In memory of
Mrs. Carolyn Smith Gardner
Carolyn Smith Gardner, age 91, of Forest City died Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at the Hospice House of Rutherford County. A native of Pawtucket, RI she was the daughter of the late William and Bertha Smith. Carolyn was a graduate of Northampton Commercial College, Northampton Mass. During World War II she worked for the Quartermaster Corps at Westover Field Air Force Base and following the war, worked as an executive secretary with the American Thread Company for several years. She moved to Marion NC with her husband in 1953, to Charlotte NC in 1958, and to Forest City NC in 1963.
Carolyn became involved in Republican politics in Charlotte, and served as vice-chair of the Rutherford County Republican Party for eight years, as County Chair for another eight years, and several terms as President of the County Republican Women's Club. She co-managed the County campaigns of Jim Holshouser for Governor, and later the campaign of Senator Jim Broyhill. She was appointed to the State Manpower Commission by Governor Holshouser and was a gubernatorial appointee to the County DSS Board during Governor Martin's administration and served another two terms on the DSS Board as Community Representative. She also served on the Community Child Protection Team, Child Fatality Task Force and DSS Adoption Committee.
Mrs. Gardner served as a member of the County, District and State Republican Executive Committees for several years and was an Honorary Life Member of the North Carolina Federation of Republican Women and a member of the North Carolina Republican Party Hall of Fame. She was honored with North Carolina's highest civilian award, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine; the Carolyn Smith Gardner Award for Republican Excellence was established by the Rutherford County Republican Party in her honor.
A member of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Rutherfordton, Carolyn was a former church secretary, a former member of the vestry, a former member of the choir and former choir director. She is survived by her husband of 62 years Lawrence (Larry) and four children; Bill and wife Denise of Caroleen; Scott and wife Anne of Durham, Betty Gardner Underwood and husband Gerald Underwood of Monroe, NC and Kathy Gardner Dickson and husband Herb of Indian Trail NC. Four grandchildren: Josh Gardner, Laura Gardner Neely, Eric Gardner and Drew Gardner. One great grandson Dylan Gardner.
A memorial service for Mrs. Gardner will be held on Friday April 11, 2013 at 1;00 PM at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Rutherfordton with The Reverend Chris Beebe officiating. The visitation will follow the memorial service in the Church Parish House till 3:30 PM. A private burial will be held in Eternal Hills Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Francis Episcopal Church or to Hospice of Rutherford County. Online guest register at www.mcmahansfuneralhome.com McMahan's Funeral Home and Cremation Services is in charge of the arrangements.
View Full Obituary ›
Express Your Condolences By Sending Funeral Flowers.
All arrangements are delivered by a local florist.