Carolyn Godfrey (Millinger) Holland

CarolynBEVERLY, Mass. – Carolyn Godfrey (Millinger) Holland was born in York on April 16, 1929. She died peacefully on March 27, 2023 in her Beverly, Mass. home, surrounded by the love of her family, having almost reached the age of 94.

She was the first child born to the Reverend Walter Millinger and Ruth Spaulding Millinger. As soon as she could walk, she was running, especially among the rocks of the York beaches. Carolyn loved growing up in York Village with her sister Phyllis (deceased), her brother James of Maine and her sister Susan of Massachusetts. Carolyn had many fond memories of summers on Chebeague Island, where her mother bought a cottage when she was a teenager. She very much enjoyed that on the island she was not known as the minister’s daughter, but as just an ordinary teenager.

Carolyn graduated from Simmons College with honors in 1950 and from Boston University with a master’s in education in 1952. She met Theodore Albert Holland Jr. on the Boston to Maine train; their first date, when he was accompanying her back to Simmons at the end of that train ride, was for grilled cheese sandwiches with milk. Ted enlisted in the Marines in 1952; they married on Nov. 9 that year. When Ted left 10 months later to serve in the Korean war, Carolyn already had a little girl named Wendy who did not see her father again for a year.

Carolyn and Ted had five beautiful daughters, two sons-in-law, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, all of whom brought Carolyn great joy. They are Wendy and Anthony Tarricone, children Jason (with his children Milo and Paolo), Brandon, (his wife Randi and children Julian and Sophia), and Liz Tarricone; Ruth Ellen Holland; Jane Holland; Laura (her husband Chris Soares with children Nicholas (children Nicolae and Powerhouse), Nate, and Lauren Soares; Elizabeth Holland (and her son Dylan Miller with his new fiancée Dalya Bronstein whom Carolyn was thrilled to welcome into the family.)

Carolyn was an educator and a lifelong learner. She taught elementary school in Foxboro, Mass. and Nokesville, Va. Carolyn was called to serve others through her church. She became Christian Education Director of the First Church in Wenham Mass. in 1969 and served in the position for 24 years. Carolyn was active in the United Church of Christ state organization for Christian Education Directors, serving on the board for several years. She was chosen Educator of the Year in 1992.

In 1970 Carolyn expanded a First Church support group for mothers of 3-year-olds to include all women of the community. Women’s Enrichment Group continues to this day, over 53 years, meeting weekly to share fellowship designed to enrich themselves, each other, and the wider community. Carolyn led the group until February of this year. Carolyn also served her church community as a deacon and greeter. Carolyn took great joy in hugging and welcoming people to First Church. The First Church community has always been her extended family and in lieu of flowers donations may be made in her name to the church.

Carolyn was always learning. She read voraciously, sometimes a book a day. She loved playing scrabble with her sister Sue, she loved crossword puzzles and inspired her son-in-law, Chris, to join her in doing the puzzles. She loved music including opera and symphony. She was passionate about ballet and started going to the Boston Ballet as soon as the company was formed, becoming a season ticket holder as soon as they could afford it. Carolyn took all her grandchildren and five of her great-grandchildren to see the Nutcracker. Her last ballet was the Nutcracker with youngest great-granddaughter, Sophie Grace, this past December. Carolyn loved art, theater, movies, museums, and travel.

She took her grandchildren on mystery rides to places like the Boston Museum of Science, to the Museum of Fine Arts, and the North Shore Music Theater, sharing her love of learning and love of life.

Carolyn and Ted traveled the world together to Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Antarctica, Australia, and New Zealand. After Ted died in 2005, Carolyn traveled with her sister, Susan, in Europe and the United States.

Carolyn lived a long and rich life, with many important friendships and a deep love for her family. Her home was always the family gathering place and she will live on in the hearts of all the many people who loved her.

Her Celebration of Life will be held at First Church in Wenham, 1 Arbor St., Wenham, MA 01984 on Tuesday, April 11, at 2 p.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting hours at the Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot St., Beverly, Mass. on Monday, April 10, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Information, directions, condolences at

Contributions may be made in Carolyn’s memory to First Churchin Wenham, Mass.