Carolyn Beal Kump

August 19, 1931 - March 31, 2024

Born August 1931, in Ephraim Utah, Carolyn Beal was welcomed by parents Arvilla Taylor Beal and George Ben Beal as well as three older brothers, Bennie Dean (Barbara Ann Call), Richard (Trilla Sorenson) and Neal (Dianne Weeks). At the time, her doctor neglected to record her log cabin birth, a fact that continually made Carolyn laugh throughout her lifetime.

Carolyn’s ability to find opportunity and optimism in everything began at a young age. Always ready with tenacity and willingness, she was known for raising her hand to serve. At Liberty Elementary School, she was a bell ringer, climbing the stairs to dismiss class daily. Later, at Murray High School, Carolyn was co-editor of the High School Paper and active in the Debate Club, placing 1st in a four-state debate. In high school, she wrote for the local Murray newspaper for $5 a week. In 1953, Carolyn graduated from the University of Utah with a major in Education and a minor in Sociology. Supporting herself and driven to achieve her passions, she worked at both Zions Bookstore and the Murray Theater to pay for her tuition. The tenacity of her childhood spirit rang through her time at the U of U as she continued in servant leadership roles with Delta Gamma and the community.

Carolyn’s core beliefs in others, optimism and compassion rippled beyond the ways she nurtured community throughout her lifetime. It was through her connection to Delta Gamma that she met her future husband, Lon Rodney Kump, who saw her photo when Carolyn was nominated as Sweetheart of Sigma Chi. Rod was immediately smitten. On June 29, 1953, Carolyn married Rod in the Salt Lake Temple. The newlyweds moved to California to begin their life together. At the same time, she began her career as a second grade teacher while Rod served with the Navy and attended Stanford Law School.

Rod and Carolyn then returned to Salt Lake City, where they welcomed five children: Lisa (Bruce Olsen), Marianne (Brad Mitchell), Kathryn (Brent Knudsen), Rod Kump (Jonalee) and Jenny (Richard Buchanan). Carolyn continued her passion for education by supporting her children’s classrooms and at home on their cherished wooden desks. She served as PTA President of every school that her children attended: Rosslyn Heights Elementary, Hillside Jr. High and Highland High School. Then continuing to follow her passion for improving education for all, Carolyn was elected and served twelve years on the Salt Lake City School Board. When she was elected president of the Salt Lake School Board, she was the first woman to serve as their president. Carolyn also served as a member and then president of the Emeritus Alumni Board at the University of Utah.

Carolyn’s volunteer work was extensive and diverse, a true advocate for kindness and opportunity. One project she always held close to her heart benefited students at Bryant Middle School. Carolyn tutored at Bryant for years. “I wouldn’t give it up for anything,” she said in retrospect. “The one-on-one makes the student feel like someone cares enough to take the time.” For her, it was a benefit for more than just the kids. After a particularly successful session with a student, she shared, “It is so exhilarating to me. I feel a high, like maybe you touched someone’s life in a positive way, and that’s the best thing you can do in this world.”

Throughout her life, Carolyn grew a multitude of friendships, a reflection of her heart. Alongside Rod, she hosted a Great Books Club for years that developed lasting bonds and transcended decades. They also belonged to bridge groups where they thoroughly enjoyed the honest competition of the game and the bridge group friends. Rod Kump, Carolyn’s husband, friend and companion passed away in 2015.

In memory of Carolyn’s commitment and dedication to both education and volunteering, her family asks that you consider giving a book (or two) to a child, a school, or a library. She deeply believed in connection, knowing time spent together could transform a life.

A funeral service will be on Saturday, April 6 at 12:00 PM at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2625 E Stringham Ave, Salt Lake City. A visitation will be held one hour prior. She will be laid to rest following services at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, 3401 S. Highland Drive.