Carol Holly Austell 1926-2022


Carol Holly Austell died March 6, 2022, at Sentry Hill in York, ME.

She was born May 14, 1926, in Kenosha, WI, the daughter of Velma Goff Holly and Lawrence Jerry Holly. She is survived by three sons (and daughters-in-law), Michael L. (Kim) McCarty of Malibu, CA, and New York City, Peter C. (Charlotte) McCarty of Northridge, CA, and Justin F. (Tracy) McCarty III of Peninsula, OH. Other survivors include stepdaughters Elizabeth A. Straight of Briarcliff Manor, NY, and Sarah A. Cart of Key Largo, FL, daughter-in-law Julie Moriarty McCarty of La Crescenta, CA, step-daughter-in-law Barbara Allen Austell of Haverford, PA, nephew Curt Moore, niece Holly Moore Moeri of Hilton Head Island, SC, plus eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, eight step grands and eight step-greats.

She was predeceased by her first husband, John T. McCarty, in 1985, her sister Virginia Moore in 2006, son John Thomas McCarty Jr., in 2015, stepson R. Rhett Austell III, in 2018, and her second husband, Rhett Austell, in 2021.

Educated at Kemper Hall, an Episcopal girls’ school in Kenosha, Carol graduated from the University of Michigan, thrived as an Alpha Phi, and received a Master’s degree in history from Rockford College. She and John McCarty, whom she married in 1948, lived in Schenectady, Syracuse, and Briarcliff Manor, NY, while he was an executive with General Electric, and later in Rockford, IL, Malibu, CA, and Golden, CO; their later career included the miracle of Malibu: Pepperdine Seaver Campus and as an executive with Adolph Coors Brewing Company.

She and Rhett married in 1987 and initially made their homes in Briarcliff and New York and then in Portsmouth, NH, and Kittery and York, ME. Avid travelers, they trekked from the North Pole to McMurdo Sound, Tibet to Namibia, New Zealand to Rio, and through many corners of Europe.

Carol possessed a voracious curiosity and boundless energy. From the Misaquamicut Labor Day Blasts, the Rockford Symphony, Leadville Opera, and Los Angeles Opera and Philharmonic, her spirit is alive in our memories and those communities. An athlete from high school discus, javelin, and lifelong swimming, skiing, No Snow Sailing and accomplished equestrian, she summited the Grand Teton and Mount Ranier with her sons and, through the years, served as a museum docent and entrepreneurial community volunteer as well as playing a great game of golf game of tennis, bridge, and curling. Her always-repeated message to family and friends was, “Keep having fun!” Anyone interested in honoring her legacy and memory is encouraged to do exactly that and help fund cancer prevention and survivor research, education, and advocacy at the American Institute for Cancer Research, 1560 Wilson Blvd. Suite 1000 Arlington VA 22209 phone 202.328.7744 and Support – American Institute for Cancer Research (