Carolyn Elsea Edwards
Carolyn Elsea Edwards
  • December 12, 1942 - May 13, 2017
  • Birmingham, Alabama

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Carolyn Elsea Edwards died at her home on May 13, 2017, after a long but courageous struggle with pulmonary fibrosis. She is survived by her high school sweetheart and loving husband of 56 years, Michael (Mike) Leon Edwards; her daughter, Tamara Edwards Soroko (Philip), of Bellingham, Washington; her sister-in-law, Ruthie Edwards McNeil, of Sandy Springs, Georgia; and her brother-in-law, Thomas Douglas Edwards, of Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. She was predeceased by her parents, Edgar Earl Elsea and Virginia Snyder Elsea.
Mrs. Edwards was born on December 12, 1942, in Birmingham. She was a graduate of Woodlawn High School and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. A lifelong resident of the Birmingham community, except for those years when her husband Mike was on active duty in the Army, she nurtured a passion for gardening at her home in Mountain Brook and also loved to read and travel.
Active in numerous charitable and civic groups, Mrs. Edwards served two years as President of Assistance League of Birmingham, a charity whose work includes Operation School Bell, which clothes needy children, Operation Literacy, which tutors children in reading, and PrimeTime Treasures, which serves and encourages senior artisans by offering their crafts for sale. She also was a committed and dedicated member of St. Mary's on the Highlands Episcopal Church. She served for over 25 years on the Altar Guild at St. Mary's, including two years as chairperson, and, for nearly a decade, faithfully attended the church's 5:00 pm service on Sunday so that she could collect the altar linens from that day's services to bring home, carefully launder, iron, and return to the church for the next week's services. In appreciation of her unflagging service to her church, the vestry awarded her the St. Mary's Service Award. She was an extraordinarily giving and generous person, always putting others before herself.

A memorial service will be held at St. Mary's on the Highlands Episcopal Church, 1910 12th Avenue South, Birmingham, at 11:00 a.m., Friday, May 19, with visitation to follow. Special thanks are given to the physicians, nurses and staff at the Kirklin Clinic for the care they have given over the last five years. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that a donation be made to St. Mary's or to United Way of Central Alabama.