Emilie Stone Carswell

Published 9:25 am Monday, March 11, 2024

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Columbus, Georgia – Emilie Stone Carswell, age 88 of Columbus, Georgia, passed away on February 28, 2024 at her home surrounded by family and friends. This came after surviving lung cancer in 2007 and struggling with painful medical conditions for many years. She was born in Fitzgerald, Georgia on December 8, 1935, the youngest daughter of Roland Stone, born near Bowen’s Mill, Georgia, and Daisy Reece Stone, born in Fort Payne, Alabama. Emilie grew up in Fitzgerald, Georgia, where she blossomed in the world of music performance in chorale, band and the piano.

Emilie was raised in a post Depression family where frugality and hard work were essential to survival. Her parents, who had been forced to leave their farm to make a living in town, saw education as the sole asset that could not be taken away. With three daughters, Roland and Daisy endeavored to see their children attain college degrees to ensure they could take care of themselves in whatever circumstances life presented. Their house, though modest, was filled with books, journals, sheet music, and a piano. Roland played the piano and was able to discern when Emilie began playing that she had a gift for music. She progressed quickly so that early in her high school years, she was already performing in recitals, invited regularly to accompany local artists, and even had a weekly performance radio program, which her piano teacher, Grace Wimpee, arranged.

Emilie’s life course was further defined when she got to know Frederick Carswell who was in her same class year at Fitzgerald High School. They met in an English class in which Frederick sat behind Emilie in order to keep a fellow classmate from teasing her. Their classroom friendship eventually led to a first date on which they went to see the movie King Kong at the Grand Theatre. From that first date, both always professed they just ‘knew’ they were meant to be together.

Emilie went on to study at the Georgia State College for Women (now Georgia College and State University) where she chose to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics and Chemistry, putting aside offers of full scholarships to continue her music studies at GSCW and at Julliard. She never regretted her decision, as she later married Frederick in 1959, after teaching Home Economics in Eatonton, Georgia while waiting for Frederick to finish his studies.  They soon moved to Americus where she taught in the local high school and gave birth to her oldest son Frederick, Jr.  Later they moved to Columbus where Fred went to work for McKesson Robbins and son Barry was born.

Emilie devoted herself to raising her two sons and getting involved in charitable associations at their church, and the Open Door community outreach. She helped organize and lead the Protect Our Neighborhood citizens group to prevent the city from building a four-lane road through the middle of their neighborhood and sending high-speed traffic by the doorsteps of two adjacent schools with large attendance. She was an excellent seamstress, enjoyed singing in the Columbus Civic Chorale, and taught piano in her home where she would only accept students from the neighborhood based on her assertion that children should enjoy more independence and be able to get to and from their lessons by foot or bicycle.

Though distant in age and geography, Emilie and her sisters, Dorothy and Angelle, remained extremely close over the course of their lives. All were very devoted to their parents and loved to spend time together cooking, sharing sewing projects, playing board games, and telling stories late into the night. Later in life, when they began studying their family history, their passion for genealogical research bound them even closer as they embarked on adventures all over the country. With no internet available at that time, they were obliged to physically visit innumerable county courthouses, state archives, churches, and cemeteries in search of records, deeds, and grave markers to map out their ancestral connections. Their research took them as far as the genealogical archives of Fort Wayne, Indiana and the national archives in Salt Lake City, Utah. They spent years digging into the documents and raw materials of history, which deepened their understanding of the connection between the course of their own family’s heritage and the social, religious and political history of our country from its beginnings.

Emilie is described by family and friends as remarkably intelligent, generous, kind, creative and possessing a formidable memory. She loved to laugh and enjoyed telling instructive and humorous stories. She could recount intricate particulars from 30-70 years earlier, reproducing events and conversations with great precision and detail. She was an avid reader, and while she loved the mystery novels of Agatha Christie, more often she could be found poring over volumes on medicine, nature, economics, psychology, and history. She was a life-long learner and lived by the maxim that ‘when you are through learning, you are through’. She was devoted to family, maintaining close relations with both the Carswell and Stone families throughout her life. She was always kind, self-effacing, and considerate of others’ needs. She always searched for something positive to say or give to others regardless of their circumstances. Late in life, even when bedridden and in considerable pain, she would regale any visitor with a beautiful smile and an expression of genuine appreciation or a heartfelt compliment.

Emilie was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother (“Nonna”) to her family. She is survived by her son Barry Roland Carswell of Bibb City, GA; grandson, Frederick Lamar Carswell III (Eleanor) of Leicester, NC; granddaughter Miranda Carswell Tanner (Beau), and great grandchildren Liam and Lydia Tanner of Statesboro, GA. In addition to her parents and her husband, Frederick Lamar Carswell, to whom she was married 64 years, Emilie was preceded in death by her son, Frederick Lamar Carswell, Jr, his former wife Rita Kelley Carswell, and her sisters Dorothy Reeves and Angelle Adams.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 16, 2024, at the Abbeville Christian Church (Abbeville, Georgia) at 11:30 AM, followed by a meal and visitation of family and friends in the Fellowship Hall.  Reverend Kevin Baker will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to do so may donate in Emilie’s memory to the following:

Abbeville Christian Church  (223 Broad Street South, Abbeville, GA, 31001)

Preferred Care Hospice  (1921 Whittlesey Road, Suite 110, Columbus, GA 31904)

Frazier and Son Funeral Home and Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.

Please sign our online registry at www.fraziersonfuneralhome.com