Mary Carol Dillinger
Mary Carol (Newbauer) Dillinger, beloved wife and mother, passed away on June 10 at age 76 from Parkinson’s Disease. She is survived by her husband Donald H. Dillinger; daughters Jennifer A. Dillinger (Jonathan) and Lisa C. Coleman (Heath); grandson Doyle A. Dillinger; stepchildren Donald S. Dillinger (Paula), Dana L. Kutilek (Gary), Duffy Dillinger (Dennis), Diane M. Casale (John), and Jane E. Dillinger; brother L. Dale Newbauer; numerous step-grandchildren and great grandchildren, cousins, and dear friends.
Mary Carol was born on December 19, 1944 to Lewis and Willie Maxine (Pitts) Newbauer in Kansas City, MO and was raised in Fort Scott, KS and Chickasha, OK. In 1966, she graduated from Oklahoma State University with a major in English and a minor in Education. She then moved to Dallas, where she took a job as a secretary at the Mobil Oil Company and met her husband Don while a member of the Dallas Ski Club. They married in 1975 and moved to Stamford, CT, where they raised their daughters Jen and Lisa. Mary Carol also provided full care at home for Don’s aunt Isabel for 10 years until Aunt Izzy died at age 95 from Alzheimer’s Disease. Mary Carol loved being a stay-at-home mom until her daughters reached their teenage years, when she became a substitute teacher.
Mary Carol moved with grace and contentment in the world. She had a smile that lit up her whole face and the whole room. She preferred to be an attentive listener, unless the topic was history — in which case she could talk at length. Her favorite hobby was doing family genealogy, and she was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, serving as chapter president among other roles. She also particularly enjoyed hosting birthday parties and holiday dinners for the extended family of children and grandchildren. Mary Carol grew up Southern Baptist until joining a Presbyterian church as an adult, and more recently she was a member of the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ.
When Mary Carol was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, she and Don were living on Sanibel Island — a place they loved and had visited at least twice per year for over twenty years before becoming permanent residents in their retirement. They moved to the Shell Point Retirement Community in 2013 as her physical and cognitive health declined, and shortly thereafter she needed to move to the Larsen Pavilion Skilled Nursing Center. There her husband Don visited her every day, and their love for one another became a local legend. Her lifetime of care and devotion will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered.