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Carolyn Smith Green

July 15, 1930 August 7, 2019
Carolyn Smith Green
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Obituary for Carolyn Smith Green

Carolyn Marie Smith Green of Henderson, North Carolina, departed this life to be received in her Heavenly home on August 7, 2019 at the age of 89.  Carolyn was a remarkable, gracious and loving person with unfailing devotion to Christ, her family, her beloved North Carolina Central University and her community.  She was born on July 15, 1930 in Durham, North Carolina and raised in New Bern, North Carolina by her parents, Isaac Hughes Smith, Jr. and Annie Day Shepard Smith, along with her sister, Annie Day Smith Donaldson.  Her father was a prominent real estate investor continuing the legacy of his father Isaac H Smith Sr who as a former teacher became a large property owner and banker in New Bern, was elected to represent Craven County in the NC House of Representatives and served as one of the last African American members of the NC legislature before the disenfranchisement of 1900.  

Carolyn is the granddaughter of Annie Day Robinson Shepard and Dr. James E. Shepard, the founder of North Carolina College (NCC) for Negroes, now known as North Carolina Central University (NCCU), the first state-supported liberal arts college for African Americans in the United States.  He served as the school's first president until his death after a 37 year tenure.  He was also one of the prominent businessmen who established Mechanics and Farmers Bank and the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company in Durham. His father Rev Augustus Shepard served as pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Henderson and White Rock Baptist Church in Durham and organized the Central Children’s Home in Oxford. Carolyn is also the great-great granddaughter of Thomas Day, noted furniture maker and characterized as the “Master of Mahogany” whose magnificent pieces grace many public institutions and private residences including the North Carolina Governor's Mansion.  

Carolyn spent a considerable amount of her childhood in Durham with her grandparents. She also attended and became a camp counselor  at Camp Atwater in North Brookfield, Massachusetts, a cultural and recreational summer camp designed for African American children. The camp remains the oldest accredited African-American owned and operated camp in the nation.  Carolyn’s love of recreational activities and recognition of the benefits of these for overall well-being and growth continued throughout her life as she attended 4-H camp as a chaperone with the Vance county contingent for many years. She was also a water safety instructor and organized Red Cross swimming lessons for all the children in her neighborhood and later in life enjoyed attending the NC Lions Camp Dogwood, a recreational program for adults with blindness and visual impairments.  

Always smart and eager to learn, Carolyn enrolled in college after the eleventh grade. Having never considered attending any other school than dear old NCC, Carolyn enrolled there and resided in the Shepard house until her grandfather passed away. As a freshman, she was honored to greet and escort former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt on a visit to the campus.  Her years at NCC were enriched by meeting other notable performers and guests at the Shepard house, including renowned opera singer Marian Anderson and author and historian W.E.B. Du Bois. She was a talented and engaged student with diverse interests and was featured in several modern dance performances in college. She was initiated into Alpha Chi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority while in college and maintained a lifelong commitment to the organization. 

Carolyn received her Bachelor of Science in Commerce (Summa Cum Laude) at NCC in 1951. She and her fellow classmates, a very close-knit group, continued their service to the school with fundraising and donations, as well as regular attendance at Homecoming and other events.  While attending Founder’s Day Convocation in 2001, Carolyn was proud to become a Golden Eagle as part of her 50 year class reunion.  Carolyn obtained her M. Ed. in 1952 from Boston University where she was a fellow graduate student and acquaintance of the late Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. who was pusuing his doctorate there. After receiving her degrees, Carolyn taught Business Education at Saint Augustine College (University), training upcoming business instructors and was later the Secretary to the President of Fisk University. She finished her career working as the business manager for Beckford Medical Center in Henderson. 

On December 15,1956, Carolyn married her husband Dr. James Preston Green, Sr., physician, community leader and member of the North Carolina General Assembly. They spent their first years of marriage in Germany where Dr. Green served as an Army physician. During this time they traveled throughout Europe and welcomed their first child.  They enjoyed a 49-year marriage until his passing in May 2006. They were blessed with three children: the late Attorney James Preston Green, Jr. (widow Diane, former spouse Katrina), Isaac Hughes Green (Pamela), and Carolyn Green Boone, J.D. (former spouse Franklin); ten grandchildren, five great grandchildren and many beloved nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who were always steadfast in their love and support for Carolyn.  

