Carol Ann Hastings Graham

Carol Ann Hastings Graham was born on April 4, 1928 in Pratt, Kansas to Fred E. and Florence Harkrader Hastings.  She died peacefully at home on February 15, 2018, in Lawrence, Kansas. Visitation will be held Saturday, February 24, 2018, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, Lawrence.  A private burial will be held at Greenlawn Cemetery in Pratt, Kansas. She was married to Barney D. Graham on January 29, 1950 in Pratt, Kansas.  He preceded her in death April 17, 1993.

After graduating from Pratt High School, Carol came to the University of Kansas and was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She graduated in 1950 with a BA in Psychology. Barney and Carol lived in the Kansas City area while Barney was in Dental School.  Carol taught first grade in large classrooms of baby boomers.  After this experience, she had a lifelong interest in education and the nurturing of preschoolers and their parents.

Once Barney graduated they moved for a short time to Gardner before Barney was called to serve in the Navy in the Philippines. Carol followed with their first child, Barney Scott and they lived in Caviti City for two years where their second child, Christopher Hastings was born.  Once back in the States, they moved to Olathe, Kansas where they lived until 1970.  While living in Olathe, daughter Janice Ann was born.  During those years she was on the library board and the Johnson County Mental Health Board.

In 1963, at Barney’s urging, she returned to the University of Kansas and graduated in 1967 with a Master’s degree in Education and Counseling.

In 1970 the family moved to a farm in Paola, Kansas where Carol became adept at managing country living and all the “joys” of farm life.  She taught extended kindergarten in Paola, then went to work at a new GED Adult Education program at the Osawatomie State Hospital. She helped start the mental health center in Miami County.

Carol and Barney moved to Lawrence in 1978. She started a daytime GED Adult Education Program for the Lawrence School District and in 1985 received the Kansas award for achievement in Adult Education.

Carol retired from teaching in 1989 and became a volunteer at the Watkins Historical Museum.  Her favorite project was transcribing the Fitch family letters describing the settlement of Lawrence through Quantrill’s raid. In true Carol Graham fashion, she thought the book needed to be reprinted for the 150th anniversary of the raid, so she made phone calls until someone agreed.  It is now the book “Postmarked: Bleeding Kansas”.

Carol and Barney enjoyed traveling and she continued to travel throughout her life. She liked to play bridge and started quilting in retirement. She especially loved and appreciated living in Lawrence and the culture and diversity of a university community. Over the years she opened her home to several KU students who enriched her life with friendship, music, and an appreciation of diverse cultures.

Carol had many accomplishments and interests in life. Most obvious is her passion for education and she was learning in her last hours. That Wednesday evening she was sitting on the front row in a class about the linguistic history of the English language at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Many people have known her caring and benefitted from her wisdom. She was most proud of being a mother to three children and being very involved in the lives of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her children and their families: Barney and Cynthia, Rockville, MD, and their children Eboné Graham, Daniel Graham and wife Isis, and Anne Margaret Graham; Chris and Janet, Overland Park, KS, and their children Michael Graham, Matthew Graham, Colin Wakefield, Jon Wakefield, and Ben Wakefield; Janice and Walter Olker, Lawrence, and their children Andrew Olker and wife Abi, Sam Olker and wife Allie, and Abby Olker.

She is also survived by 11 great-grandchildren, and her brother, Jim Hastings and his family of Chandler, AZ.

In lieu of flowers, Carol requested memorial contributions be made to Habitat for Humanity, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana Street Lawrence, KS 66044.

Messages & Condolences

From Susan Rankin...

Scott, Chris and Janet, I am so sorry for your loss. I want you to know I am with you in spirit today. I truly wish I was with Nancy today. Please know I think you had a wonderful, sweet, giving mom. Love, Susan, Sue, SuSu !

From Jan Duethman Torrez...

My heart goes out to you all. What a beautiful person and a true lady.

From Michele Vignola-Rogers...

Sending our love and prayers to you and your family. Having such a wonderful daughter and family speaks volumes about the type of person she was. Hugs always! We love you! Kyle, Michele Caelan & Sophia

From Deb Francis...


Your mom was so accomplished and such a special lady. Our prayers are with you and your family. Sending lots of hugs. Devin and Deb

From Jayne Owen...

So, so sorry for your great loss!! Dwight & Jaynei

From Brenda Tonn...

Oh Janice, I am so sorry for your loss. Though it has been almost 40 years, I can still remember her smile. My thoughts are with you and your family. Sending love.

From Barbara Lesniakowski...

Auntie Carol was a fantastic person with a wonderful sense of humor! She gave me my first computer in 1999 when she upgraded so that we could keep in touch easier! She was so supportive of me and made me feel like I was on the right track. She was also great at making her brother, my dad, tell me stories about his life that I never would have heard!! I know she’s having a drink with Sally in Heaven!!

From Sandy...

Her smile says a lot about her. She was a lovely person. She cared for every one. She was very friendly and easy to talk. Inwoild like to say that may you find comfort in knowing that your dear one is safe in the memory of God, who will remember every detail about him and bring him back again as promise John 5:28,29.

Messages are closed.