Ms. Carol Jeanne Palmer Taitt, age 74, of 4178 Carbonton Road, Sanford, North Carolina, departed on the wings of an angel on Monday evening, May 2, 2022, with her family by her side in the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center, Largo, Maryland.
Carol Jeanne Palmer Taitt was born to Andrew and Ophelia Newby Palmer on May 29, 1947. The oldest of eight children, Carol grew up in the Tempting Community of Sanford surrounded by five brothers and two sisters, and a host of cousins and extended family members. Attending Lee County public schools, she was a 1965 graduate of W. B. Wicker High School and began her post-secondary education at the historically black North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. Prior to completing her degree in Library Sciences, Carol fell in love, married, and moved to California.
Carol started her working career in California. She used her education, management, organization, and problem-solving skills as a personal assistant to Hollywood celebrities including Kim Fields (of The Facts of Life television series). Carol served as a Client Receptionist at Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center in Inglewood, for many years, she last served as the Office Coordinator at Fred Sands Realtors in Van Nuys.
While in California, Carol began her most important and most rewarding career as a mother. Loving and rearing eight-year-old Emily Taitt became her primary goal when Emily lost her father. As a fiercely proud and protective mother, Carol made it clear to all concerned that Emily - whom she raised to adulthood, through college, and into marriage – was indeed her “daughter” and bore no other title. Emily, herself, would confirm that she knew no mother other than Carol. Both she and her nephew Sean, (who lived temporarily with Carol) have always honored Carol with the earned title of “mother.”
In 1994, Carol resigned from Fred Sands Realtors, and she returned to Sanford not only to escape earthquakes but also to primarily assist her siblings with the care of their parents. In Sanford, Carol used her education, skills, and experience to enter the field of education. She found her true calling through working for Central Carolina Community College as an Adult Basic/GED Instructor. She worked at different locations to provide an alternative path to a high school diploma for adults and positively influenced her students’ lives both academically and emotionally. Her favorite assignment was teaching the prisoners, who eagerly attended Carol’s classes and who flourished significantly from her positive reinforcement.
Carol’s innate ability to connect with those who needed physical and emotional support was uncanny. She could be steadfast and stern when it came to accomplishing a goal, but she also frequently displayed her big heart of gold. Described as a “caretaker” by family and close friends, Carol’s heart often caused her to offer her own home as a temporary place of respite and rejuvenation for people who needed a second chance. One of Mother Teresa’s favorite texts in the Bible that she often quoted to support her ministry to the poor, is “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40,45 NIV). And thus, we are reminded of Carol.
And family members were not surprised that Carol became an active “matriarch” of the Palmer clan subsequent to the passing of Andrew and Ophelia. Taking on Ophelia’s role of staying in contact with family members, Carol phoned all seven siblings daily, and sometimes very early in the mornings. Although not daily, her phone reach also extended periodically to nieces and nephews. She demonstrated that she cared about each family member, ending each call with her vow of love. When one did not receive a phone call from Carol, that person would check to see if she was okay.
As long as she was healthy and mobile, Carol was a faithful member of Tempting Congregational Church and the Tempting Community, assisting members where needed and preparing food for the annual family reunion. She remained active in the community and served as the feisty and independent Palmer matriarch until her health waned during the Covid19 pandemic. She is sorely missed.
Carol is preceded in death by her parents Andrew and Ophelia Palmer and her brother Cleveland T. Palmer.
She leaves to cherish her memories; daughter Emily Lyons (Donald) of Lansdale, PA; son Sean Taitt of Los Angeles, CA; devoted siblings: four brothers Andrew Palmer Jr. (Gloria) of Taunton, Massachusetts; Rev. Barry N. Palmer of Sanford, NC; Retired Sgt. Maj. Raynard L. Palmer (Helena) of Raleigh, NC; Horace P. Palmer (Lynette) of Holly Springs, NC; two sisters: Morcia L. Minor (Oliver) of Upper Marlboro, MD; Miriam L. Palmer of Baltimore, MD; four grandsons: Kaleb Thomas, David and Bryson Lyons, Milo Taitt; and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, godchildren, and friends.
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Professional services entrusted to Knotts Funeral Home, Sanford
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