Carolyn Marie Garland (née Walters) was born on November 11, 1929 in Kansas City, Kansas and peacefully passed away surrounded by family at home in Richmond on January 18, 2016.
As a girl in Kansas City, Carolyn performed in local vaudeville shows reciting poetry and telling “Little Audrey” jokes. She learned to sing and dance at that time and would later use those skills to entertain us as we were growing up.
Carolyn moved from Kansas City to Richmond in 1945 with her mother and sister to begin a new life after the divorce of her parents. They lived in the wartime housing in South Richmond and there she met the love of her life, John Garland. After graduating from Richmond High School in 1945, she went to work for the Oakland Alameda Title Company until the birth of her first child in 1954. In 1949, she married John, and except for John’s military service in 1952, they were never apart in their 70 years together.
With the birth of her first child, Carolyn’s career as a homemaker began. She was a natural at raising kids and skillfully guided us with wisdom, compassion, poetry and humor right up to the end. Carolyn would sing and dance for us (when no one else was around) and always had the right amount of advice for whatever childhood tribulation was occurring. She tirelessly volunteered at our schools as room mother, chaperone, or lunch crew at Salesian High School.
As the kids got older, Carolyn and John began traveling more in their RV, eventually visiting all of the lower 48 states, Mexico and Canada. She was a crossword ace and read the newspaper cover to cover every day. She enjoyed gardening, feeding her blue jays and hummingbirds, and especially spending time with her grandkids, great-grandkids, nieces and nephew. Her family was her greatest joy.
She was predeceased by her mother Rosa (Bridenstine) [Walters] Phillips, father Harry Walters, step-father Harold Phillips, brothers Alfred R. Walters and Oliver Ellsworth Walters, sister Juanita Markley and nephew Warren Goddard.
She is survived by her loving husband and best friend John H. Garland, children James M. (Patricia) Garland, Cynthia M. (Charles) Miller, John A. (Michele) Garland, and Claudia J. (Paul) McCarty, 11 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephew.
As Carolyn was fond of saying, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” Family and friends are invited to the memorial service on Sunday, January 24th at 2:00 P.M. at Sunset View Mortuary, junction of Fairmount and Colusa Avenues, El Cerrito.