her side.

Raised in Randolph, MA, where she graduated from Randolph High School in 1957, Carol's early years were filled with the kind of idyllic summers that memories are made of. It was during the 1950s that Carol, alongside her family, summered on Nantucket, establishing a connection with the island that would last a lifetime.

Carol's story took a turn toward lifelong companionship when she married native Nantucketer Philip Marks, Jr. on May 6, 1961, a union that blossomed from a chance encounter in front of the Pacific Bank on Main Street. Their meeting was one of serendipity—a testament to Carol's belief that the best things in life come unexpectedly. One just needs a little faith.

In 1963, Carol and Philip decided to move permanently to Nantucket. She quickly became a pillar of the community, revered for her kindness and willingness to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Her years of service saw her assisting countless elderly and young individuals with sound bank management advice and support over the years while working at Nantucket Bank and volunteering at St. Mary's Church. Carol's matter-of-fact guidance wasn't limited to fiscal matters; she donned the role of chaperone with the Jr. Miss Scholarship Program from the 1980s to the early 2000s, offering support and encouragement to young women stepping into the world.

Carol's love for the beach was undeniable. Boating, fishing, scalloping, and quahoging are engrained as part of the summer fun every weekend at Dionis Beach and on weekdays at Springs Beach with her sons. Away from the shoreline, Carol was equally creative as she filled her home with the fruits of her knitting and sewing. She took great pride in crafting clothing for her family, embodying the role of a traditional homemaker with grace and dedication.

Alongside her partner in life, Philip, Carol navigated the seas of motherhood with a blend of diligence and heart, shaping her three sons into well-rounded men respected by their community. Their household was often likened to a well-run vessel where discipline and love prevailed. Carol taught "her boys," as she called them, essential life skills that have since burgeoned into robust capabilities. Domestic tasks combined with outdoor work weren't seen as chores but rather as steps toward independence. As a military wife, Carol made it her mission to support her sons while they served in the military. Sending them weekly letters and proudly displayed their military portraits in her home. Without a moment's delay, Carol initiated a vigilant search operation through military channels when one of her sons missed her scheduled phone conversation. Once he was found, her note was, "Call your mother.”

Carol extended her unwavering support to fellow military families as well, facilitating heartfelt communication by ensuring the delivery of her letters to those pining for a word from their loved ones. Her tenacious actions spoke volumes of her profound sense of duty and commitment not only to her sons but to the entire armed forces community yearning for reassurance in a time of separation.

As Carol's family tree flourished with weddings and the arrival of grandchildren, her role as the family's matriarch was only magnified. Carol was the glue that held it all together. Embracing modernity, "Grandma Marks" ventured into the digital world to stay connected to her six grandchildren, knitting together tradition and technology. Her efforts to be a digital-savvy grandmother created the opportunity for her to instill in her grandchildren the practice of staying in touch with family regularly, regardless of how far or near.

Those who knew Carol will remember her for the understated class and effortless ease with which she approached life. She was someone to have in your corner when things got tough; she reveled in the simple pleasures and maintained a poise that won her the affection and respect of her peers.

She is survived by her husband Philip and their three sons, Philip III (and Kim Ann) Marks of Nantucket, Christopher Macy (and Kathleen Elizabeth) Marks of Shelton, CT, and Patrick Nicholas (and Joy Adrienne) Marks of Nantucket, MA, her sister Louise Murphy of Sherborn, MA, and her grandchildren Mei Ling, Meghan Elizabeth, Brienne Macy (and Joseph Vincent), Kaelan Sheehan, Maeve Ann, and Julia Myra.

We invite all whose lives were touched by Carol to join us in a tribute to her memory, share stories, and partake in the collective mourning of a soul that shed light and positive influence on so many in our little corner of the world. Carol Marks is a cherished wife, dedicated mother and grandmother, friend, and mentor who will be deeply missed, forever loved, and never forgotten.

The funeral service will be held at St. Mary's Church basement on February 17 at 11 am. For anyone unable to attend the church services due to limited seating, graveyard services will be at the Catholic cemetery at approximately 12 noon. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to donate to St. Mary, Our Lady of the Isle Catholic Church, in Carol's memory.

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