Kitty Ann Peeler Carson of Union, South Carolina, widow of Carl Eugene Carson, Jr., passed away on April 30, 2021. Kitty Carson was born on September 16, 1928, in Spartanburg, the only child of Harold Henry and Tulla Tinsley Peeler. Kitty is survived by two daughters, Lenora (Len) Ann Efird (Aaron) of Georgetown, South Carolina and Kathryn (Kit) Tinsley Shelton (Chad) of West Columbia, South Carolina two sons, Carl Eugene (Trey) Carson, III (Anita) of Alexandria, Virginia and Tyrus McClure Carson (Nancy) of Lewisville, North Carolina, and seven grandchildren: Catharine Carson Efird Westerlund (Joe) of Durham, North Carolina; Bonnie Elizabeth Efird Cooke (Jonathan) of Santa Monica, California; Carl Eugene Carson IV (Megan) of Chicago, Illinois; Ryne Tyler Carson of Advance, North Carolina; Lindy Abigail Carson of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Charles Edward Shelton, IV, of Ladson, South Carolina and Caroline Tinsley Shelton of West Columbia, South Carolina and two great grandchildren; Anthony Jeter Shelton of Summerville, South Carolina and William McClure Goodnow of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
After graduating from Spartanburg High School in 1945, Kitty earned a BA degree from Converse College in 1949. She also held a Master's Degree from University of South Carolina in Education plus the 30 hour certification. She attended Converse on a Drama Scholarship and University of Virginia on a Drama Fellowship. In 1948 Kitty was named Miss Spartanburg and First Runner-Up for Miss South Carolina.
A native of Spartanburg, Kitty moved to Union upon her marriage in 1951. She lived briefly In Aragon Georgia where her husband was employed by United Merchants before transferring back to Union/Buffalo Mills in Union.
As a newcomer to Union, Kitty’s earliest employment was at WBCU Radio station as a Program Director and Copywriter, the Union County Chamber of Commerce as an executive secretary, and the Union Daily Times as a journalist including “Kitty’s Kolumn” until she became a stay-at-home- mom in 1954. In 1969 as her children grew older and entered school, Kitty began a teaching career in the Union County School System in reading, English, and drama, where she also produced and directed many theatrical productions. In fact, a recent Union County school production of The Wizard of Oz directed by past student, Ralph Lawson, reused some of her props from her 1977 production of the The Wizard of Oz. Later in her career she pioneered the South Carolina mandated Gifted and Talented EMERGE program for the district as Coordinator of Gifted Programs, District Testing, and District Arts Liaison. Kitty is included in Who's Who in Education and Who's Who of American Women. She received a Freedom Foundation Scholarship in 1981, the Service Award from the South Carolina Consortium for Gifted Education in 1990 and a South Carolina Art Education Association's Award for Outstanding Service in 1990.
Throughout her career and in retirement after 1992, Kitty received great fulfilment through the years by serving in varied capacities for the Community Chest, United Fund, Spartanburg and Union Little Theaters, Salvation Army, Dixie Youth Baseball, Girl Scouts, the Union High School Athletic Booster Club, the Red Cross Board, the Union YMCA Board, Junior Charity League and numerous other fund raisers, Episcopal Church of the Nativity Mission Board, Buffalo School Read Aloud Program, Union Ballroom Dance Club, Rose Hill Candlelight Society, the Great Books Club, Third Monday Book Club, Ladies Friendly Society, Converse College Alumnae Board, Senior Aerobics Leader, Union Republican Club, varied PTA’s as well as enjoying several social organizations. As a member of the Union County Arts Council she served as President in 1994 and 1995. Additionally, as a member of the Friends of the Library, she supported the Union County Library which was the first Carnegie Library in South Carolina.
One of Kitty’s most cherished accolades was her family’s selection of Union County Family of the Year in 1994. Her special interests included words and word games, mothering, reading, writing, ballroom dancing, physical fitness, traveling, gardening and a member of three bridge clubs including a duplicate bridge group. Kitty was an avid grandparent, collector of jazz music, sea shells, Lladro porcelain, and literary sayings. Kitty’s favorite, consistent message to all she met and taught was to go out there and “sparkle”!
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM, Monday, May 3, 2021 at the S.R. Holcombe Funeral Chapel. Burial will follow at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity. Visitation will be held from 12:30 until 2:00 PM prior to the services at the S.R. Holcombe Funeral Home.
As well as flowers, the family welcomes donations to the Union County Carnegie Library to promote literacy, knowledge and education….top priorities in Kitty’s life.
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