Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gate. 

Prov.31: 31

Carolyn Washington was born to the parents of Catherine (Herrington) and the late George Williams in Sardis, Georgia, on February 14, 1945. Her mother and siblings Corilene, George, and Linda (who died in 1973) moved from Savannah, Ga to North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1955, where they temporarily lived with their Aunt Sis (Evonia Carn) and family. Before moving to Philly, she attended Maple Street Elementary School in Savannah, Georgia. In Philly, she attended McIntyre Elementary and Fitzsimons Jr High School. She graduated from William Penn High school in 1963. She received secretarial science and home economics training at Oakwood College (Oakwood University) in Huntsville, Alabama. She furthered her career in singing and music by taking courses in vocal training and musical appreciation at the Kennedy- King College in Chicago, Illinois. She also took a class in upholstery at Andrews University.

As a teenager, she worked part-time jobs and used her money to buy her clothes. She loved to dress. Very early in life, she took an interest in sewing. She asked her mother to buy her a sewing machine. Her mother honored her request and brought home a toy sewing machine. She said to her mother that she wanted a real sewing machine so that she could make clothes. As a seamstress in later years, she used this gift to make her clothes and clothes for her husband and children. She often did sewing and alterations for others. Even Jesse Wagner, the president of the Lake Region Conference, asked her to hem his pants uniquely. She also taught others the art of sewing. She shared her sewing gift with Peterson-Warren students and held a student fashion show to help raise funds for the academy.

Carolyn learned about the Seventh-Day Sabbath while living in Philadelphia. Catherine Williams, a Seventh-Day Adventist bible worker, searched through the phone book to find all the women in her area with the same name as hers. Because Carolyn’s mother had the same name, Catherine visited them. This visit resulted in Carolyn and her mother having bible studies. In the course of their studies, Carol asked Catherine about her church. She told her that she attended church on Saturday. Carol responded that she didn’t care what day it was as

long as it was the truth. Carol attended the SDA church and gained an understanding of the Seventh-Day Sabbath. She told her mother that this was the Sabbath truth. Her mother told her, “Girl, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Going back to her church on Sunday, her mother asked deacon Ballard which day was the Sabbath. He told her that Saturday was the true Sabbath, but Christians keep Sunday. After hearing this, she became convinced that Saturday was the true Sabbath. Carol and her mother were later baptized by C.D. Brooks into the North Philadelphia SDA Church.

Carolyn later left for Oakwood College to pursue a career in Secretarial Science and Home Economics. While there, she met Richard Washington by a chance encounter. It was after a Wednesday night prayer meeting at Oakwood College that they engaged in conversation. He wanted to know why he hadn’t seen her on campus. She told him she worked at the dairy all day, and when she left work, most activities were over. After that initial meeting, they continued their relationship.

Carol worked as a secretary at Oakwood College for Dr. Frank Hale Jr., the president of Oakwood College. Jesse Wagner later hired her as the secretary for LRC. Before working for LRC, she did secretarial work at the University of Chicago.

During school break, Carol went home to Philly. While there, she received a letter from Richard telling of an incident involving him and other students with the Tuscaloosa Alabama police while colporteurs. She asked God if Richard was the one for her, let her receive a letter from him. When the mail arrived at her home, his letter was on top of all the mail. She later shared with Richard an incident that happened to her before they were acquainted. One day coming out of the college cafeteria, she passed Richard and had an impression that he would be her husband one day. She didn’t tell him about this until after they were married.

Before uniting their lives in holy matrimony, Richard sought permission from Carol’s mother. It was difficult because he felt awkward talking to her mother. She gave him her permission, but she asked him,” can you take care of her.” He told her he was in college but would be able to do so when he got out and became employed. They were united in holy matrimony on August 15, 1971, at the North Philadelphia Church.

After their wedding, they moved to his hometown. While Richard was working, Carol would go to the library to get cookbooks. She shared many things about food with him. Even though they were vegetarians, Carol would still use meat recipes but substitute meat with vegetarian meats. She grew so fond of cooking that she would very seldom repeat the same recipes. One day Richard said to her, “baby, you know a lot of the dishes you used to make; we haven’t had them for a while.” One of them was the Shepherd’s Pie.

She taught cooking classes in various churches. While attending the Independence Boulevard SDA Church in Chicago, she conducted a cooking class. In this class, she taught them to make unique pies, such as orange and grapefruit pies. She also taught them to make mayonnaise from egg whites. She also influenced her family in the culinary arts.

She delighted in canning and freezing peaches and strawberries and peas, squash, sweet potatoes, etc. She would also pick apples and grapes and juice them.

Whenever she encountered a problem with her sewing, she didn’t hesitate to seek professional help. She even taught herself to lay ceramic tiles. She also had a feel for the marketplace. She was tremendous in reducing grocery bills by using coupons. Her professional endeavors were just as crucial as her domestic ones.

Their children were born in Richard’s and Carolyn’s respective birth months. Their son Boyce was born in Richard’s birth month of November. Their daughter Chika and Carolyn share the same birth month of February. With children came the opportunity for Carolyn to further exercise her gift as a seamstress. She made the family look-alike outfits. The God-given skills she possessed allowed her to be a stay-at-home mom. There were only a few occasions whereby they had to have a babysitter. Carolyn was always there for them. One of her greatest passions was to have a healthy family life. Many of the programs she looked at on T.V. and the internet were family-oriented.

She was not only a great homemaker but her talents and skills extended into their ministry. When they were involved in evangelism, she would decorate the platform and see that the pulpit area was colorful and attractive and that the materials used were appropriate for the occasion.

Carolyn loved gospel music. When she and Richard were dating, they would travel together as she sang with a gospel choir. Carol used her gifts for both her home and church. She even used her musical talent at the Detroit Center SDA Church to train a children’s choir.

Carol’s giftedness was seen in not only the natural world but also the spiritual. Every morning she and Richard would have worship together. She would then have devotion with her son and then her granddaughter. Carolyn was just as aggressive in finding new spiritual food as she found new dishes to prepare. She kept the family busy trying to keep up with many Biblical insights she found on the internet.

She was instrumental in keeping her family up with the latest technology. They would study different truths from various angles. 

Carol died in her pursuit of truth as she studied it according to the Bible. She has taken her rest from this world, and in her grave, she awaits the hope of the first resurrection. She leaves to the care of the Comforter a loving husband Richard, son Boyce, daughter Chika, granddaughter Zaria Washington, mother Catherine Williams, sister Corilene Thomas (Raymond), brother George Williams(Blanche), nieces Taren and Cindy, nephew Kenny, uncle Benny Mutch, aunts Ida Mutch (mother’s side) and Ida Madden(father’s side), and various first and second cousins, two grand nephews and a host of friends.

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband does trust in her. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Prov.31:10-12.

A memorial service will be held for Sis. Carolyn Washington, wife of retired LRC Pastor Richard Washington, at noon EST on Sunday, November 7, at the Burns SDA Church located at 10125 E. Warren Ave. Detroit, MI 48214. The service will also be live-streamed from the Burns SDA Church YouTube Channel.


  1. Jackie Adams says:

    My sincere condolences for you and your family my prayers for all and be blessed 🙏🙏🙏🙏 PS your old friend from years back Jackie Tolbert you lived with me and mom in Chicago be blessed 🙏🙏🙏

Leave a Reply