Carol Lee Behan Barth, greatest wife, awesome friend and all-around great lady, was welcomed into Heaven on Aug. 14, 2013, after nearly two years of battling cancer.
Carol truly made a difference in all the lives she touched, always considering others first, encouraging and nurturing. Her training, understanding and passion for people allowed her to know each of us better than we know ourselves.
Carol was born May 16, 1947 in Logan, W.Va., to Guy Victor and Mildred Jean Behan. In 1962, Carol's family moved to Parkersburg, where she graduated from Parkersburg High in 1965. In 1972, Carol graduated from the West Virginia Institute of Technology with a bachelor of arts in social studies. She was on the Academic Dean's List and a member of Sigma-Sigma-Sigma sorority. She received her master's from Marshall University in leadership studies with an emphasis on justice leadership.
Carol's career began in 1975 as a youth service worker with the West Virginia Department of Human Services working primarily with pre-delinquent youth. In 1980, she became employed with the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and served as a juvenile probation officer. Carol was appointed to chief juvenile probation officer in 1995 where she remained until her retirement in 2002.
In 1992, Carol was awarded West Virginia's Youth Community Service Worker of the Year. In 2000, she was named West Virginia's Probation Officer of the Year. In her 27 years working with West Virginia youth, she also served as president of the West Virginia Association of Probation Officers and served on the board of directors for many years.
Carol and Sandy were married in June 1982 in Marietta, and moved to Big Pine Key, Fla. in 2002 to enjoy fishing, boating and an abundance of music venues. They continued traveling and camping. The Swamp Buggy Races in Naples, Fla. was one of her favorite camping destinations. However, one would never find Carol away from the television whenever any NASCAR event was being broadcast. Sandy and Carol attended many NASCAR events in person. Her absolute favorite driver, win or lose, was Tony Stewart. Carol was fond of reading, especially the Bible, and she adored their puppy dog, Spookey.
After a year of retirement, Carol missed working with "the kids," so she became a counselor at Marathon High School in 2003 for one year, then she took a position as counselor at Horace O'Bryant Middle School in Key West, Fla. She worked nearly four years at the Monroe County Juvenile Detention Center as mental health counselor, where she received an Appreciation and Recognition Award from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
A 40-year member of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Parkersburg, Carol found with love the Vineyard Church on Big Pine Key.
"One day you'll awaken to hear of my death but don't believe it, because I will be more alive than ever before."
Memorials may be sent to the Boys and Girls Club, 1200 Mary St., Parkersburg, WV 26101.
A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. Saturday at the Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1710 23rd St., Parkersburg.