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Carolyn R. Simmons

Carolyn R. Simmons, age 95, passed away of natural causes in her sleep on December 30, 2021. She was born on August 12, 1926 at home in Paint Bank, VA to Gladys Gwendolyn (Caldwell) Rose and Kenneth Watson Rose.  Her parents managed the Paint Bank General Store, and her father was the Postmaster. Carolyn attended grade school in a two-room school house in Paint Bank, graduated from New Castle High School, and attended Radford College where her studies focused on accounting. Carolyn had a long career working as an accountant for private clients and businesses.

Carolyn married Robert Wesley Simmons on August 20, 1945, at Humphrey Chapel United Methodist Church, enjoying a loving 59 year marriage. While Robert was serving in the Army, Carolyn worked at the C&P Telephone Co. They celebrated the birth of their only child, Brenda, on July 23, 1947.

Once the family moved to Baltimore, Carolyn began her civic work for the city of Baltimore, and the State of Maryland, while her husband worked for General Motors. She was the President of the Women’s Civic League for consecutive terms, and a member for over 60 years. She worked closely with Mayor Kurt Schmoke, consecutive Baltimore Mayors, and Governors, starting with her close friend Governor William Donald Schaefer. Carolyn was the Chairman of the Breakfast of Flowers event held at the Sculpture Court at Walter’s Art Museum, and Agora at the Marburg Mansion.  She enjoyed hosting “A Day at the Races” at Pimlico Racetrack, handing out the winning trophy on behalf of the Women’s Civic League. A tree has been planted in Carolyn’s honor at the Women’s Civic League Headquarters, on 9 Front Street, in Baltimore, Maryland. As a cherished Civic Leader, Carolyn focused her life on celebrating community, her love of Maryland and Baltimore, and all of its people.

Carolyn was the Chairman of the popular Flower Mart event at Mt Vernon Place in Baltimore. She created the famous “Lemon Bake Off,” with the wives of Baltimore Orioles players as judges. Carolyn, in collaboration with Governor William Donald Schaefer, assisted in the production of Flowermart Recipes and Reflections cookbook with proceeds benefiting Flower Mart. Carolyn was honored with the Volunteer of the Year Award, for her outstanding work and devotion to the Flower Mart. 

As a travel agent, Carolyn took many cruises to the Caribbean on the QEII, her favorite ship. She especially enjoyed day trips to the beautiful islands and the friendly hospitality of the people.

Carolyn is preceded in death by her husband Robert Wesley Simmons, and her daughter Brenda S. Wilson. She leaves behind her granddaughter Julie Michelle Wilson, son-in-law Walter E. Wilson, siblings Christine Rose Looney, and Chalmus (Bobby) Rose.  As head of the Rose Family, she leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation will take place on Tuesday, February 22 at Gary Memorial United Methodist Church at 10 AM, Funeral Service to follow at 11:30 AM, with Graveside Service and Burial afterwards at 2 PM at Crest Lawn Memorial Gardens.  Donations may be made in Carolyn’s memory to the Gary Memorial United Methodist Church.     

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