Carol Stocking, a former senior researcher at the National Survey Research Organization (NORC) and the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, died peacefully, surrounded by family on March 20, 2017, in the Hyde Park home where she and her husband, George, had lived for over 50 years.
Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and raised in Oak Park, Stocking attended Oberlin College, moving to New York for graduate studies in English at Columbia University in the late 1950s. The New York scene fostered her abiding interest in theater, the arts, and interesting, quirky people who enjoyed and encouraged her particular style and wit.
Stocking’s part time job with the Bureau of Social Science Research spurred an interest in the social sciences, which occasioned a move to Chicago in the early 1960s, followed by marriage, a Ph.D., and a 50-year career at the University of Chicago in senior research positions. Her primary affiliations at U of C were with NORC, the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, and the Section of Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine.
As the Director of Research at the MacLean Center, Carol collaborated with fellows to tailor research methods curriculum to each researcher’s needs. As one fellow, John La Puma, reflects, “Carol was interested in numbers, but she was more interested in the stories the numbers told. She taught me that research methods could be kind, narrative, and still be precise.” Carol collaborated on dozens of articles that were published in top medical journals and she helped to launch the careers of many leading scholars in medical clinical ethics.
Carol was adventurous and travelled extensively throughout her life with friends, family, and on her own all over Europe and Asia. At 82, she travelled alone on a cruise down the Danube! She enjoyed ballet, theater, and fine wine. Carol had the sharpest of wits and the deepest of intellects, but she also delighted in the small things of daily life, like sparkling reflections on windows at sunset, bubbles in her champagne glass, and twinkling lights at Christmas. As her grandchildren remember fondly, it was always Grandma Carol who bought the fireworks.
Carol was a steward of her family’s history, being the only child of Serbian and Danish immigrants (Steve Bowman and Karen Baun Bowman), and she made great effort to explore, cultivate, and maintain relationships with her Serbian and Danish cousins.
Carol and George lived in Hyde Park, and they treasured the many lovely days spent hosting friends and family at their country home in the Indiana Dunes. Carol is survived by her husband’s five children (Susan, Rebecca, Rachel, Melissa, and Thomas), 10 grandchildren (Jesse, Evan, Robin, Nicky, Madeleine, Noah, Silas, Isabel, Samantha, and Dorian), and 6 great-grandchildren (Madison, Noemi, Nico, Jake, Stella, and Eilish). She was well loved by all and will be greatly missed.