McCleskey, Caroline

MCCKLESKEY, Caroline Howard

Caroline Howard McCleskey age 100, died peacefully on Saturday, February 20th.

Born May 12, 1920 in Atlanta, Georgia, Caroline was the daughter of Caroline Muse McCleskey and Louis Dugas McCleskey. Brought up in Atlanta, she used to laugh when she'd say she "Went North" to college and attended Hollins College in Virginia. She graduated from Hollins in 1941 with a degree in Philosophy.

In 1942, with the U.S. at war, Caroline joined the newly created WAVES, the U.S. Navy's female component. She was a member of the first class of female Midshipmen. Billeted at Smith College, MA that first class was in training before uniforms were available. Emerging as Ensign, almost the entire class was destined for work in Navy Communications in Washington, D.C.

Following a brief stint in the Navy Code rooms, Caroline was one of 8 Wave Officers assigned to Fleet Admiral E.J.King's Staff as Communication Watch Officers. She continued in this assignment until her return to inactive duty in 1946, with the rank Lieutenant (Junior Grade). In 1945 she received a citation with Commendation Ribbon from Fleet Admiral King.

Returning to Atlanta, Caroline announced her intention never to set foot in Washington again. Yet, 1947 found her back in DC to join a newly created organization called The Central Intelligence Group (which later became the Central Intelligence Agency). Serving in both the analytical, and more particularly, the operational directorates afterward, Caroline's career at the CIA covered 28 years. On her retirement in 1975, she was awarded the Agency's Career Intelligence Medal.

To her continuing surprise, Caroline chose to stay in in Washington in her retirement. She continued her Junior League Volunteer activity, and also helped with the then Annual Goodwill Booth sale. She remained an avid reader of mysteries, a some-times participant in friendly bridge games, and for many years enjoyed at heart one "good" (her word) trip a year. Outdoors it was always golf and fishing (the last a female family tradition). In addition to the Junior League of Washington, she was a member of the Sulgrave Club.

Caroline is survived by one niece and four nephews. Internment will be in Atlanta at a later date.

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Funeral Home Information

DeVol Funeral Home

2222 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC