Thelma Carrole McMurtry was born on June 7, 1940, to the union of Talmadge and Pearl McMurtry in Holmes County, Mississippi. She and her family relocated to Maywood, IL. Carrole attended Washington Elementary and Proviso East High School in Maywood, IL, where she graduated in 1958. Upon graduation, she continued her education at Sawyer Secretarial School where she honed her organizational and secretarial skills that would be the catalyst to her years of work and service.
Carrole accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her Personal Savior as a child in Holmes County, MS. Once relocated, her family joined First Baptist Church in Melrose Park, IL, and in 1993, Carrole joined Rock of Ages Baptist Church under the pastorate of Reverend Marvin Wiley. She loved her pastor and her church and was often found at churh early to socialize with members, and to take her “seat” along with her pew partners.
Carrole was united in holy matrimony to Raymond Smith. It was during this union that the apple of her eye was born, Ronald Todd Smith, more affectionately known as Todd. On many a day, Carrole was seen zipping around Maywood in her little brown Mustang with Todd in tow.
Carrole was employed at Irving School in Maywood, IL as the School Secretary where she remained for many years until she retired. She loved her job, where she not only ran the main office, but established a relationship with staff and countless numbers of students who came through Irving. To this day, many adults still referred to Carrole as “Aunt Carrole,” and she treated each and every one of them as family. She was not only a positive role model for the young adults throughout the years, but was a pillar in the Maywood community.
With all of her energy, Carrole was not ready to sit home in retirement. After her retirement from irving, Carrole took on the role as administrator for the State of Illinois under Representative Wanda J. Sharp. Carrole fit right in with the high energy position and loved every minute of it! Later, Carrole became an administrative assistant at Corbin Colonial Funeral Home in Chicago. Carrole’s warm and compassionate demeanor was a perfect match for the funeral home and her gentle and caring spirit was felt as soon as she answered the phone.
Carrole loved life and especially loved spending time with her family and friends, especially her lifelong best friend Shirly Burton Anderson. Shirley and Carrole affectionately referred to one another as “Sister” and you rarely saw on without the other! Whether it was a Provisor East basketball game, on a cruise ship, or a flight to Vegas, nothing was off limits for this dynamic duo! If Carrole were here, she’d say: “Kinfolk, this world and life doesn’t owe me anything. I have lived my life to its fullest. Ain’t no secret! Sho’ you right!”
Carrole departed this life on Sunday, August 29, surrounded by family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Talmadge and Pearl McMurtry; sister, Julia McMurtry; and son, Ronald Todd Smith. She leaves to cherish her memories, her brother, Ronald McMurtry; cousin/niece, Cheryl (Godfrey) Bradshaw, and Deborah Bradley; bonus sisters, Jeanette Rembert, Shirley Burton Anderson, Sandra Howell, and Daryl Burton; godchildren, Jamarre (Carmella) Conrad, and Ryan Foster; personal nurse, Lauren Bradley; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
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