Martha Ann Carroll
April 5, 1927 – March 19, 2021
NORMAL – Martha Ann Carroll, 93, of Normal, Illinois, died at home on March 19, 2021. A private memorial service will be held at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Bloomington, Illinois. Reverend John Richmond will officiate. A drive by visit, open to all, will take place on the circular path in front of the church on 1920 Oakland Blvd. on Wednesday, March 24th from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Please stay in your car. Internment rites will be held at the family burial site in Tennessee, with The Reverend Christine Hopkins officiating at a later date.
Martha was born on April 5, 1927 in Bells, Tennessee, the only child of Bonnie and E. Carmack Smothers. “Colorful”, the nickname her father gave her as a toddler, grew up in the small town of Bells, not far from Memphis. With the comfort, love and security of her parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, she learned the importance of the family that has been with her all her life.
She attended the local school where she developed her passion for books and reading. Her high school years were those of World War II. There was no part of her life that was not touched by this war.
Her college life began at Freed-Hardman College, Henderson TN, but later moved to Southwestern (now Rhodes), Memphis, where she received a BA in English. She was a member of the Chi Omega Sisterhood. After graduating, she married Conrad E. Carroll in 1949. He died in 1980.
Her teaching career in Illinois began at Stanford and continued with the consolidation of Olympia High School. She taught for 24 years, during which time she attended ISU during the summer and earned an MA in English. After retiring in 1983, she volunteered in the Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen for 18 years.
Martha has served in the Episcopal Church in Christ the King and St. Matthew’s, serving as a Vestry member, lecturer, chalice bearer, and outreach committee. They especially enjoyed the Thursday morning prayer group.
She loved to read, she usually belonged to two book clubs. She took art classes and continued to paint and draw for many years. She traveled to her favorite place, the island of Crete, where there was a connection with a Greek family. And she has been fond of her many dogs over the years. At the time of her death, her only cat, Alex, remained in the hospital bed with her.
Martha leaves behind her wonderful children who have filled their lives with hope, joy and love: Christine Hopkins (Mike) from Urbana, Illinois, John W. Carroll (Valerie) from Bloomington, Illinois, Kevin E. Carroll (Tammy) from Bloomington, Illinois ; eight grandchildren: Matthew Hopkins (Amanda), Carolyn Hopkins, Grace Meyer (Brady), Lauren Carroll, Robert Carroll (Catherine), Patrick Carroll, Colin Carroll, Desiree Carroll; and nine great-grandchildren.
Instead of flowers, monuments can be dedicated to St. Matthew’s Church Outreach Committee or the Humane Society of Central Illinois.
The family would like to especially thank the Kindred Hospice and Synergy Home Care, whose committed employees have lovingly cared for and accompanied Marthas over the last few days.
Published by The Pantagraph on March 21, 2021.