Carolyn embraced the legacy of her family throughout her life.  Her devotion and commitment were clearly evident as she ventured to affect change around her through her actions and her enduring spirit.  She was involved in many civic and community activities. She was the first African-American woman to win a party nomination and run for Henderson school board in 1968.  After desegregation she reestablished the parent-teacher organization at E.M. Rollins Elementary School. She was the first African-American asked to join the Hospital Guild at Maria Parham Hospital.  She later served the Hospital Guild as both treasurer and president. Carolyn was past president of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Old North State Medical Society. She served two terms on the Board of Trustees of Vance Granville Community College. She lead annual fundraising campaigns for the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. Carolyn was also a Charter member of the Nu Chi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 

A 60-year member of Cotton Memorial Presbyterian Church in Henderson, Carolyn's faith was strong and the backbone of  her good works, kind heart and humble spirit. For many years, she was the editor of the church newsletter. As a devoted church member and mother, she served as a Cub Scout Den Mother and was a Girl Scout Troop Leader as well.  

With a love of gardening, she was a long-term member of the Henderson Daisy Garden Club. She was also fortunate to have a circle of friends with whom she participated in both a Bridge club and Pinochle club for many years. As her vision diminished, Carolyn was active with her local VIP Organization which offered a variety of monthly activities, trips, and support group meetings for visually impaired people.  

Carolyn gave lifelong devotion to her alma mater NCCU supporting administrations, faculty,  students and school events to the fullest extent possible.  As much as she loved NCCU, she loved her family with loyalty and an abundance of love that is unparalleled.  She lifted us up with quiet strength and compassion.  She was the anchor of a family blessed to have her guidance and love. Her passing creates a void that we will forever struggle to fill.  We will cherish and hold her in our hearts and spirits as our unfailing beacon of light as we strive to carry on her legacy and fulfill the wishes she had for each of us. 

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 1pm at Cotton Memorial Presbyterian Church, located at 511 N Chestnut St., Henderson, NC 27536. Reverend Delton Farmer will officiate, and Elder Eva M. Clayton will offer the eulogy.  Burial will follow in Elmwood Cemetery on Breckenridge Street. 

Visitation for family and friends will be held on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Davis Royster Funeral Home in Henderson. 

Donations in memory of Carolyn Smith Green may be made to the Dr James P and Carolyn Smith Green Endowed Scholarship fund at North Carolina Central University (1801 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC 27707) for students who are residents of Craven or Vance counties;  Camp Dogwood, North Carolina Lions, Inc., PO Box 39, Sherrills Ford, NC 28673 (secure online donation via https://www.classy.org/give/148769/#!/donation/checkout ); or the Vance County VIPs, 300 South Garnett Street, Henderson, NC 27536.


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Previous Events

Viewing

Tuesday

13

Aug

12:00 PM 8/13/2019 12:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 8/13/2019 8:00:00 PM
Davis-Royster Funeral Service, Inc.

926 South Garnett Street
Henderson, NC 27536

Davis-Royster Funeral Service, Inc.
926 South Garnett Street Henderson 27536 NC
United States

Visitation

Tuesday

13

Aug

6:00 PM 8/13/2019 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 8/13/2019 8:00:00 PM
Davis-Royster Funeral Service, Inc.

926 South Garnett Street
Henderson, NC 27536

Davis-Royster Funeral Service, Inc.
926 South Garnett Street Henderson 27536 NC
United States

Service

Wednesday

14

Aug

1:00 PM 8/14/2019 1:00:00 PM
Cotton Memorial Presbyterian Church

511 N Chestnut St
Henderson, NC 27536

Cotton Memorial Presbyterian Church
511 N Chestnut St Henderson 27536 NC
United States
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