Carolyn Smith Gregory entered her eternal home March 4th, 2022.
Born January 4, 1923, she was the daughter of Esther Sizemore Smith and Lawrence Young Smith and wife of Boyce Fred Gregory. Orphaned as a nine-year-old, through her intellect, hard work, dedication to excellence, and self-determination, she excelled in her studies and created a rich life of deep faith, abiding friendships, and family love.
As a child, she was taken by a neighbor to Pendleton Street Baptist Church where she was baptized at sixteen, and at ninety-six received congregational recognition for eighty years of service and loyalty! Her energy and devotion were evident in most every aspect of church life from her famous oatmeal cookies to youth on mission trips, years as official church greeter, circle and prayer team participant, office volunteer, organizer of midweek suppers, playtime and Bible study with kindergartners, candy to every child every Sunday, visitation, with homemade treats in hand, to numerous homebound members, and a lifetime of monthly tithing. She loved every pastor, every staff member, and every church member with such vibrant affection and appreciation.
Wife of Hejaz Past Potentate, Fred Gregory, she joined him in travel to many conventions and drill competitions and in lifelong endorsement of Greenville Shriners Hospital. She supported her husband and family as their business, Gregory’s Laundry and Cleaners, expanded throughout Greenville to include in the 1960’s Gregory’s Linen and Gifts, and 1970’s Gregory’s Formal Wear. When her gift business was sold, she began a twenty-year association with Cochran’s Jewelers where she formed wonderful relationships with employees and customers. She would type jewelry appraisals from home on her heavy Underwood typewriter seldom missing a stroke!
She was a Southern lady who used every gift to bring joy to others. Her Sunday dinners and holiday feasts were legendary, and one never left her home empty-handed. She was an early member of the Laurens Road Garden Club, a successful businesswoman, an avid walker well into her nineties, and an excellent bowler, who scored a spare at 98 in Memory Care! Impeccable in style and taste and an accomplished seamstress, she completed beautiful sewing projects for herself, her grandchildren, and needlework to treasure. She stitched by hand the dearest christening gown for her grandchildren. She loved to dance! The last video made of her was a little dance and smile on Valentine’s Day.
She taught everyone she knew to savor the simple gifts of life, to be thrifty, and to accept what could not be changed. She lived every day with gratitude and joy!
She was an avid supporter of her children’s, grandchildren’s, and great-grandchildren’s activities and accomplishments: graduations, sports, music, art, business successes, and teaching activities. All brought her the greatest pride and sheer joy. She cheered them all on from the stands, the audience, and always in her heart! Known to those who knew her best as Mama, Aunt Tag, Gram, Grandmother, and Grandma Biscuit, her legacy lives on in each of us, and we are ever-thankful for her lasting influence and unconditional love.
She was predeceased by her husband, her parents, a treasured aunt, Anna Garreaux, her beloved only sister, Gladys Smith Hannon, her cherished niece, Susan Hannon Bracknell, great-nephew, Scott Hannon,
and grandson, Patrick Carter Dowling. Surviving are her daughter and husband, Donna and Tommy Dowling, their children, daughter Dru, daughter Jill and husband Brandon Spence, their children, Tee, Zane, and Libby, and grandson, Adam; her son Buddy Gregory, his wife Judi, and his daughter, Patche Gage Pratt and husband Gene, and his son, Bud and great-granddaughter, Addison; her son David Gregory and his daughters, Hannah and Carolyn. Also surviving are her beloved nephew, Vic Hannon, wife Jane, son Brian and daughter Carey, and great-nephew Brack Bracknell, and great-nieces, Anna and Betsy.
A service of celebration and resurrection will be Wednesday, March 9th 1:30 p.m. at Thomas McAfee Downtown Chapel with visitation before the service from 12:15-1:30. Graveside committal will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Greenville Shriners Hospital, 950 W. Faris Road, Greenville, S.C. 29605.
Many thanks and deepest affection to the members of Waterstone Senior Living community for their love and care. We will deeply miss each of you.
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