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Published: Friday, 9/2/2005

Social worker was devoted to family, variety of causes

FINDLAY- Carolyn H. Kidd, 75, a social worker who was committed to community and political causes, died Tuesday in Blanchard Valley Regional Health Center of breast cancer.

Her condition was diagnosed in May, 2000, yet she continued to volunteer. She gardened, went to France twice, and traveled the United States in pursuit of her interest in Haviland china.

"She never complained about her illness [and] just always wanted to press on and see what was next," her daughter, Janet Kidd Stewart, said.

Mrs. Kidd's husband, Max, was a longtime Marathon Oil Co. executive, and the family moved to Findlay in 1974. Their son, John, had played youth hockey in Detroit, yet Findlay didn't have a rink.

"She would drive kids from Findlay to Lima to be able to learn to skate and play hockey," her daughter said. "Within a few years, she and some other people helped get the Hancock Recreational Center built, and then she served on the board of directors and really was instrumental in starting the Findlay hockey program."

She was active in the United Methodist Women at her church, St. Andrew's United Methodist. She delivered Mobile Meals. She helped raise money for the American Cancer Society.

"She had a very strong sense of community and had a big heart for people," her son said.

As she grew older, especially, her philosophy became, "Why help a little if you can help a lot?" her daughter recalled. Her enthusiasm might have been seen as a lack of "proper perspective," but, "a lot of us benefited so greatly from that. "

Mrs. Kidd grew up on a dairy farm near Bluffton, Ind., and received a bachelor's degree in social work from Purdue University.

"It really fit her personality," her daughter said. "She always was someone who wanted to help. She would get in and do the dirty work."

Mrs. Kidd worked in medical and mental hospitals in Illinois and Indiana for about eight years, before starting a family. Her experiences informed the political causes to which she became committed in the last quarter of her life.

"She saw some of the worst of what society can do to people," her daughter said. "Despite a very tough exterior, you could tell it really made an impact."

Mrs. Kidd was a lifelong Republican until the Reagan presidency, when she "started to feel that the party was moving in the wrong direction. She became a very liberal Democrat," her daughter said.

Mrs. Kidd was a contributor to EMILY'S List, which supports center-left women candidates and those committed to women's issues.

She and her husband traveled great distances to show support for her children's careers. When her daughter, a journalist, presented her master's thesis at Northwestern University, the Kidds were there. Their son played football for Northwestern and in the National Football League for 15 years. His parents were frequently in the stands.

"She felt that was what a mom should do," her son said.

Mrs. Kidd and her husband married May 27, 1952. He died Nov. 22, 1990.

Surviving are her son, John Kidd; daughter, Janet Kidd Stewart; sister, Margaret Ayers, and six grandchildren.

The body will be in the Coldren-Crates Mortuary after 2 p.m. today. Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in St. Andrew's United Methodist Church. The family requests tributes to the Kidd Foundation, 1731Windsor Pl., Findlay, which will distribute funds in her name equally to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Bridge Home Health and Hospice, and the church.



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