Aug. 26, 1929 – June 24, 2020
Carol G. Libby passed away on June 24, 2020, at the City of Hope in Duarte, Calif., where she was undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Carol was born in Holland, Mich., on Aug. 26, 1929 to Dr. Jacob F. and L. Ruby Geerlings. She grew up in Salt Lake City where her father held a professorship at the University of Utah. Carol moved to California, where she earned a B.A. degree in Education from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1950 and then taught elementary school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She earned a master’s degree in child development from the University of La Verne in 1987.
In 1956 she married Harold Dean Libby of Arcadia, Calif., where they continued to live for the rest of their lives. Carol and her husband “Hal” purchased the Libby family home in 1956, the home Hal’s parents bought in 1938, so that another generation could enjoy the benefits of living in Arcadia and attend its outstanding schools.
Carol’s passionate interest in the history of Arcadia began while listening to stories told by her father-in-law, Philip A. Libby, who was a member of Arcadia’s City Council for several years in the 1940s. She often stated, “Historic preservation is right on the top of my list.”
She became active in the Arcadia Historical Society in 1986, eventually becoming president for many years and acting as curator of the Society’s Historical Museum from 1995 to 2001. She served as chairman of the city’s history committee of the Arcadia Centennial Commission in 2003 and served on the Historical Museum Commission from 2000 to 2008. Carol served on the Society’s Historical Marker Committee since its inception in 2008 and was a driving force behind the placement of 11 markers located throughout Arcadia and representing significant landmarks in Arcadia’s history.
Carol also authored “Faces and Footprints in Arcadia’s History” in 2014, “Chronicles of Arcadia” in 2012, and co-authored the Arcadia edition of the national book series “Images of America” in 2008. She wrote and created short theatrical skits, historical fashion shows, and programs for the members of the Arcadia Historical Society. She was so enthusiastic about co-authoring the weekly “Historical Tidbits” e-newsletter, featuring snippets of Arcadia’s history, photographs and facts, that she continued to submit new entries from her hospital bed in recent weeks.
Carol was active in numerous Arcadia organizations, including as a volunteer for more than 25 years at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, and as president of First Avenue PTA, Baldwin Stocker PTA, and Arcadia Council PTA. She was also one of the founding officers of the nonprofit community events group Arcadia’s Best Foundation, was past program chairwoman and vice president with the Arcadia Friends of the Library, and past president/advisor of Alpha Auxiliary of the Methodist Hospital Foundation.
Other memberships in associations and foundations include: Sister City Commission; Help Our Youth; Arcadia’s Best Foundation; Arcadia Historical Society, and the Friends of the Society; Arcadia Police Foundation; and Arcadia Community Coordinating Council.
In recognition of her devotion and dedication to maintain and preserve the City of Arcadia, Carol was named Arcadia Citizen of the year by the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce in 1978 and 2018, and was the recipient of the City of Arcadia’s Senior Citizen Award in 2001 and 2016. She received the Arcadia Chinese Association Award in 2002, the City of Arcadia Mayor’s Certificate of Commendation in February 2017, and Congresswoman Judy Chu’s Woman of the Year Award in April 2017. She also received a Golden Apple Award, an Honorary Service Award and Continuing Service Award from Baldwin Stocker School PTA, and Arcadia’s City Appreciation Award for her work in the relocation and restoration of the Hugo Reid Family statue in 2003.
Carol is preceded in death by her husband Hal and her son James C. Libby. She is survived by her three other children, Melanie Libby-Brown of Santa Rosa, Calif.; Dr. Richard A. Libby of Richmond, Calif.; and Annie Libby of San Diego, Calif. She is also survived by her daughter-in-law Susan Libby of Sebastopol, Calif., and by five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
The Libby family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to Stephen J. Forman, M.D., and the wonderful staff at City of Hope. Contributions in memory of Carol may be made to the City of Hope in Duarte, Calif.