Carolyn Bruce Wood, 89 of Florence, took flight on July 9th from her daughter’s home under Kindred Hospice care and surrounded by her family. She was born in Florence on June 2nd, 1932. Raised in Florence, she attended Kilby Training School, which she always said was the best school ever, and graduated from Coffee HS in 1950. She attended Florence State College briefly before beginning a career as a secretary, bookkeeper and office manager. She loved working at I.B.E.W, as a young woman and later worked in the car industry at various dealerships for more than 20 yrs. She retired from Chrysler/Jeep automotive in 1988 and returned to Florence to renovate the family home she was born in. She would reside there, and next door at her daughter’s home, until her passing. She had traveled and lived coast to coast in her own career and had also traveled to spend time with her daughter everywhere she was stationed in the U.S.A.F., both stateside and in the Philippines and South Korea. There was always an adventure to be shared! That said, she loved being home and talked about going downtown with her dad on Sundays to Anderson’s Newsstand to get the papers, sweet trips to Trowbridges with her mom, shopping at Rogers and spending time with family and friends.
Carolyn was a lifelong learner and never bored! She loved working crossword puzzles, word jumbles and cryptograms, and studied the newspaper daily cutting out things she found important and wanted to remember or share. She also read the obituaries every morning to see if she was in there and would remark ‘someday you’ll see me there and smile and say you made it!’ This one’s for you mom! She would always request a new dictionary and world almanac for Christmas because she would wear them out and they’d be held together by rubber bands by years end. She was voracious in her reading and learning. Other interests included watching NASCAR, BAMA football and all things Tom Selleck or Placido Domingo. She was also a flag waving true Patriot and she never missed voting. Going to vote in November was her last outing and so very important to her. She was a study in contrast as a recluse in her daily life but a social butterfly in the moment.
Her greatest passion was rescuing animals, especially cats, of which there were literally dozens, and Dr Nikki Snipes has lovingly cared for them all for over 20 yrs and will continue to do so. She also loved feeding the birds and watching the many varieties gather from her sunroom, especially the red birds.
As her nicknames, ‘Red’ and ‘Maxine’ imply, she was filled with Irish Spirit, an unmatched wit and sense of humor that never failed her! So many laughs, quips, rhymes, poems and memories for all who knew her or encountered her along the way. She did not worry and this would serve her well in a two and a half year battle with breast cancer in her final years. She was a warrior and humor was her armor as she endured a year of intense chemo and radiation. Her infusion nurse, Maxine, was ever the best though as she made her chemo visits fun, if that’s possible.
Carolyn loved her daughter more than anything and they shared a wonderful lifelong friendship that was beyond the mother and daughter bond. They were a formidable team and she taught her everything she needed to know to survive in this world. She gave her roots and wings and they both ended up back in Florence where their roots started and will forever be. She always said ‘I love you the mostest most’, and yet she would frequently tell others, ‘She’s the worst child I’ve got!’ Both were/are so very true! She was funny, sassy, brilliant and kind and she will be greatly missed!
It takes a village to care for our precious elderly family members and she was blessed to have a beautiful village. Thank you to Tracy, from Kindred Home Health P.T., for so much laughter and the Tucker Brown stories. And a big thank you to her nurse Breanne, from Kindred Hospice, who shared Carolyn’s sense of humor and gave such tender loving care and support to her and her daughter in her final months. Thank you to Dr. Holden, Dr. DelaRosa, Dr. Auxier and Dr. Daugherty for your compassionate care, and to the NW AL Cancer center, especially Maxine. And to ‘Big Al’, Jeff and Patina at the Alliance Cancer Care/radiation center for the smiles and laughter. A special thank you with much gratitude to the ‘Rita's’, an amazing group of prayer warriors, who supported her and her daughter for years with much Grace. And a very special thank you and debt of gratitude to Jo who lovingly helped care for her for years and listened patiently to all the stories she’d heard so many times before.
She touched each of our lives in special ways and we all know she is happy and at peace now at the Rainbow Bridge surrounded by her many fur faces and reunited with her beloved parents. A salute to you Mom for a life well lived!
She was preceded in death by her parents, Samuel L Bruce and Mary Akin Bruce; sister, Margaret E. Crisler; brothers, Samuel A. Bruce and Noel J. Bruce; and half-brothers, Lewis Bruce and Wilson Bruce.
She is survived by her daughter, Cindy Wood of Florence; Niece, Carol C. Bradley of South Bend, IN and nephew, Michael B.(Ruth) Crisler of Chicago, IL; Her longtime best friend, walking buddy and neighbor John; Her work buddy and friend Hunter; And special dear friends Jo, Mary and Lynne.
There will be a private graveside memorial coordinated by Greenview Funeral Home at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, she would be honored by any contribution you might make to PAWS or Chloe’s Fund (part of the Florence Animal Shelter), or any animal rescue of your choosing.