Carolyn Jean (Kluesing) Springborn

August 27, 1931 ~ July 22, 2020 (age 88)


Carolyn Jean Springborn died July 22, 2020. She was predeceased by her loving husband Dr. Robert Carl Springborn and son Robert John Springborn in 2018. Born in Evanston, Illinois August 27, 1931, daughter of John Paul and Alice Kluesing. Leaving behind daughter Deborah Lynn Springborn and grand-children Adam Springborn and Jessica Ann Springborn-Willard who were at her bedside when she died. She also leaves behind her great-grandchildren Charles, Madlynn and Lillian Willard.

Carolyn was a wife and mother first. She was the heart and soul of the family home, allowing her husband to flourish and succeed in business. She was also a prolific artist and art collector. She attributes her interest in the arts to her uncle Herman Kluesing, a design draftsman, who produced and sold pencil drawings of places he encountered in WWI done while in service. Interestingly, these drawings depict the environs prior to the destruction of war despite the horrors he must have seen.

Raised during the Great Depression and WWII, she spent high school summers studying design at the Art Institute of Chicago where she won a scholarship at MacMurray Collage, Jacksonville, Illinois where she met her future husband on a blind date and never looked back.

She transferred to the University of Illinois to study drawing while Bob completed his degree in Chemistry. They then moved to Ithaca where Bob obtained his doctorate at Cornell. She supported them by designing window displays for Holley’s, a major department store. She also assisted her cousin Marilyn designing theatrical costumes. They moved many times as Bob’s career developed and her art work and studies continued while raising the family.

Schools included the DeCordova Museum School, Corcoran College of Art and Design, eventually earning her Master’s degree at Boston Museum School in association with Tuffs University. She felt privileged to study also with Mimi Dubois Bolton, Leon Berkowitz, Donn Molton, and Andreas Feininger, among others. She also studied art at Haystack Mountain School of Arts, Deere Island, Maine.

Bob’s work at Springborn Laboratories, Springborn Group International Testing and Research Corporation kept the two of them traveling and living around the world to be at the various laboratories around the world. While abroad Connie visited museums wherever they landed.

Both Connie and Bob gave generously during and continuing long after their lifetimes to future students who are both qualified and high achievers through the Springborn Fellowships at Haystack, the University of Illinois Chemistry department and SMFA so future generations of students would be part of their legacy, giving back to institutions that set them on their paths in life.

I would like to thank the nurses who assisted both my parents for many years towards the end of their lives. All of them have become like family to me. With all my love, always, Deborah


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