Carolyn Theresa La Duke (née McCasland, erstwhile Brien) was born April 13, 1941 to Raymond and Agnes McCasland (née Gero) of Saranac Lake, New York. That April 13 was Easter Sunday and she was fond of saying the Easter Bunny brought her. Though born on Easter, Carolyn’s favorite holiday was Christmas and holiday hymns were her favorites.
Throughout her life she was the consummate caretaker. The second eldest of four siblings (Ronald, Elaine, and James), she grew up on Lake Street in Saranac Lake and with some notable adventures (time living in Morocco and California, trips to Micronesia and more recently Scotland) lived there or in nearby Plattsburgh, New York, for much of her life until relocating with her husband, Kim La Duke, to LaFollette, Tennessee. For many years, Carolyn, Kim, and the kids still then at home lived next door to Carolyn’s parents, Ray and Ag - helping them in their older years and highly valuing all of the time spent with them.
Carolyn died on January 24, 2022 after breast cancer, fought into remission twice in this century, metastasized after a couple of years of happy life in her new beloved home. Her husband, Kim, was continually enamored of her and she was equally devoted to him.
She was the mother of six children: Timothy Brien, Chris Brien, Logan Brien, Nicholas La Duke (predeceased), Sarah La Duke, and Jennifer La Duke. She had a baby girl, Susan Brien, who survived on Earth for only a handful of hours. Carolyn had a relationship with each child unique to their respective needs and personalities. She had and adored her five grandchildren: Michael, Corey (predeceased), MacKynsie, Luna, and Aiden. She loved reading books to her kids when they were young and never seemed to tire of re-reading their favorites and performing voices for the characters - be they human or animal.
Shy and retiring as a girl, Carolyn was proud as she aged that she learned to assert herself in the world. She was the cornerstone of her family. A woman of faith, Carolyn attended Catholic mass and rarely missed a Sunday. A voracious reader of all types of books - but especially mystery novels, Carolyn also had a savvy for numbers and bookkeeping.
The family will receive friends on Friday, January 28, 2022 from 10:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 1142 East Elm St., LaFollette, TN 37766. Funeral Mass will follow at 11:00 A.M. with Father Sam Sturm officiating. At the conclusion of Funeral Mass, family and friends will proceed to Pond Cemetery for Graveside Services and Interment.
In lieu of flowers or other gifts, please make donations to the building fund for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in LaFollete, TN or the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (bcrf.org).
Walters Funeral Home of LaFollette is honored to be serving the family of Carolyn Theresa La Duke.