It is with very heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Carolyn Haviland Smith Decker, aged 73 on Thursday, October 12, 2023, after a difficult battle with Alzheimer's Disease. She was surrounded by her loving family in her final days.
Carolyn was born March 14, 1950, in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the late Haviland Smith Sr. and the late Carolyn Kirkpatrick Smith. She was also preceded in death by her loving step-mom, Louise Rixon, brother Michael Haviland Smith, and sister in law Janice Giles Smith.
Carolyn was a proud native Charlottean. She graduated from Myers Park High in 1968. She then attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri where she met the love of her life, George. They married in 1971 and after a few short years of living in Missouri and Tulsa, Oklahoma they returned to Charlotte, NC to start their family where they raised their 4 children. Carolyn was a homemaker. She was proud to be a "Homemaker". A "Home" is defined as "a place where you live" but it is also defined as "the place where you feel the most comfortable, loved, and protected, where you feel the most at home". This is what our mama worked every day at to give us and our dad! She not only gave this to all of us, but she also extended this love to any kid, friend or animal that we brought home. She welcomed so many into our home and always made room for one more at the dinner table. The home she made was not only for us but for all! It was the way she would show her love. She homeschooled her 4 kids before anyone even knew what "homeschool" was! Carolyn was loving, kind, gentle, artistic, was always whistling a tune or singing and dancing to her favorite songs. She was a world traveler and enjoyed seeing new places. She enjoyed collecting Nativity Scenes and over the years acquired a large collection of Salt & Pepper Shakers. She was always quick to give her advice whether you asked for it or not and she always knew a little something on just about every topic. Carolyn was great at juggling the sports and activity schedules of her 4 children, always making sure she was at each game and event. She was and always will be our biggest cheerleader! She would hold us tight when our hearts were breaking, she was by far the best "nurse" for all of our sicknesses, stitches, surgeries, and countless injuries. She enjoyed learning new hobbies like painting, decoupage, pottery, needlework, and sewing. She was an avid reader always enjoying a mystery or a legal drama series on TV. Throughout her years, she spent a lot of time fellowshipping with her friends at church, Women's Aglow and Amway and the ladies she met while homeschooling her children. Carolyn never met a stranger and all of her children's friends became one of her kids. She absolutely loved all animals and never turned away a stray!
The family will receive friends from 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm, Thursday, October 19, 2023, at Hartsell Funeral Home of Harrisburg. The memorial service will immediately follow at Hartsell Funeral Home of Harrisburg and will be officiated by Chaplain Terry Sartain. A private graveside service will be held at Evergreen Cemetery at 4426 Central Ave., Charlotte, NC at a later date.
She will be lovingly remembered by her husband, George Sylvester Decker, Jr., of 52 years and their children, daughter, Deborah (Jeff) Nye, son, Chris (Rachel) Decker, son, David (Rachel) Decker, son, Matthew (Kristen) Decker. Carolyn will be fondly remembered by her 6 grandchildren, Chelsea Nye Carmona, Jonah Nye, Carson Nye, Alena Wesley, Madison Decker, Wesley Decker and her 3 great-grandchildren, Eloise, Sebastian and Inez Carmona, her brother Haviland (Dolores) Smith and many nieces and nephews. Carolyn will always be cherished by her oldest and dearest friend, Debbie Mayfield Spiller.
Our family wishes to thank Brenda Shepherd, Tori Lavoie and the loving care from Novant Hospice, Lynde Garmon, Valerie Carelock and Jutina Nichols. All of these ladies loved on our mama and treated her with such respect and care as if she was their own.
Memorials may be made to Project 2 Heal / Labrador Retriever Service Dogs, Waxhaw, NC, https://www.project2heal.org/ or to Alzheimer's Research & Prevention Foundation https://alzheimersprevention.org/
Hartsell Funeral Home of Harrisburg is serving the Decker family.