Florence  Carson


Florence Willingham Karsten Carson died in her sleep Saturday, September 7, 2019, at Tifton Health and Rehabilitation, after suffering from dementia for years. She was 101. Her funeral service was held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, September 9, 2019, in the Memorial Chapel of Tifton's First Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. Wayne Roe officiating. Mrs. Carson was laid to rest at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
David Payne, Mikell Reed, Mikell karsten, Noble Mendez, Clements Ferguson and Paul Ferguson served as pallbearers.
She was born June 18, 1918, during the Great Flu Epidemic at the President's House at Mercer College, now Mercer University, in Macon, GA.
Mrs. Carson was married to the late Robert Clements Carson. She and her husband raised five children, all of whom survive. They are Ella Pate Carson of Dahlonega; Elizabeth Carson Keith of Dahlonega and Tifton; Julia Carson Ferguson of Poplarville, MS; Robert Clements Carson, Jr. of Omega; and Ralph Bailey and Nancy Carson of Byron. In addition, she is survived by her sister-in-law, Anne Cumby Karsten of Atlanta.
Her grandchildren are David Warren Payne and wife, Carol Lily of Dahlonega; Lisha Keith Mendez and husband, Noble Mendez, of Suwanee; Mikell Stephen Reed and wife, Georganne "Missy" Reed of Tifton; Horace Porter "Race" Reed and wife, Hoyeon Ryu, of South Korea; Clements Carson Ferguson; and William Paul Ferguson and wife, Melanie, of Hattiesburg, MS. Her great-grandchildren are Lily Elizabeth Keith Mendez and Carson and Arwen Ferguson. She is also survived by a step-granddaughter, Amy Susan Reed Rich and a step great-granddaughter, Katie Weller.
Preceding her in death, in addition to her husband, are her parents, Elizabeth Pickard Karsten and Paul Daggett Karsten, and three brothers, Paul Daggett Karsten Jr., William Karsten, and Mikell Baynard Karsten.
Mrs. Carson was a direct descendant of Napthali Daggett, the Revolutionary War President of Yale University, who sniped at the British while perched in a tree. The British forced him to walk with rocks and glass in his shoes for miles and beat him senseless. He died a lingering death from his wounds.
Her grandfather was the Rev. William Lowndes Pickard who was president of Mercer College and pastor of numerous prominent congregations in the Baptist faith.
Mrs. Carson was remarkable for her time as she was trained in painting and art, including pastels, oils, and watercolors, and her skill was remarkable. She was also a poet. She graduated from Bessie Tift College in Forsyth, GA, which is now part of Mercer University. During World War II, while her husband was stationed in Memphis, she was employed with the Army Corps of Engineers drawing maps of the ever-changing channels in the Mississippi River.
She and Mr. Carson returned to Tifton after the war where they raised their family at 103 West 6th Street, and she lived there until her husband died May 1998. Then she lived with her daughter, Liz.
Until her death, she was the oldest member of Tifton's First Baptist Church, though she had been unable to participate actively for many years. She loved entering God's house where she could worship among fellow Christians and hear God's Word. She delighted in singing the hymns and hearing the choir, and she rejoiced each time a child was brought to Jesus.
She was active in the Charlotte Carson Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy until the Chapter was dissolved. She was also a 50-year member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
She was beloved by her family and friends because of her gentleness and kindness. She never spoke ill of anyone and seemed to find something nice to say about all. She honored God, and her acceptance of His guidance in her life was so complete that it was second nature for her to act with a pure and loving heart.
You may offer condolences to the family at the online guest registry at www.bowen-donaldson.com. Services for the Carson family were under the care and direction of Bowen Donaldson Home for Funerals.
To send flowers to the family of Florence Carson, please visit Tribute Store.
Published on September 9, 2019
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