CLTA Mourns the Loss of President-elect Carol Eberhart
- Obituary from The Sacramento Bee
- Carol Woodward Eberhart
Born: June 16, 1955
- Died: Feb. 11, 2009
- Survived by: Husband, George A. Eberhart of Carmichael; sister, Christine W. Shaddock; and brother, James R. Woodward
- Memorial services: 10 a.m. Saturday, Carmichael Presbyterian Church, 5645 Marconi Ave., Carmichael.
- Remembrances in lieu of flowers may be sent to Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento 95817
Carol Eberhart taught college Spanish and won accolades
By Loretta Kalb
Published: Monday, Feb. 16, 2009 | Page 3B
Carol Woodward Eberhart, 53, was devoted to public service, acclaimed in academia and dedicated to a life of travel. The Carmichael woman also lived a modern-day love story with a man who first kissed her on New Year’s Eve in 1977, married her in 1984 and later accompanied her on her travels.
When Mrs. Eberhart died Wednesday before dawn, only nine months after she was diagnosed with appendiceal cancer, husband George Eberhart was there, watching her unsteady breathing.
“She died in my arms,” Eberhart said Sunday. “I looked over and I held her. I said, ‘It’s OK to leave. I will be all right.’ “Twenty minutes later, her ragged breathing slowed to gentle breathing. Then it was no more.” It was 4:52 a.m.
Eberhart called his wife “brilliant, extraordinary.” It was evident in her public service and in her steadfast accomplishments despite coping with rheumatoid arthritis, a disease she developed after a bicycle accident at age 7. The injuries failed to heal.
Over the years, she had synthetic knuckles implanted, both knees replaced, fingers fused and pins placed in her left wrist and her right ankle, Eberhart said. There were more surgeries, too many to list. There were many doctors, too. One, in particular, stood out: She was treated by a Peruvian healer, a curandero, when the couple traveled there with her students for five weeks in 2001. The concoction given to Mrs. Eberhart to drink allowed her to breathe better. The healer put a poultice on one ankle and one knee. Both helped her walk, her husband said.
But it was her optimism and commitment that carried her through her journey in academia. She received her master’s degree in Spanish with a minor in Portuguese from California State University, Sacramento. She earned her Ph.D. in Spanish Literature at the University of California, Davis, in 1991. The next year, George Eberhart began caring for her full-time and helping her travel as she presented papers at conferences and workshops.
As a couple, they were completely complementary, he said. “My strengths were her weaknesses, and her strengths were my weaknesses.” She taught Spanish at the university level for 30 years, serving as an adjunct professor of Spanish at UCD, CSUS and American River College. In 2000, the College of Arts and Letters of CSUS chose her as its Outstanding Alumnus.
She was awarded the Glencoe/McGraw-Hill Outstanding Teacher Leader award for the state of California in 2003. And she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the Foreign Language Association of Greater Sacramento in 2006. She was director of the Capital Foreign Language Project. She was president-elect of the California Language Teachers Association. And she was active in several other academic groups.
Eberhart said his wife was low-key about her accomplishments. She had none of the awards and recognitions on display in their home or her offices. She did not volunteer that she had a Ph.D.
“We’re very modest,” he said. “Our lives were based on service.”
Perhaps that explains what Mrs. Eberhart once told her husband she wanted on her tombstone.
“She wanted, ‘Carol was always nice,’ ” he said, adding, “and she was.”