Carolyn Ray Malzahn Saunders passed away peacefully at her home in Carbondale at the age of 89 on June 17, 2020.
Carolyn, affectionately known as Honey to most, was born to Karl and Alta Malzahn on August 27, 1930 in Royalton, Illinois. She graduated high school in 1948 and married Robert Saunders in 1952. Carolyn and Bob were married for 61 years until his death in 2013.
Carolyn worked for SIU-Carbondale for nearly 30 years, primarily as the Executive Secretary to the SIU Presidents before retiring in 1987.
Carolyn and Bob (affectionately known as Uncle Buck) first visited their beloved Sanibel Island in Florida in the late 60s. They loved the island so much that after retirement, they bought a vacation home there. Eventually many friend and family stayed with Honey and Uncle Buck for island vacations with many couples purchasing homes themselves.
Honey and Uncle Buck attended First United Methodist Church in Carbondale for over 50 years. Honey was a volunteer for the Morning Circle at FUMC-C and the Pink Geranium at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale. She was a member in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Beta Sigma Phi sorority, PEO and the Carbondale Chapter of the Professional Secretaries Organization.
Honey and Uncle Buck were members of the Country Club. Honey was a Bridge club member and hosted many afternoons of Bridge. She was a member of the Book Club and the Red Hat Society.
Honey and Uncle Buck, with their close friends Donn and Joan Carsrud hosted an annual Wine Tasting Party to try each year’s vintage of “Bob and Don’s Fine Wines” that was a social event of the season for many years beginning in the early 1980s.
Honey is survived by her only sister, Barbara Conley. Honey and Uncle Buck had no children but were Godparents to Barbara’s children: Karl D (wife, Lisa), James E. and her namesake, Carol Lyn Conley (Leeman). Grand nieces and nephews include: Ryan M. Conley; Joseph K. Conley (wife, Abby); Conley S. Leeman; Robert R. Leeman; Reese J. (RJ) Clark; and Brandy Antonacci. Through Honey’s marriage to Uncle Buck, she is survived by: Sisters-in-Law, Gayla Eberhart (Mike) and their children, and Sylvia Psyzka (Albert, deceased) and their children. Also brother-in-law, Thomas Saunders (wife, Sharon) and their children.
Due to health concerns with COVID-19 virus, private graveside services will be held at Rose Hill Cemetery in Marion with Reverend John Holst officiating. Meredith Funeral Home is assisting with final arrangements.
Memorials may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children or Hospice of Southern Illinois.