Karolyn Wood Cryer, born December 13, 1944, was the daughter of Harry C. Wood and Jessie Sylvia Hurt Wood of Greenup, Illinois. Karolyn and her twin Marilyn loved growing up on their family farm and taking care of their horses. Both girls were very active in the Salem Methodist Church in their hometown. They also enjoyed watching their father harness race at local fairs.
She was raised and educated in the Cumberland School District, and graduated from Cumberland High School with the class of 1962. Karolyn then married Leroy Scott and had a daughter Robin Scott Smith (Randy).
Karolyn attended college in St. Louis for keypunch before moving to Morris, Illinois with Robin in 1970. While raising Robin, she became a member of the Morris Business Professional Women’s Club. She worked at Caterpillar Tractor Company until retiring in 2005. When not working, Karolyn and Robin would travel back to Greenup to visit with family and friends. Those drives are treasured by Robin, memories she will never forget.
In 1980 Karolyn was introduced to James Cryer of Morris. He pursued Karolyn for five years until she finally gave in and decided to date him. In 1985 Karolyn and James married. Karolyn gained a son when they married, James L. Cryer, Jr. (Patti), whom she loved as her own. Karolyn and James Sr. enjoyed traveling, watching the Morris High School Redskins football games, and the Chicago Bears football games, both at Soldier Field and home. Together they have three grandchildren; Christian Cryer (Tosha Sistrunk), Samantha Cryer Cornett (Kelly) and Jacob Smith, and 8 great grandchildren.
After James passed in 1994, Karolyn devoted her time to watching Jacob grow up. In 1998 she met Joe Nichols and added another grandson to the family, Matthew Smith (Terry and Lisa Smith).
Karolyn and Joe were inseparable. Together they enjoyed watching Jacob and Matthew play soccer, baseball, basketball and their many school activities. Joe introduced Karolyn to the world of golf and they became regulars at Nettle Creek Golf Course. They also loved to serve at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, delivering mobile meals and at the church mouse luncheon. Karolyn and Joe loved to call the Birthday Club on the Morris radio station to wish Happy Birthday to all their family, friends and neighbors.
Karolyn was blessed to have many good friends through the years. After Joe passed away in 2015, Karolyn became a resident of The Pointe at Morris where she thrived. Karolyn could be seen most days sitting outside on the covered porch greeting guests and talking with other residents. She enjoyed playing bingo, attending special events and having lunch with her friends.
Karolyn was preceded in death by her parents Harry and Jessie Wood, twin sister Marilyn Barkley, brother-in-law Michael Barkley, husband James L. Cryer, Sr., sister-in-law Judith Cryer Smith, brother-in-law Jack Savant, sister-in-law Janet Savant, and special friend Joe Nichols. Karolyn was loved dearly and will be missed by many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Anyone who had the honor of knowing Karolyn was quickly drawn in by her grand smile and contagious laugh. Karolyn will be missed by everyone who knew her.
The family will receive friends for a visitation at Reeves Funeral Home, 408 E. Washington Street (one block east of Illinois Route 47) in Morris on Thursday, September 9, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. until the time of funeral service 7:00 p.m. The Rev. Mike Dwyer from St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Morris will preside.
Those wishing to join the services virtually are welcome to join the live stream beginning Thursday evening, September 9, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. A link for the event is available on Karolyn’s memorial page.
Graveside services will follow Friday morning, September 10, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. in the Barkley Family and Neighbors Cemetery in Greenup, Illinois. Pastor Bob Thompson from Salem United Methodist Church will officiate
Pallbearers will be: Wayne McMorris, Stan Holsapple, Scott Stults, Cindy Moser, Craig Moser, Debbie Maxedon and Matthew Smith. Honorary pallbearers will be James Cryer, Jr., John Smith and Terry Smith.
Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Karolyn’s memory to the Park Pointe Activities Department, 1223 Edgewater Drive, Morris, IL 60450; St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 317 Goold Park Drive, Morris, Illinois 60450 or to a charity of the donor’s choosing.
Family and friends are encouraged to sign the guest book, upload photographs and to share Karolyn’s memorial page online through social media by logging onto: www.ReevesFuneral.com/obituary/Karolyn-Cryer
Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Reeves Funeral Homes, Ltd. in Morris, Illinois (815-942-2500) and Barkley Funeral Chapels in Greenup, Illinois (217-923-3086).
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