Feature Profile

A Passion for Travel, A Passion for Life

Village Voice: Carolyn Eastman

Eastman in her Auburndale element.

Not long after Carolyn Bell left her suburban Philadelphia home for Mount Holyoke College in 1948, she had a blind date with Hal Eastman, a native Californian attending nearby Amherst College. The couple hit it off-and hit the road, indulging a passion for travel throughout 58 years of marriage.

"We had no money but lots of energy," the Lasell Village resident says. Translation: Energy for a life in academia that allowed ample time for skiing, golfing, tennis . . . and travel that took them to every continent except Antarctica.

The globetrotting Eastmans eventually settled in Morris County, NJ, where Hal was a professor of Organizational Behavior and associate dean at Rutgers University's Graduate School of Management. Carolyn earned a PsyD in Psychology and a MEd in Child Development from Rutgers to complement her BA in Psychology and Speech. She was a family therapist at community mental health centers and in private practice in Morris County, where the couple raised three children: Wayne, an attorney and professor in South Orange, NJ; H. Carroll, a West Newton-based family doctor; and Rebecca, a school psychologist in Portland, OR.

After a 10-year interlude on Cape Cod, the Eastmans relocated to Lasell Village in 2010 "and never looked back," Carolyn tells Leaves. "It was such a good decision to move here. Hal loved playing his guitar, singing with the Voices of Experience and gardening." Even after his death last year, she continues, "I appreciate the stimulation and beautiful setting of the Village. It's been a perfect fit."'

The grandmother of eight keeps a busy schedule at the Village, exercising four times weekly, working with toddlers at the Holway Child Study Center at Rockwell every Monday, taking "a meditative daily walk" around the esker pond just off her patio garden and attending classes. Her heady Fall course roster includes "The Examined Life: The Heart of Education," "The Art of Ancient Greece, Rome and Byzantium" and "A Writer's Craft: A Psychotherapist's Courageous Journey."

Earlier this year, Eastman ventured to Cambodia on a volunteer community service trip where she met Chan Piseth, a 12-year-old orphan she and a group of college friends have sponsored since infancy through the Concord, MA-based Sharing Foundation.

In that same global spirit, she hopes to accompany her granddaughter, Sarah, to Central of South America next year to work with children. But the intrepid traveler is secure in the knowledge that at journey's end, when she returns to Lasell Village life, comfort and friends will be there to greet her.

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