Carmen Mayer

April 20, 2010 

Carmen Mayer was the daughter of Harold and Wanneta Chance, active leaders in the international Quaker community. Firm in her Quaker roots of simplicity, honesty, peace, justice and respect for all, Carmen dedicated her life to family, friends and community.

Carmen graduated from Westtown Friends School, University of Pennsylvania (BA in Sociology) and Harvard (MA in Education). Her first career brought her to classrooms in the inner city schools of New Haven, CT, and at Carolina Friends Early School in Chapel Hill. She met her husband, Bob Mayer, serving in a Quaker work camp in El Salvador. They were married in 1956 and had 3 sons together.

With her Masters in Social Work from Smith College (MA), Carmen began a second career, practicing in rural counties around Chapel Hill and Burlington. After retirement, she volunteered her skills at the Rape Crisis Center (Chapel Hill) and the Interfaith Council (Carrboro).

In life, Carmen enjoyed many activities such as walking, camping, visiting the family cabin in Vermont, traveling cross country by train and bus, participating in peace rallies and social justice gatherings. She supported progressive political causes and the conservation movement ardently. She was a reader and a writer, a gardener, a cook, a lover of movies and the arts. She loved to visit with her brother, Norman Chance, sister-in-law, Nancy Chance, and cousin-sister, Amy Cooper.

Carmen built a rich and thoughtful life in her beloved home community of Carrboro. Her spirit was at home at Weaver Street Market, Carrboro Farmer’s Market and especially on her dear Lindsay Street. Here she would gather with neighbors to celebrate and care for and enjoy her grandchildren. Around her kitchen table one could find grandkids and neighborhood kids engaged in art projects, friends enjoying tea and potlucks, and weekly family suppers.

And it was at home that Carmen died --- supported in love by her sons, Peter, Kevin and Tony, her daughter-in-law, Vicky, her grandchildren, Milo, Nola and Jasper, her dear friends, Nancy, Ellie, Bettie, Lois Ann, Chris, Elsbeth, Hattie, Dotty, Kay, the wonderful people of UNC Hospice, especially nurse Mary, and all her other amazing neighbors and friends who loved her so.

A memorial service is planned for 5:30pm on May 21 at her home in Carrboro. In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to UNC Hospice, Project Compassion or the Haw River Assembly.

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