Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Lillian Miller Carroll; 1917-2014: Librarian wrote about history




Lillian Miller Carroll, a Toledo-area librarian who published several articles about Ohio history, died Monday in a nursing home in Columbus. She was 96.

Mrs. Carroll had a stroke about two years ago and never fully recovered, said her daughter, Julie Darling. The official cause of death was pneumonia, she said.

Mrs. Carroll was born Nov. 28, 1917, to Herman and Elizabeth Miller. Her parents were farmers who owned land near Secor Road and Dorr Street. They owned several greenhouses that lined Secor Road and sold produce from the farm, Ms. Darling said.

Her mother graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1935 and went on to receive bachelor’s degrees from the former DeSales College in Toledo and Western Reserve college, which is now known as Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

“She always said that back then, women did not have a whole lot of choice to what they could be: a nurse, a teacher, or a librarian,” Ms. Darling said.

Mrs. Carroll began her long career as a librarian working for the Toledo Public Library system, then moved on to become the head librarian at the Sylvania library.

After 15 years of serving the public, she decided to follow another passion, which was her love of flowers, her daughter said.

She still lived on the family farm and spoke with her brother about starting a new business. The two opened a greenhouse and flower shop and ran the business together until the late 1950s.

Mrs. Carroll met her future husband, Bill, in what would be considered late in life for a woman of that era. She was 35, and he was nearly 40 when they married in April, 1953.

He was an engineer and worked at Willys-Overland Motor Co., which later became Chrysler Corp.’s Jeep assembly plant, as a technical writer. They both shared a loved of writing, Ms. Darling said, and after they had four children together, Mrs. Carroll stayed home and began yet another part-time career, capturing Ohio history for a publication that her sister created called Ohio Cues.

She wrote several articles for the publication that was used by several local school districts for seventh and eighth graders, and she also published local history articles in the Northwest Quarterly. In 1983, she was one of four Ohioans honored by the Maumee Valley Historical Society for contributions in the Ohio Cues periodical.

After her husband’s 1968 death, Mrs. Carroll went back to her first passion and became the librarian at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Elementary School.

She retired in 1984, and later moved to the Columbus area to be closer to her children and grandchildren.

Surviving are daughters, Mary Anne Terry and Julie Carroll Darling; sons, W. Kipp and Patrick Carroll, and two grandsons.

Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. today at the Reeb Funeral Home, Sylvania. A funeral service will start at 1 p.m. Friday in St. Patrick of Heatherdowns.

The family suggests tributes to the Catholic Foundation of Columbus. 

Contact Marlene Harris-Taylor Marlene Harris-Taylor at: or 419-724-6091.

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