1937 – 2015

AUBURN — Carolyn Fosdick Takahara passed away peacefully at the Hospice House on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, with her son by her side.

Carolyn was born in New York City, N.Y., on March 25, 1937. Her parents were Douglas Fosdick and Ann Eleanor Johnson Fosdick. She moved with her family to Dixfield when she was two years old. There she began to shine as a student, skipping the fifth grade.

In 1948, the family moved to Auburn, her dad’s home town. Carolyn graduated from Edward Little High School, co-Valedictorian of the Class of 1954. She went to Mount Holyoke College on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. During her junior year she studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, becoming forever a Francophile. She graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1958, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She received a master’s degree in comparative literature from Radcliffe College in 1959 and entered the Ph.D. program in comparative literature that year. She received her degree from Harvard in 1976.

Carolyn spent most of her professional career in teaching. She married and moved to Tokyo, Japan, where she served as an instructor of English on Japanese State Television (NHK), at Waseda University and at various other institutions. Later, while living in Paris doing research for her doctorate, she taught English as a second language at the Institut Universitaire de Technologie.

At the college and university level she taught at Harvard, Mount Holyoke, Coe College and the University of New Hampshire. She also taught French language at various high schools in New Hampshire, as well as real estate there.

Finally, moving back to Auburn, she ended her career teaching French language and culture to elementary students. In retirement she traveled to Quebec for several years to participate in La Dictee des Ameriques.

Carolyn was a dedicated student all her life. She was always reading and thinking. Her favorite recreation was the New York Times crossword puzzle.

Carolyn leaves behind one son, Jun Takahara (Claire); and granddaughter, Sara Sazuki of Tokyo; her sister, Una Tuck (Bradford); cousins, Catherine (Robert) Thorpe, Lane (Ginnie) Durgin, David Durgin, Michael Phelan, Kelly Phelan Morse and family; and various nieces and a nephew.

Carolyn was predeceased by her husband, Russell Phelan.

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