Carolyn Adams Van Wie
February 15, 1941 – December 4, 2018
Carolyn Elizabeth Van Wie, 77, of Clayton passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 4th while at home. Carolyn was born in Albany, NY on February 15, 1941 to Robert and Elizabeth Adams of Delmar, NY. Carolyn attended Bethlehem Central High School and after graduating, worked in her family’s company hardware store, Adams Hardware, for several years. Growing up in a customer service-based environment would be her strength throughout her working career, having started at the age of 7, standing on a stool to help customers. The family business in fact introduced her to her future husband, William Van Wie. She loved to tell the story of how our father entered the store to purchase some nails, covered in sheetrock dust and a yellow felt hat. Turning to her mother, she stated that this one is not for me. Mom, a soft-hearted Christian, did accept his request for dinner and was shocked when he drove up in a beautiful car, wearing a suit and carrying flowers. At the end of their first date, William “Van” asked her to marry him. She politely refused, however decided to go out on several more dates with him. Within three (3) months, they were married, with Dad knowing that she was the only one for him and Mom knowing he was hers. Their love affair continued for 46 years until the death of her husband. They moved from New York to Washington State, one of many places Dad visited and fell in love with. Living happily there for many years, they raised 2 daughters to high school and middle school age before returning to live in New Hampshire. Carolyn worked in the insurance business for many years, while also helping her husband run both a fishing company and construction business, as a co-owner and bookkeeper. While in New Hampshire, she became an Executive Secretary for the Office of the President of the University of New Hampshire, also getting her BA degree while there, becoming the first in her family to earn a degree. After the recession hit New Hampshire, they returned to New York where they lived for many years before moving to North Carolina where their oldest daughter lived. She worked for Reichhold Chemicals as an Executive Secretary, winning numerous awards for her tireless work. Working closer to home, she would retire from David Pruitt Electric Company as the Office Manager, a job that she loved most of all as it is a family owned business, reminding her of how she began in life. She lived here happily for over 20 years, in the home that William built, and then with her oldest daughter and family the last 5 years of her life after her husband’s death. Carolyn’s love for her family and church came first and foremost. Her two daughters gave her three (3) grandchildren whom she adored and loved to hear every tidbit of their lives. She remained very active in their lives until her death. Growing up, Carolyn was very musical, playing the organ, the piano and the Steirisches Accordion, while also having a beautiful voice. She played constantly on her home organ, singing songs for her children and playing the accordion. When her daughters became involved in Girl Scouts, she became a long-time troop leader. Being active in church, she was also a Sunday School teacher and loved helping at Vacation Bible School events. She sang in her local church choir alongside her daughters when they were younger. Carolyn loved bowling and playing Canasta and other card games, teaching her daughters and grandchildren as well. She loved camping and boating, and even while afraid of the water, she loved the houseboat that her husband built and spent many enjoyable weekends on Kerr Lake. She loved trying new foods, seeing new places and loved history, particularly American History and American Indian culture. Being an English major, she had beautiful writing and composition, writing beautiful letters and notes to loved ones. She loved people and animals of all sorts but loved most her German Shepherds (which she has owned throughout her lifetime), owls, wolves and eagles. A huge bird lover, she had a steady stream of birds coming to her bird feeders, being so patient as to sit on branches beside her while she filled them. Her hummingbird feeders were always filled as she loved to watch their beautiful coloring. Carolyn with her optimistic nature and joy of life, has never met a stranger. Carrying on her mother’s ability to make instant friends, anyone meeting her was greeted with a smile of genuine warmth and treated as if they had been lifelong friends. While out, it was not unusual for her to stop and speak with someone in the store that she didn’t even know, but surely did by the end of the conversation, most times having been given a hug from her at the end because hugs just make everything better. Her joy of everything in life, her sense of humor, love of people and Jesus created a person that everyone remembered with great fondness and love, leaving lifelong impressions and joy, even if they met her just once, their lives were forever changed for the better. Her Christian heart was true to the core, spending time every day praying for our military, our country and anyone needing prayers. She wrote letters weekly to shut-ins or those recovering from illness and sent monthly letters to our military letting them know how much they were loved and thought of. I believe she has been truly mad only 5 times in her life, her nature being so loving, caring and nonjudgmental that she simply believed that the best path to follow was the example Jesus gave. She gave to many charities and organizations, including our sheriff and fire departments. Carolyn leaves behind a great legacy we can only attempt to follow, a wonderful example of how to treat others, regardless of race, religion, or political belief. She truly loved our great country and believed all things were possible when people came together. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Heather and Robert Taylor, her daughter and son-in-law, Carrie and Marshal Einbinder, and her precious grandchildren, Rachel Lamb, Joshua Einbinder and Samuel Einbinder. An open memorial service will be held welcoming all who knew her to celebrate her life on Saturday, December 8th, at 2pm, at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 15772 NC Hwy 50, Garner, NC 27529 In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any contributions be given in her name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, her favorite charity donation as she believed that the work they do helps so many deserving children. Online condolences may be made to the Van Wie Family at www.mclaurinatpinecrest.com. Arrangements are with McLaurin Funeral Home, Clayton.
- Memorial Serevice Saturday, December 8, 2018
Carolyn Adams Van Wie
December 11, 2018
Sweet sweet Carolyn.....that’s how I’ll always remember her! Heaven gained another angel!
December 8, 2018
What a great person your mom was , a great heart. Sorry won't be able to attend today but our prayers with u today & the days ahead. Love u Debbie & Don & boys
Rose Marie and Mary Jane Train
December 8, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers continue for Carolyn's family and friends today and in the days ahead.
December 7, 2018
So very hard not seeing you every day, each morning when waking up, enjoying time spent during the day and shared memories before going to bed each night. Forevermore, your gifts of love, patience, and giving of yourself to your family and to everyone you met will always be remembered. Having you as my teacher and example to follow has been the most rewarding experience of my life, and one that has shaped me into the person I am today. You have been the wisest and most wonderful Christian person I have ever known, and have had the joy of calling you Mom. You will never be forgotten and will live in my heart and memories until we meet again. I love you Mom and miss you so much. Heather
Don & Mary Williford
December 7, 2018
We extend our deepest sympathy.