Carol Monica
November 1, 1934 - September 30, 2018

     Born in New York City on November 1,1934, she lived with her father, a prominent New York City attorney. Carol attended private schools, until a dramatic departure when she graduated from the University of Texas. Change from structured conformance, offered an exciting and adventurous life. Adventure! Carol participated as Team Captain for "Christo's Projects". Being in New York City offered proof reading for Scribner's Publishing and modeling for a famous artist. Moving to Boston, she was a Property Manager in real estate. Carol sought work where she could sleep late and be her own boss. Continuing on those two paths, she became an entrepreneur. Settling in Cambridge in 1972, Carol opened a shop on Massachusetts Avenue with the thought of a three to four-month venture selling "Pop-Up" cards for the Holidays. Doing so well, the landlord asked her to stay. In 1974, Carol opened her store, "The Games People Play" at 1100 Mass. Avenue. Where she graced the shop for 44 years. When Dungeons and Dragons hit the market in the 80's, Carol went on TV in support of the game. D&D broke the traditional war-gaming mold. Carol's enthusiastic embrace of it got written-up up in the Wall Street Journal. She was well on her way to becoming an icon in the game world. Students from the Cambridge universities flocked to her store for a treasure trove of games, puzzles and board games with mind and skill challenges. Every year, Carol went to the Nurnberg Toy Fair to find beautiful classic games like backgammon and chess. She traveled to the Essen Game Expo to find exciting and fun contemporary board games. She was the first to import "Settlers of Catan." Her schedule of "buying" was at Gift Shows, Trade Fairs and the NYC Toy Fair. An International Puzzle Party member, she attended conventions around the world for items new to the American market, selections delighted. MA Commonwealth congratulated "The Games People Play" for 40 years in business in 2014. Carol was interesting, interested, studying and studied. She amazed her many friends by the way she accomplished every challenge she faced. They adored her positive attitude, her wit and panache. She was admired for her opinions, her intellect and her always-ready smile. Carol was a voracious reader, current in world events and politics. She went to Symphony, plays, operas or museums whenever she could. She was on the Cambridge Hospice Board for years. She was also a member of the Cambridge Tennis Club and The Tavern Club. Carol was recently proclaimed the "Grande Dame of the gaming world." Sadly, on September 30, 2018, Carol fought and lost the last game, that of life. Surrounded by her sister, Meredith, her Nephew, P.J. and many of her closest and dearest friends, Carol passed away at her home. She leaves behind her beloved relatives: her sister Meredith; her niece Monica, Monica's family husband Brian, children Alexandra and Brandon, and her grandnieces Lilly and Daphne; Justin, son of her deceased nephew, Kregg; her nephew P.J. who treasured living with "Auntie" for a year, his wife, Angie and son, Rocco. Also, her niece, Jennifer and her husband, Michael and children, Dane, Cristiano and Luca. Carol's many business associates from all around the world will miss her presence. And last, but certainly not least, Carol leaves very special, loving friends too many to mention. Services will be private. It feels like the Scrabble board was just wiped clean. My sister will be forever loved and missed, by family and friends. She will also be remembered by admiring "gamers" for whom she was the "Grande Dame" of their passion.
- Meredith Monica

Carol Ann Monica

Carol Monica, Cambridge, Massachusetts, The Games People Play