Carolyn Carpenter Burroughs, 81, born Carolyn Jeanne Edmonds, died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, April 16, 2023, surrounded by her family, many warm blankets, and a very affectionate cat.
Born in Petersburg, Virginia in 1941, she grew up in various parts of Virginia, her family being far ahead of their time on the tiny home trend. She was an avid reader, especially of murder mysteries; a skilled seamstress; an adventurous chef; and a lover of sarcasm, jigsaw puzzles, well-executed pranks, crime dramas, and country/western music. Among the things she was most proud of were her five children; her ever-growing abundance of grand, great, and great-great-grandchildren; her lack of allergy to poison ivy; her chicken with cheese gravy (a recipe she perfected that is still loved by all); and her ability to survive the many difficulties life put in her path. Her children were most impressed by her handmade Winnie the Pooh and Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, her perfect chocolate éclairs, her ability to pattern and sew clothes, and, of course, her chicken with cheese gravy.
“Mom sewed clothes for the whole family, how I loved the comfy pajamas, and the tailored clothing! She always cooked delicious meals, and taught us early on to love fresh vegetables, and that it’s polite to pick your own.”
“Momma stood as a giant all our lives, there is nothing she did not know and could not do! Momma was the matriarch of four generations and influenced them all. Tough as nails but sweet as molasses she was and always will be loved and respected for her strength. Never has there been nor shall there ever be a greater mother in this world! Love you sooooo much momma, see you soon.”
She is preceded in death by her parents, William and Mildred Edmonds; her brother, Beverly Edmonds; her grandson, Andrew Lanzillotti; her grand pup, Delilah, and her second husband not worth naming here. She is survived by her cat, Sheba; five children, Naomi Carpenter, Brenda Mathews, Linda Strong, Jerry Carpenter, Jr., and Larissa Carpenter; her brothers, Bill and Barty Edmonds, and the afore-mentioned abundance of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
In a lifetime that spanned more than eight decades, her life was a success. She made a big impression on our lives, helped shape who we are, and taught us how to craft the perfect comeback extremely quickly. Although everything may not have gone as she hoped, it was certainly a life she – and we – can be proud of.