LINCOLNTON, N.C. - Born on a cold, snowy day, February 14, 1928, Carolyn Roper Lee was an unexpected extra Valentine for her surprised parents, Sheldon M. Roper, a Lincolnton attorney, and his wife Mary Hoyle Roper. Her twin sister, Shelley, was born 15 minutes earlier and now the family had grown to four. They were thrilled!
The only children, Carolyn and Shelley enjoyed a very happy childhood at 114 N. High Street in Lincolnton, with a large extended family and close friends who remained an integral part of her life. Blessed with a long life, Carolyn died peacefully on April 24 at Atrium Lincoln, aged 94, with family members by her side.
Her high school years were the war years, but life went on. She graduated from Lincolnton High School in 1945 where she was vice-president of the National Honor Society, member of the Glee Club and voted “Best Sport.” She attended Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C., and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1949, with a degree in English Literature. The war was over, and she danced to the music of the big bands of Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, sang with Andy Griffith in a campus production of “The Mikado”, and was selected for the court of the Sigma Chi Sweetheart Ball. She was an officer of the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and a member of the University Glee Club.
After graduation, she enrolled in a Medical Technology course at Macon Hospital in Macon, Ga., and worked later at Crowell Hospital in Lincolnton.
In 1952, she married John Cook Lee of Marshallville, Ga., who was a classmate at UNC-Chapel Hill, and spent the next 30 years in his hometown where she raised her two sons, John Cook Lee Jr. (Jack), and Mark Roper Lee. During those years she taught English at Beechwood Academy, Westfield, and Fort Valley High. Being a teacher was one of the great pleasures of her life.
Carolyn had a beautiful singing voice and was a choir member and soloist for many years, performing for weddings and other events. She was always active in her church and community. In 1983, she and her husband John returned to Lincolnton for their retirement years. She sang in the choir at First Presbyterian Church and served as president of the Pricilla Book Club and was an active member of the DAR and Colonial Dames. In retirement she travelled extensively with her sister and other family members and college friends. Her purpose in life was to serve God and her fellow man with her many talents. Her family and the love of her devoted sons gave her the joy and happiness of a fulfilled life.
She was predeceased in death by her husband of nearly 50 years, and her son Jack and daughter-in-law, Susan Parker Lee.
She is survived by her son Mark Lee and his wife Betty; her grandson Matthew Lee (wife Jennifer and family); step-grandsons Dallas Parker and Tate Parker and family; her twin sister Shelley Roper Early; nephews Cabell Early, Sheppard Booth and Chris Wooten; nieces, Sheldon Anderson, Caroline Reid, Lee Hoffman and Claudia Wooten; and a sister-in-law Beverly Lee Stevens of Wilmington.
Graveside services will be held at Hollybrook Cemetery on Saturday April 30, 2022, at 1:30 p.m., with the Reverend Doctor Kathy Hoffman Wood.
Memorials may be made to the Soup Kitchen of Christian Ministries of Lincoln County, 207 S. Poplar Street, Lincolnton, NC. 28092.
Warlick Funeral Home of Lincolnton, N.C. is serving the Lee family.