Carol Wood McGill died in her sleep on Friday, Jan. 7, in her home in Darien. She was the wife of the late Donald Forbes McGill, who died in 1996.

She was born in Pittsburgh on Dec. 15, 1920, to Doris Wood and William Edward Simler, an advertising executive whose career spanned several agencies in New York.

Mrs. McGill spent her childhood between Washington Square in Manhattan and Paris. During World War II, in January 1943, Mrs. McGill married Don in a small, private ceremony at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. The wedding took place during a brief war leave for Mr. McGill, who was an officer in the Navy. After the wedding, the couple left for an abbreviated honeymoon in Florida, before Mr. McGill shipped out on his second tour of duty. Mr. McGill was decorated for his bravery and service as a PT boat captain in the South Pacific.

Mrs. McGill also had a patriotic role during the War, as a volunteer for the Red Cross in New York and Washington, D.C. She also worked for the Office of Civil Defense, in close proximity to Eleanor Roosevelt, who she greatly admired.

At war's end Mr. and Mrs. McGill lived briefly in Washington; Alexandra, Va.; New York City and Long Island, before settling happily in Darien. Their two oldest children -- Christine, born in Washington, and Donald Jr. (Sandy), born in Manhattan -- were 8 and 4 when they re-located to Darien. Two more children -- Leslie and Bill -- were born soon after the move to the suburbs. As an only child, Mrs. McGill's dream was to have a large family. As a mother of four, she was devoted to her family and family life.

She also cared for three dogs and eight cats over the years.

A Darien resident for 56 years, Mrs. McGill spent 38 of those years as a community volunteer. Organizations who benefited from her generous volunteer work included the Darien Library, Darien Historical Society, the DCA, the Darien Schools, Person to Person and The First Congregational Church. She was also a big volunteer at Stamford Hospital, where she served as director of the board of women. She was especially fond of STAR -- the Society to Advance the Retarded -- where she devoted countless hours to advance care for the handicapped.

Survivors include her children, Christine Fabie McGill of San Francisco, Sandy McGill of Darien, William McGill of Columbus, Ohio, and Leslie McGill of Norwalk; and five grandchildren, Ian McGill, Elizabeth Fabie, Ryan Fabie, Liam McGill and Caroline McGill.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in Darien, 14 Brookside Road, on Saturday, Jan. 15.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mrs. McGill's memory to STAR Inc., Attn: Mike Petell, 182 Wolfpit Ave., Norwalk, CT 06851.