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Mrs. Carolyn Elaine Hill Mitchell, 87

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.”
~I Thessalonians 4: 14 (NKJV)
Mrs. Carolyn Elaine Hill Mitchell died Jan. 13 at Southeast Georgia Hospital, Brunswick.
With a “veil over her face,” Carolyn Elaine Hill Mitchell was born May 21, 1934, to Eschol Hill and Onie Strong Hill in Hazlehurst, the fifth of nine children. Everyone called her Sugar, and it was sweet to know her and to be loved by her.
At an early age, she accepted Christ and joined Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church under the guidance of Dr. J.M. Benton. Because her mother served as Vice-President of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Second Rehoboth Missionary Baptist Association and her pastor was the moderator, Carolyn enjoyed attending and participating in the Association.
Carolyn loved good gospel music, especially her favorite songs, “Touch Me Lord Jesus,” and “Come Over Here,” both by the Angelic Gospel Singers. She was a faithful member of the choir and was always eager to attend gospel singing programs. Later in life, she served as president of the Senior Choir, chairperson of the Women’s Month services, and chairperson of Family and Friends Day. She was active in the Kitchen Committee and the Pastor’s Aide Committee.
When she could barely walk, she would attend school with her older siblings. They would take turns carrying her while they walked to school. Although only a toddler, she could sit quietly and pay attention in the classroom. She finished Hazlehurst High and Elementary School as third honor graduate and continued her education in Savannah where she studied cosmetology. While in Savannah, she attended Historic Tremount Temple Missionary Baptist Church.
She was certified as a Licensed Beautician. She had a soft touch with “tender heads,” she knew how to style hair, and some said she had “growing hands.” She worked at Hazlehurst Mills and was the first African-American woman to work in the offices there. She worked as a housekeeper and nanny for several distinguished families in Jeff Davis County, including Mickey and Charlotte Floyd, Nancy Rogers Wagner, Claude Cook and the Cook family, and the Ben Jackson family. Carolyn also offered a nurturing environment as a foster mother and a daycare provider for numerous children, all of whom she loved as her own.
She married Henry Kenzo Mitchell, and they raised nine children. In their early years, they lived in Dixie Homes where she befriended Doris Williams Parker, Bettye Moore, Carolyn Arnold, the late Mary Weaver, and the late Viola MacMillian. They looked after one another and each other’s children, and were always willing to lend each other a helping hand.
Carolyn’s home was synonymous with hospitality. She welcomed nieces, nephews, cousins, and neighborhood children with warmth, a little spice, and a lot of SUGAR! Her home was the place where her siblings and their children gathered at the end of a busy work day, on weekends, and just to relax and have fun. She had an open door policy which went along with her open heart and arms. She was a stern disciplinarian who could get things straightened out in a hurry.
She was an excellent cook who prepared delicious food, including her world-famous sweet potato pie. Her other signature dishes were “creamy like mine” chocolate cake, garlic fried chicken, coconut cake, peanut butter cookies, cinnamon rolls, biscuits from scratch, and sweet tea. You never left her house hungry. She would insist that visitors get an overflowing plate. When ministers would come to neighborhood churches, regardless of denomination, she never hesitated to feed them.
She supported her children as they attended church, school, and extracurricular activities. She served as Future Homemakers of America (FHA) Mother at the State level; Cub Scout Leader; and Boy Scout Den Leader. She was involved with the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary; Community League; and the Order of the Eastern Star, King’s Daughter Chapter Number 12.
An avid and witty conversationalist, Carolyn spent many hours chatting on the telephone. She delighted in sitting on her porch and keeping a careful eye on her beloved neighbors. Almost every day, you could find her tending to her plants which were botanical marvels. In the evenings, she watched “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.”
She was preceded in death by her parents Eschol and Onie Strong Hill; husband, Henry Kenzo Mitchell; son, Henry Kenneth Mitchell; daughter of the heart, Marva Hall Williams; grandsons Reginald Mitchell and Jabaree Myles; granddaughter, Twyla S. Kirby; brothers Minister Lafayette Hill and Minister James Hill; and sisters Wilhelmina Hill Parrish, Amenzerolee “Pennye” Hill Thomas, and Mildred Hill Wilcox.
Survivors include Clarice (Dr. Cornelius) Wooten of Port Gibson, Miss.; Jean (Gene) Christie of Thomasville; Joan (Frank) Givens, Gloria (Rueben) Kirby, and Bruce Mitchell, all of Hazlehurst; Canorise “Molly” Merritt of Bluffton, S.C.; Charles (Kim) Mitchell of Jacksonville, Fla.; and Cassandra (Arvin Sr.) Berry of Valdosta; children of the heart Pam Miller, Minister Darrell (Kathy) Mitchell, Johnny (Naundus) Myles and Rodney Hall; brothers John (Mary) Hill, Robert (Phyllis) Hill, and Dr. Glenwood (Betty) Hill; sister-in-law, Helen Hill; brothers-in-law Charles Wilcox and Bobby Peterson; 45 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; niece and nephews, including Anthony “Tony” (Betsy) Brown, Robert Brown, and Patricia Brown (Walter) Marcus; special cousins Christine Harris, Edna Holloway Mack, Carolyn (Luke) Arnold; friends Dorothy Harleston, Geraldine Crawley, Doris Parker, Betty Moore, and Minnie Lee Hall; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors, and friends.
Funeral was held Jan. 22 at Jeff Davis Youth Center.
Internment was at Hill Memorial Garden, Hazlehurst.
King Brothers Funeral Home was in charge.

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