Carolyn Kriz

December 09, 1943 ‒ November 29, 2018

Napels, Florida

Carolyn Kriz, age 74, of Naples, FL, passed away on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at Avow Hospice in Naples.

She was born in Marion, OH on December 9, 1943, the daughter of Burton Eugene Earl and Bernice (Welch) Earl. She grew up on a dairy farm near Marion and attended elementary and high school at the Claridon School, Claridon, OH from which she graduated in 1961. She then attended Ohio State University from which she earned a B.S. degree in teaching in 1965. Upon graduation she taught Grades 1 through 4 in Ohio and Virginia and then public schools in Washington, DC. There she observed the work of the National Park Service in and around DC and decided to make a career move. In the Service Carolyn quickly advanced to positions of increasing responsibility, such as site manager of the National Mall, site manager of the public grounds around the White House known as the President’s Park and Assistant to the Regional Director of the National Capital Region. She was highly regarded and well known throughout the region simply as O’Hara.

In 1986 Carolyn met a fellow National Park Service employee, Will Kriz, and got him to the alter on August 8, 1987. They were married for 31 years. In May 1994 the couple moved to Naples when she was promoted to the position of Deputy Superintendent of Big Cypress National Preserve. In that position she was essentially the operations chief managing three-quarter million acres of land and wildlife and a staff of more than one hundred. She retired at the end of 1999 after 30 years of federal service. She was smart, quick-witted, and funny but also had the courage and strength to battle the cancer that tortured her for much of her life. She endured numerous surgeries and other treatments but eventually lost the battle to the cancer that took her life. The family is grateful to the many medical doctors, nurses, and technicians, especially Dr. Douglas B. Paone of Naples and Dr. James W. Orr of Fort Myers, FL, who helped her battle the disease. Gratitude also goes to Avow Hospice which cared for her in her final days.

Carolyn was predeceased by her parents and her sister, Sue Ann Smith (Alex) of Tulsa, OK. She is survived by her husband, Will, brother Lindy Earl (Linda) of Lafayette, IN, and sisters Judy Penix (Dan) of Marion and Mary Burgbachr (Rick) of Lima, OH, and stepchildren Julie Welch of Senoia, GA, Mike Kriz (Tiffany) of Bonita Springs, FL, and Dianne Lawhorne (Gary) of Leesburg, VA.

Funeral services will be held Friday, December 7, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Claridon Methodist Church, 4856 Marion-Mt. Gilead Road, Claridon, OH with a viewing before and lunch after. This is the church where Carolyn was baptized and which she attended her youth.

In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions made in Carolyn’s name to Claridon United Methodist Church in an envelope marked “Donation” in care of Judy Penix, 712 Brookpark Road, Marion, OH 43302.

The Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion are honored to be serving the Kriz family and condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting