Ethel Carolyn HOLTON

January 1, 1930October 14, 2020

Ethel Carolyn Holton was born on a small farm north of Milton, Florida on January 1, 1930, to Isom Lee and Eleanor Maebelle Gallops. After a faithful life, she departed this earthly world on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, to live with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Maebelle played the organ and piano for church services, so it was only fitting that she taught Carolyn to do the same. Carolyn started playing the church piano when she was 7 years old without ever having a formal piano lesson. She brilliantly played the piano and sang with the Inspirationals and the Crusaders, gospel singing groups, in the 1960s and 1970s. They traveled by coach to perform at gospel singing venues throughout the Southeast and created many records.

Born and raised in a Pentecostal family, Carolyn accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior at an early age and she never left the faith. She attended the Pace Assembly of God as a member and faithfully served many years as the church pianist, youth Sunday School teacher, and Youth Church leader.

Carolyn attended Pace Elementary School and graduated from Milton High School in 1948. Shortly after graduation she married Arthur Mervin Stewart and continued to reside in the Pace/Bagdad area.

Raised in a large family, Carolyn had seven siblings: two brothers and five sisters. She always considered herself blessed to have her siblings around her as she grew up. After her father died in December of 1952, her mother married Burel Plant in July of 1955. Lo and behold, her blessings flourished because she gained fourteen new step-siblings.

At age 38, Carolyn gave birth to her only child, Jonathan Mark Stewart on August 7, 1968. After Carolyn divorced from her first husband, she and Jonathan moved to Jacksonville, Florida. At the time of her death, she was a member of Evangel Temple Assembly of God where she faithfully attended, tithed, and played the piano. She worked as a court stenographer with the Navy Legal Service Office at NAS Jacksonville until she retired in 1993.

In 1975, Carolyn married James Robert Holton in Jacksonville. They were only married for a short time before he passed away from a pre-existing condition.

In 1998, at age 68, Carolyn returned to Pace to be the primary caregiver for her mother, Maebelle, who was then 105 years old. After her mother’s death in October 2004, Carolyn returned to Jacksonville, Florida to be near her son, grandchildren, and church family. Jonathan willingly cared for his mother until his death on October 6, 2019. Carolyn enjoyed the love of Jonathan and her two grandchildren, Lacee and Carson Stewart.

When Carolyn’s health began to deteriorate, Jonathan made arrangements for her to reside at Benton House at Oakleaf Plantation Assisted Living Facility in Oakleaf, Florida. She moved there in October 2018 and lived there until her passing on October 14, 2020.

Carolyn leaves to cherish her memory: grandchildren Lacee Stewart and Carson Stewart; stepbrothers Clayton, Ivan, Joseph, and Kenneth Plant; and nieces, nephews, and friends.

Carolyn was preceded in death by her father, Isom Lee Gallops; mother, Maebelle Barnes Gallops Plant; husbands Arthur Mervin Stewart and James Robert Holton; son, Jonathan Mark Stewart; brothers Glyn and Cecil Gallops; sisters Gladys (McDavid) Giddens, Cleo (Andrew) Emmons, Ruby (John) Knight, Violet (Paul) Clodfelter, and Eleanor (Wilburn) Grant; stepbrothers Buford, Burel Lamar, James E., Orville, Carl, and Wayne Plant; stepsisters Odessa Meyers, Dorothy Hicks, Odelia Daniel, and Clara Mae Fowler; and a host of other relatives and friends.

A graveside service and burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 23, 2020, at Holly Hill Memorial Park (Hardage-Giddens Holly Hill Funeral Home) in Middleburg, Florida, with Associate Pastor Ralph Estevez officiating. Please post words of comfort at

The family extends special thanks to the staff at Benton House at Oakleaf Plantation for the kindness and care given to our loved one and expresses gratitude to Haven Hospice for the palliative care they provided.

In addition to the graveside service, the family intends to have a memorial service for Carolyn at a later date. Friends who would like to be notified of the memorial service are encouraged to send contact information to


  • Graveside Service

    Friday, October 23, 2020


Ethel Carolyn HOLTON

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ivan and Renate Plant

October 21, 2020

Carolyn's Family,
We send this with heartfelt sympathy and we pray that God will
comfort each of you during this time of loss and sorrow. Our loss
is heavens gain. I (Ivan) have known Carolyn all my life. She has
always been involved in church work - pianist, teacher, singer and
witness for Christ at every opportunity. She was a strong believer in promoting the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Carolyn will be greatly missed

Ivan (step-brother) and Renate Plant


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