Longtime Ardmore resident Dr. Carol Clough Saylor passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, in Oceanside, Calif. Carol, known to all as “Biwi”, the affectionate name given her by her first granddaughter, was born Jan. 5, 1929, in Oklahoma City, the oldest daughter of Sara Jo and Arthur Clough. She was older sister to Jo Clough Barton of Annapolis, Md., and to the late Dr. Charles Clough of Kansas City, Kan. She was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, Paul Dwight Saylor. Carol was the proud mother of four children: Sally Saylor Guillen of Kansas City, Bart Saylor of Charleston, S.C., Anne Spindel of Carlsbad, Calif., and Maggie Clayton of Washington D.C. She was the beloved mother-in-law of Conway Saylor, Wolf Spindel and Harold Clayton. She adored her 10 grandchildren, Lindsey Guillen-Lopez, Katy and Charles Guillen, Sara, Paul, and Maggie Jo Saylor, Nathan, Alene and Sam Spindel and Andrew Clayton; and her three great-grandchildren, Gabriella and Nicolas Lopez and Oren Spindel.
Carol was the valedictorian of her Ardmore High School class of 1947 and a Phi Beta Kappa scholar at the University of Oklahoma, where she completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and later her Ph.D. in English Literature. Carol published a novel of historical fiction, The Equinox (J.B. Lippincott, 1965) which was translated into four languages. She wrote this book while operating a preschool from her home, leading her daughter’s Camp Fire Girls troop, serving as booster for her son’s wrestling team, acting in and directing community theater productions, and achieving the status of a legendary hostess for the generous bounty of her kitchen and dining room table. She inspired and was revered by several generations of students, as she taught at every level from pre-school through elementary, middle, high school, undergraduate and graduate courses, and finally adult community college creative writing. She was a longtime member of St. Phillips Episcopal Church in Ardmore where her piercing intelligence and courageous questions were a constant challenge to religious complacency. She enjoyed traveling and made several trips abroad.
After the death of her husband Paul in 1996, Carol relocated to Southern California, where she enjoyed the gorgeous weather and the company of her daughter, Anne Spindel, who was her loving, patient, compassionate caregiver for the final years of her life. Carol’s accomplishments as a teacher, writer, scholar, parent, are all the more impressive in light of her lifelong battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Diagnosed in her 20s, she faced this malady with great courage and dignity. Carol leaves the legacy of her love of language and literature, and her gift of making written words dance on the page.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Multiple Sclerosis Society or the education/literacy program of your choice.