Carolyn McCarthy Bolt

September 8, 1921June 2, 2018

Carolyn McCarthy Bolt passed away peacefully at her home in Tuscaloosa on June second at the age of 96. She was pre-deceased by her son Lucius Flannagan Bolt, her husband Joseph Sullivan Bolt, and eight McCarthy siblings.

Carolyn was the seventh of nine siblings born to Clyde L. and Esther Quarterman McCarthy. She developed her love of plants in coastal White Oak, Georgia, where she was raised. She earned her BFA in 1942 at the University of Georgia, where she was a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. She later attended post graduate studies at the University of Alabama, where she was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa for service to the community and university.

During WWII Carolyn worked as draftswoman in the Brunswick, GA Shipyards and prepared instruction manuals for J. A. Jones Construction Co. Following her marriage to Joe in 1942, she continued her work as draftswoman/technical artist at the Sociology Department and University Press at the University of North Carolina, the College of Commerce at the University of Alabama, and at Anderson Nichols Corporation in Boston (while Joe was at Harvard).

In Tuscaloosa, many knew Carolyn through her volunteer work and contributions. She was on the Board of Directors of both Friends of Moody Gallery of Art at the University of Alabama and Friends of the University of Alabama Arboretum, which she also helped found. She assisted with Radio Reader service at WUAL, Meals on wheels, and the Canterbury Chapel Altar Guild.

Carolyn and Joe established an endowment in 2000 to promote research in art history and the history of photography by graduate students enrolled in the master's program in art history in the Department of Art at the University of Alabama. Among her friends and family she will be remembered as a creative original for her sense of style, her love of plants, and her famous rapier wit. She leaves behind daughter-in-law Peggy Bolt Mitchell, many nieces and nephews, and a number of great friends and caregivers. We will miss her.

A celebration of Carolyn's life will be part of the normal Holy Eucharist service at 10:30 a.m. On Sunday, June 17, 2018 at Canterbury Chapel Episcopal Church and Student Center at the University of Alabama with Heritage Chapel Funeral Home and Cremations, A Dignity Memorial Provider handling arrangements. Those who wish to share comments and memories may do so on the following website No flowers can be accepted, but contributions may be made in her name to: Friends of the Arboretum College of Arts and Sciences Box 870268 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487


  • She was pre-deceased by her son Lucius
    Flannagan Bolt, her husband Joseph Sullivan Bolt, and eight McCarthy


  • Celebration of Life Service Sunday, June 17, 2018

Carolyn McCarthy Bolt

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