Carolyn Jean Brown Coggins, 90, of Laurens, died on October 24, 2018, at Martha Franks Baptist Retirement Community, Laurens. She is the widow of Ernest Brockman (Brock) Coggins who died on January 22, 2008, and was the eldest daughter of the late James Clyde Brown and Harriett Josephine Coggins Brown.
She was born in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana, on August 6, 1928. She moved with family throughout the Midwest additionally living in Ohio, Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska. She spent most of her young years in Des Moines, Iowa. While living in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she graduated from high school, she met her future husband when he was assigned to Sioux Falls Army Air Force Station. After completing his World War II service with the United States Army Air Force, Brock brought her to Laurens County where he farmed with his father. They were married on May 11, 1946, and she lived in Laurens County the rest of her life.
Carolyn was a “city girl” who grew into being a farm wife assisting her husband any way she could. In addition, she kept business and tax records for the farm and gardened and raised chickens for eggs. She took care of her family sewing clothes and canning and freezing fruits and vegetables. She worked in and helped supervise the family’s peach shipping business. She enjoyed growing flowers and especially African Violets. Later on, she and Brock grew orchids and roses.
Her life revolved around her family and her church. After her marriage, Carolyn became a member of New Prospect Baptist Church and from the beginning was extremely active in church affairs. She taught the Beginners Sunday School Class (4-6 year olds) for 49 years and sang as an alto in the choir even longer. Additionally, she took on the role of informal church historian. She was an active participant in the activities of the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) at New Prospect and later with the WMU at the county and state levels. After her retirement, she was a regular volunteer at the Laurens County Baptist Association Crisis Center.
When the last of her children started school, Carolyn went to work for Sears, Roebuck & Company in Laurens. From there, she went to work for and retired from Torrington Bearings at its Clinton facility.
Genealogy was another of Carolyn’s passions. She did an incredible amount of research on her and her husband’s families. She was a member of the Laurens District Chapter of the South Carolina Genealogical Society. She edited the chapter’s newsletter and kept the chapter’s membership records. For her efforts, the chapter honored her with a life membership. She also was active with the South Carolina Genealogical Society and worked with the state society’s publication, “The Carolina Herald and Newsletter.” She additionally was a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society.
She and Brock had four children, ten grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren: Ernest Brockman (Ernie), Jr. and wife, Diane Jean Davis Coggins, of Arlington, Virginia, granddaughter: Elizabeth Rose [deceased]; Thomas Howard (Tommy) and wife, Nancy Davis Coggins, of Laurens, granddaughter: India Coleman, of Easley, granddaughter: Katrina Marie Coggins and husband, Kevin Michael Butler, and great granddaughter: Kinley Nicole, of Laurens, grandson: Thomas Howard (T. J.) Coggins, Jr. of Laurens, and granddaughter: Kristen Anne Coggins, and great grandson: Brockman Cole Tumblin, and great granddaughter: Hadley Anne Wofford, of Laurens; David Richard and wife, Jacqueline Marie [Jackie] Godsey Coggins, of Laurens, grandson: David Richard, Jr. and wife, Heather Sherer Coggins, great granddaughter: Alivee Crews, great grandson: David Richard III, great grandson: Cooper Sherer, and great grandson: Tillman Lewis, of Laurens; Heath Brockman and wife, Ashley Marie Pitts Coggins, great grandson: Weston Brockman, great granddaughter: Graycen Lynlee, and great granddaughter: Emory June, of Laurens; granddaughter: Jennifer Leigh Coggins and husband, James Mason Young, Jr. great grandson: James Mason III, great granddaughter: Lucy Margaret, and great granddaughter: Charlotte Marie, of Laurens; and Blakely Marie Coggins and husband, Edwin William (Will) Prescott III , great granddaughter: Ryan Elizabeth, great grandson: Edwin William (Will) IV, great granddaughter: Sadie Collins, and great grandson: Henry Whitted; and daughter: Susan Carolyn Coggins and husband, Ilkka Alpo Ronkainen, PhD, of Annandale, Virginia and Joroinen, Finland, granddaughter: Sanna Daniela Ronkainen, MD, and husband, William Hayward, MD, PhD, of Washington, DC, grandson Alex Samuel Ronkainen of Annandale, Virginia. She is predeceased by her brother, Colonel Richard Allen Brown, United States Air Force (Retired), and her sister, Reverend Kathyrn Cramer Brown Pigg. She is survived by her sisters-in-law, Virginia Pearl Coggins Coleman, of Laurens and Ayla Whalers of Lompoc, California, and a number of nieces and nephews.
There will be a committal ceremony at New Prospect Baptist Church cemetery at 10:00 a.m. followed by a memorial service at Martha Franks Rasor Chapel at 11:00 a.m., Laurens on Saturday, October 27, 2018, conducted by Reverend Phil Hall, Reverend Tony Crouch, and Dr. H. Lawton Neely. The family will receive friends at Martha Franks immediately following the memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to New Prospect Baptist Church, 4996 Highway 221 S, Laurens, South Carolina 29360 or Martha Franks Baptist Retirement Community, 1 Martha Franks Drive, Laurens, South Carolina 29360.
Condolences can be expressed to the family at www.thekennedymortuary.com.