Carolyn Rose Rilenge (née Myrick), 84, of Indianapolis, IN, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 7, surrounded by the love of family. Carolyn was born in Terre Haute, IN to Thomas and Rosemary Myrick on December 8th, 1936. When Carolyn was a small child, her family moved to Morrisonville, IL. Carolyn loved Morrisonville and spoke of her childhood there with great fondness. Later, her family returned to Terre Haute, where Carolyn graduated from Gerstmeyer High School. She soon began working for The Rilenge Construction Company where she met, and subsequently married, Bill Rilenge.
Carolyn and Bill had three children: Steven, Kathy, and Bryan. She was a caring and loving mother and spent many years as a homemaker until Bill’s death in 1976. Upon entering the workforce, Carolyn achieved great success, climbing the corporate ladder with a strong work ethic, keen intellect, and an unmatched determination. She worked as an executive at The Lilly Endowment, retiring in 2012.
Carolyn was a voracious reader, and loved watching Gone with the Wind, I Love Lucy and Gene Kelly musicals. She listened daily to Frank Sinatra, Frankie Valli and Elton John. She was an avid gardener and a talented baker known for her sugar cookies, popcorn and fudge.
Carolyn was a fan of nearly every sport, and followed golf, tennis, football, baseball and above all, basketball. Carolyn attended Indiana Pacer games for many years, and if not at a game, she intently watched every play on television. Her favorite player was Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller, and said often that Reggie provided her with some the happiest and joyous moments of her life. She was in attendance when his number was retired in 2005.
She was an inspiration and role model to many and will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved her. She will be remembered as someone who placed the needs of others ahead of her own, and as a dedicated mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, daughter and friend.
Carolyn was preceded in death by a daughter, Pamela Kay, her husband, Bill, her parents, Thomas and Rosemary Myrick and her sister, Evelyn Dickey.
She is survived by her son Steven Joseph Rilenge (Julie) her daughter Kathy Lynn Clark (Ron) and son William Bryan Rilenge (Sheila), her grandchildren Natasha, Thomas, Quentin and Adrienne, her great grandchildren Tamriel and Ariella Carolyn, her beloved sister Becky Cooper, her nephews Rob Cooper, Tim Dickey and Michael Dickey and her niece Lori Shew. Carolyn is also survived by a large extended family of great nieces and nephews. She will live on in those who learned from her example, who grew through her wisdom or were touched by her honesty, empathy, dedication, selflessness, and determination. She rose to every challenge, overcame every obstacle, and in so many ways, left the world a much better place than she found it. Carolyn was not a one in a million person, she was a once in a lifetime individual.
Visitation from 11AM to 1PM on Saturday, March 13th at Greiner Funeral Home, 2005 N 13th St, Terre Haute, IN 47804.
Funeral to immediately follow. Internment at Roselawn Cemetery, 7500 N Clinton St, Terre Haute, IN 47805
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Carolyn Rose Rilenge, please visit our floral store.