Antonia “Toni” Carroll, 72, of Columbus, passed away peacefully on September 13, 2020. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, she was a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina, Stony Brook University, and The Ohio State University. She was the first Director of the Franklin County Office on Aging and retired in 2017 after 33 rewarding years.
When state funding for a predecessor outreach ended, she and a brave band of supporters spearheaded an effort to create a new program funded by property taxes and became Senior Options. This new program innovatively met in-home service needs through partnerships with for profit and nonprofit entities and educational and human services agencies. Under her leadership that levy successfully passed five times and has grown to a client base of over 8,000. Adult Protective Services was added in 1999 and expanded the agency’s reach to protect and assist those most vulnerable.
As a Licensed Social Worker with a Master of Arts in Public Administration, Toni was a pioneer in the aging field and served as a mentor, teacher and friend to many. She tirelessly advocated for the rights of older adults to age in place with dignity. Known for her quick wit and sense of humor she was also respected for her wisdom and leadership skills. The aging profession has lost a crusader whose indelible imprint will not be forgotten.
Toni is preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Leslie Carroll, and survived by her husband of 42 years, Rev. Ronald Botts; her sister, Susan (Robert) Chapman (Best Sister Ever); her brother, Joe Carroll (Best Brother Ever); her nephew, Christopher (Rachelle) Chapman; and greatniece Kaylee.
A Celebration of Life, limited to family, will be held Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. The public is welcome to join in virtually. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in her name may be made to Franklin County Senior Options, 280 East Broad Street, 3rd floor, Columbus 43215 and Cat Welfare Association, 741 Wetmore Rd, Columbus 43214.