Carroll Ann (Imle) Mears

February 24, 1944 ~ May 1, 2020 (age 76)


Carroll Ann Imle Mears passed away May 1, 2020 at her home in McLean, Virginia. Carroll Ann was born in Hillsboro, Illinois to Mary Virginia Brinton Imle and Albert R. Imle.  She lived in Hillsboro in the family owned Hillsboro Hotel/Red Rooster Inn until she graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1962. She was a talented musician in voice and on the piano, having learned from her mother, Virginia, and grandmother, Vira Brinton.  She continued her training at the University of Illinois and graduated with a degree in Music Education.

Carroll Ann had an early interest in politics as a teenager which led her to volunteering, alongside her father, for many Democratic campaigns, including those of Illinois Senator Paul Douglas.   She then later worked as a summer intern for Senator Douglas in Washington, D.C.  After college graduation she followed her passion for politics and moved to Washington, D.C., working for the Hubert Humphrey Presidential campaign and then onto the White House as press advance for President Jimmy and Mrs. Carter.  From there she worked for ABC and NBC News covering political campaigns and Presidential candidates.  For the past 25 years she remained at NBC in Washington as White House correspondent and then as producer for The NBC Nightly News until her retirement in 2015.  During her career she received an Emmy for a documentary covering Hurricane Katrina.  She married Walter R. Mears, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, well respected Washington columnist, and President of the Associated Press.  Together they were very well known in the Washington political circles.

While at home, she became a gifted gardener and a huge fan of the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots.   She continued to be in contact with her many friends from high school and her Alpha Chi Omega sorority sisters, traveling with them and keeping them up to date on the Washington D.C. political scene.  Her love of music led her to become an expert on American Musicals. As an Avid reader, she amassed an extensive collection of first edition books and music of all the great composers, lyricists and actors of the Broadway stage. 

Carroll Ann loved splurging on her loved ones and spent many happy hours playing, singing and dancing with her grandniece, Lily Miller and grandnephews, Kai and Joel Miller. as well as visiting Walter’s daughters and grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Carroll Ann was predeceased by her brother Barclay.  She is survived by her sister Deborah Miller Smith (husband Bruce) of Alamo, CA., her nephews, Brinton (wife Sheila) of Washington D.C. and Reid Miller (wife Jessica), and their children Lily, Kai and Joel of Kensington, MD; Stephanie Mears Stich (husband Martin) and children, Nathaniel and Madeline of Austin, Texas; and Susan Mears Wiemer  (husband Brad) and children, Aiden, Tristan and Brynne of Boulder, Colorado.

Memorials are requested to go to the Hillsboro High School Choir at the following address: 

Hillsboro High School Choirs,

Amy Lemons

522 East Tremont Street

Hillsboro, IL 62049   

A celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Carroll Ann (Imle) Mears, please visit our floral store.


Services are to be announced

Bass Patton Dean Funeral Home
624 South Main Street
Hillsboro, IL 62049

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