Carolyn L. Barkley

December 16, 1947May 12, 2013

Carolyn Linda (Lopes) Barkley, 65, of Wintergreen, VA passed away on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at Augusta Health. Born December 16, 1947 in Springfield, MA, she was the daughter of the late Olivio and Lois (Smith) Lopes. She was the granddaughter of Clifford F. Smith, long time City Clerk of Springfield, and Mildred Carolyn Abbe. In addition to her grandparents and parents, she was preceded in death by her husband William L. Barkley in 2010. Carolyn earned her B.A. from Wellesley College and her Masters in Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh. She was employed by the Virginia Beach Department of Public Libraries for over thirty years. After her retirement, Carolyn continued to work as a freelance editor and researcher. She spent much of her time traveling. Carolyn has been the genealogist for Clan Barclay International, served as President of the St. Andrew’s Society of Tidewater, the Scottish Society of Tidewater, the Virginia Beach Genealogical Society, the Virginia Library Association and many more too numerous to list. Most recently, Carolyn was President of the Wintergreen Nature Foundation. Survivors include her son, Kelley and wife Kimberly (Murray) Powell of Roanoke; granddaughters, Megan Murray, Samantha Kate Powell and Mackenzie Grace Powell all of Roanoke. A celebration of life service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, May 19, 2013 at the Waynesboro Chapel of Reynolds Hamrick Funeral Homes, 618 W. Main St., Waynesboro, VA with Pastor Matthew Coiner officiating. The family will receive friends following the service. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to donate may make donations to the Wintergreen Nature Foundation, R.R. 1, Box 770, Roseland, VA 22967. Relatives and friends may share condolences and memories with the family online by visiting


  • A Celebration of Life Service Sunday, May 19, 2013

Carolyn L. Barkley

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Kathleen Davis

June 29, 2013

What a great spirit. It was Virginia Beach's loss when she retired to Roseland. Carolyn left her marks - in genealogy, in our libraries and societies, and personally with her expansive knowledge, directness and wit. What a friend. I so appreciate knowing and working with her. We are so sorry to have only recently learned of your loss. May your happier memories of Carolyn help ease your painful loss.

Jane Helmchen

June 1, 2013

Dear Kelley, As one of your grandfather's first students at Longm.HS, I stayed in touch with him, your grandmother, and your mother over the years. I am with you in spirit with all the good memories. Best wishes, Jane Helmchen

May 24, 2013

I did not know Carolyn personally but I do feel that I have lost a friend. I have read her writings on genealogy for a long time. My deepest sympathy to the family.
Cleda Taubin, Harrisonburg, Va.

Betsy Chambers

May 23, 2013

Kelley and family,
My knowledge of your mother is merely through her writings for I enjoyed her writings and have saved them for my personal family research. I feel as though I knew her through her articles. She will be missed by many who knew her in this way. You have a wonderful heritage in Carolyn. With sincere sympathy, Betsy Chambers

Suzanne McCarthy Van Ness ELHS '65

May 21, 2013

To Carolyn's family,
I am a high school classmate of Carolyn's from East Longmeadow. I was so sorry to learn first on Saturday of your Grandma, Mrs Lopes death. She was our school librarian and I have very fond memories of her from our high school days. But I was totally stunned to learn that the very next day Carolyn died. What a shock. She was such a bright star in our class and as nice as she was smart. It would be no surprise to her friends and colleagues now that she was voted by our class as "Most likely to Succeed". She obviously fulfilled that prediction. My deepest sympathy to your family on this incredible, untimely double loss.

Toni Lohman

May 19, 2013

I'm so sorry about Carolyn. We worked together at the library for over 20 years and I could always count on her for good advice whenever I needed it. My thoughts are with you.

Susan Head

May 19, 2013

Dear Kelley and Family,
I worked with Carolyn at VBPL for many years. She was one of the smartest people I have known. I also remember her beautiful knitting and the fun parties at her and Bo's home. I am so sorry for your loss.

Ann Hughes

May 17, 2013

Dear Kelley and family, Kate & I are so, so sorry to hear this. Carolyn has been preparing family history manuscripts for our clients for many years. (I was so happy when she retired because she had more time to do this!) With her expert skills, she could satisfy even the pickiest people -- and she'd never let people beat her down. I'll miss her spunkiness, her accountability and her great big heart.

Jean Cooper

May 17, 2013

I was shocked and saddened when I learned of Carolyn's passing. I knew her both as a librarian and a genealogist -- she was my go-to person for research questions in genealogy. I will miss her. My condolences to the family.

John Braund

May 17, 2013

To the Barkley Family:

I can truthfully say that I looked forward with great anticipation every week to Carolyn Barkley's blog. As a genealogist, one reads many things and, it is safe to say, most of what one reads is poorly written. Carolyn Barkley's work is truly exceptional when considered in this light and it will remain for many years to come a source of the best information on any subject about which she wrote. Her legacy as a genealogist must include this marvelous body of work and her loss to us is deeply poignant. May God bless you all ... real good!

John Braund