Carolyn Evelyn Goldner Hemenway, 81, of Northampton, Massachusetts, died at home on March 7, 2023. Born July 1, 1941, to Edna and Edward Goldner, Carrie grew up in the Bronx, in New York City, surrounded by a group of sibling-like cousins and a tight-knit extended family. She moved to New Haven, Conn. where her father started an ophthalmology practice in the 1950s. There, Carrie — ever outgoing and social — met more lifelong friends and attended New Haven High School.
She attended the University of Connecticut in Storrs in the early 1960s, then, years later — as a single mother with three children — had the chutzpah and stamina to earn a master of education degree in human services counseling and administration at Antioch Graduate Center (now Cambridge College). In her recent years, Carrie was a life coach, after having worked at Smith College for 20 years as the communications director at Smith’s Career Development Office and filling a similar role at Hampshire College.
A prolific and talented writer, Carrie has documented her life growing up in the Bronx in a series of personal stories filling drawers full of her notebooks. She was also an activist in Northampton during the 1970s and 1980s, focused on unionizing childcare workers, LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, civil rights, and anti-nukes, and many other issues. She was first and foremost a fierce feminist and joined the legions of women of her time fighting to gain and maintain a woman’s right to reproductive autonomy. In the 1980s — way ahead of her time — her activism centered on the size acceptance movement, and she became a regular contributor to Radiance, a magazine for large women, as well as a spokesperson for fat acceptance around the U.S.
Known for her warmth, big smile, and generous spirit, Carrie’s superpower was making people feel loved and accepted. She was an avid reader of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, and, in her final years, its arrival at her doorstep each morning became a highlight of her day. Known by her grandchildren as “Baba,” she will be sorely missed as a person who fiercely loved her family and her cadre of neighbors and friends — including her mail carrier — who always looked out for her.
Carrie is predeceased by her parents, Edna and Edward Goldner. Survivors include her three children, Thor Hemenway, Cassandra Hemenway and husband Charles Stevens, and Eliza Hemenway; her grandchildren Katherine Coviello and Emery, Alex, and Aurora Brush; her sister Patricia Sue (Goldner) Iovieno, her nephews Bryan and Derek Iovieno, and many beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A small burial service was held at the Hebrew Cemetery Society on Sunday, March 12, and a larger Celebration of Life will be held later this year.
As Carrie would say at the end of every family visit, “Bye for now.”
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