Obituary Reports the death of an individual, providing an account of the person’s life including their achievements, any controversies in which they were involved, and reminiscences by people who knew them.
Caroline Mary Haight Nuytkens was born on May 26, 1930, in Flushing, Queens to Aaron Read Haight and Charlotte Armsheimer Haight. She was the younger of two daughters. Her ancestry was a blend of English and German. One side came to America from England as early as 1690, fought in the Revolutionary and Civil wars and planned the street grid of Mount Vernon. The other side came from Germany in the mid-1800s and opened a prosperous jewelry workshop and store on Maiden Lane in Manhattan.
After graduating from high school, Carol studied interior design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. There she met Ray Nuytkens who had just returned from serving in the Army during World War II. They were on a double date, each with another classmate, when he looked across the table and realized that Carol was the prettiest girl in the room. The rest is history. They fell in love and married in 1953, despite Ray capsizing his sailboat on one of their first dates. They were happily married for 69 years.
Carol worked as a designer for the architecture firm Morris Lapidus & Associates on many projects across the country, including the dining room of the infamous Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach.
When it was time to start a family, Carol and Ray moved from a brownstone apartment in Brooklyn to the Westchester suburb of Pleasantville. There they designed and built their house on a wooded hillside in the Bauhaus style, which affectionately became known as “the treehouse,” and raised a son, Peter, and daughter Pamela. Carol was very active in her children’s lives, leading both Cub Scout and Girl Scout troops, and was active in the local international student exchange program and the Chappaqua Congregational Church.
During summers, Carol was an avid sailor exploring Long Island Sound with Ray and the family on their Pearson Ensign sailboat, the PeterPam. She also loved swimming in the local pool, Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. In the winter, she skied cross country and downhill.
When her children were old enough to be on their own, Carol went back to work as an interior designer, a profession she continued to enjoy for decades. She was also a talented artist; watercolor works of lighthouses and beach scenes were her passion. Her family and friends alike cherished Carol’s hand-painted note cards. Carol always baked the most delicious pecan pies and frosted holiday sugar cookies. Her grandchildren will proudly attest “No one’s cookies are as good as Nana’s!”
Carol passed peacefully on Oct. 25. She is survived by her son, Peter Nuytkens; daughter-in-law Margaret Nuytkens; daughter Pamela Pagano; son-in-law Vince Pagano; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. A celebration of life memorial service will be planned in the spring of 2024.
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