Carol LaVeta (Kohl) Browning passed away on October 12, 2015. Browning was a longtime resident of Hyde Park, maintaining a home in the neighborhood since 1976.
Browning was born in a small farm house outside Edinburgh, Illinois on January 16, 1936. She excelled academically and musically as a child, taking two grades in one year, ultimately graduating from high school at the age of 16 to attend the Northwestern University School of Music.
After college, Browning taught music and was a talented accompanist for the Lyric Opera. She also took classes in religious education at the University of Chicago, occasionally attending Monday night dinners at the Disciples Divinity House (DDH), where she socialized with students and others in the community who shared her denominational background (Christian Church, Disciples of Christ).
It was at DDH that she met Don Browning, then a student at the University of Chicago Divinity School. They would marry in 1958. The couple had two children, Elizabeth and Christopher. After the family settled on the south side of the city, Browning taught piano to many students in the Hyde Park and South Shore communities for decades and was choir director and organist at University Church. She was also a member of the Hyde Park Union Church since 1991, contributing to the musical life of the church.
Don Browning’s faculty position at the U. of C. Divinity School and Mrs. Browning’s involvement in the community through music and church activities fostered deep attachments to Hyde Park; after 1976, they would remain in the neighborhood for the rest of their lives, mostly on 55th Street and Kenwood Avenue. The Brownings were married for over 50 years before Don’s death in June of 2010.
Browning is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth (Mikael Karlstrom); son, Christopher; grandchildren, Kristin and Livia; and sisters, Myrna and Peggy. A memorial service will be held on November 14 at 2pm at the Hyde Park Union Church (5600 S Woodlawn Avenue). In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.