Carolyn Sue Eubanks Demps was born in Walters, Oklahoma, to Luther Boyd and Lois Marie Eubanks. Growing up, she lived in Walters, Lawton, and Oklahoma City. In 1967 she graduated from John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City, seventh in her class and a National Merit Finalist.
Carolyn majored in political science for her B.A. from the University of Oklahoma, followed by a master’s degree in social work. While a student at OU, she was the first woman hired as an officer in the University Police Department. Between her junior and senior years, she interned for U.S. Senator Fred Harris in Washington, D. C.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is where Carolyn spent her career, retiring in 2001 as Director of Field Operations. She was passionate about the well-being of children and families. A strong sense of compassion, fairness and justice guided her career.
In 2002 Carolyn married Ben Demps, the love of her life, in the Virgin Islands. Until his death in 2013, they lived happily in Port Charlotte, Florida. Together, they cared for her mother in her last days and also did a lot of cruising. After Ben’s death, Carolyn moved back to Norman to be near her children and her Alma Mater.
Carolyn had a tender, generous, sensitive heart. She loved animals, taking in stray cats and feeding birds and other wildlife. She delighted in her beloved dog, Benjie. As a volunteer, she delivered Meals on Wheels, volunteered for Food for Friends, and was an active member of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, where she served on the Vestry. Carolyn had many friends and maintained friendships over the years. She had a special bond with members of the Last Wives Club, who loved her dearly and performed many acts of kindness in her last days.
“I’d rather wear out than rust out,” was one of her favorite sayings. At various times, she made jewelry, all of which she gave away, and knitted gifts for others for no special reason. Carolyn always stayed busy, working in her last years at Pier One and Wild Birds Unlimited.
Carolyn is survived by her son, Stephen Boyd Bryan, and her daughter, Kathleen Downs Bryan and her partner Heather Leigh. Other survivors are her sister, Nancy Oelklaus of Sedona, AZ and husband Harlan; brother Stephen Eubanks of Montrose, CO, and friend Joy Murphy; nephew Brett McClaran of Texarkana, TX; nieces Anne Marie McClaran of Portland, OR and husband Dan Batz; and Hayley Eubanks of Pflugerville, TX. A nephew, Stephen Austin Eubanks, preceded her in death.