May 27, 2022, 97, Seven Springs –
Carolyn Wallace Gibbs, 97, left this life early Friday morning, May 27, 2022 in her home with her family present.
Carolyn was born in Lenoir County to the late Ralph and Sally Smith Wallace on June 20, 1924. The daughter of a farmer, she was always very proud to be an active participant in the agricultural economy. One of her earliest memories was selling eggs with her father in downtown Kinston. She developed a work ethic and skills that served her well throughout her life.
Most of her childhood and adolescence were spent in Duplin County until she left for Montreat College when her attendance was interrupted by World War II. She moved to Norfolk to take a job with the Department of Defense as a supply clerk in requisitions of raw materials for the Navy. She believed strongly in the cause and never second-guessed the decision she made to support it.
The end of the war brought the love of her life Donald Gibbs back home to Seven Springs from a four-year uninterrupted deployment to the South Pacific. They married in 1945 and built the home she lived in for the rest of her life on his family’s land in 1947. Fifteen years later Carolyn and Donald brought their one and only child into the world. Mary Wallace was the apple of her parent’s eyes until Donald’s passing in 1983 and Carolyn’s on Friday.
With a zest for life, Carolyn continued to care for her family and friends, while still making an impact on the community she lived and worked in. She worked for O’Berry and Lewis Insurance for 17 years and was an eyewitness to the destruction Hurricane Hazel brought to Goldsboro. She later became the branch manager for Southern Bank in Seven Springs where she remained for 26 years. The job suited her personality and skill set well, as the branch and community were dependent on each other. Farmers and customers would enjoy their morning coffee and a good conversation in the bank before heading to work. Carolyn’s hard work paid off, making her the “go-to” person in the Seven Springs area for banking.
Carolyn’s commitment to Seven Springs extended beyond her role at the bank. She was an active member of Seven Springs Baptist Church and involved in the Women’s Missionary Union for many decades, as well as a leading member of Wayne County Democratic Women. Most importantly, Carolyn was a dear friend and “second mama” to so many, especially her nieces and nephews. She was happiest when her home was filled with friends and family. Mary Wallace, Carmen, and Hill were her heartbeat. While Carolyn had many great adventures and stories to tell, none compared to the joy she found in being a mother and grandmother. Though she was the last of her generation, the impact she made on so many lives secured her legacy in the hearts of generations to come.
A service to celebrate the life and love of Carolyn will be held at Seven Springs Baptist Church Wednesday June 1, 2022, at 4 p.m., with Rev. Phyllis Vail officiating. The family will receive friends in the fellowship hall during the hour before the service. A committal service will follow at the Seven Springs UMC Cemetery.
Left to share Carolyn’s legacy are her daughter, Mary Wallace Gibbs Vickory and husband, Denny of Goldsboro. Hill Donald Vickory of Goldsboro, Mary Carmen Vickory of Seven Springs,; nieces and nephews, Maureen Turner of Kill Devil Hills, Audrey Sprott of Cary, Kevin Wallace and wife Trish of Virginia Beach, Elizabeth Allen of Seven Springs, Michael Wallace of Seven Springs, and Maxine Wallace of Seven Springs; along with many beloved great-nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, Carolyn was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Seawell Gibbs; brother, Horace Wallace; and nephews, Bob and Steven Wallace.
A special thank you to Carolyn’s caregivers through the years: Ann Thompson, Geneva Hardy, Ona Lee Herring and Terry Norville. Also, a special appreciation goes to Brenda Coor, Hospice Nurse and the staff at 3HC and Kitty Askins.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.rousefh.com. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Carolyn’s legacy may be made to Seven Springs Baptist Church attention: WMU, 5924 Highway 55 East, Seven Springs, NC 28578, or the Wayne County Humane Society, 104 Center Street, Goldsboro, NC 27530. Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.