Cover photo for Mary Pat (Sharp) Carr's Obituary
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Mary Pat (Sharp) Carr

d. October 27, 2023

Mary Pat (Sharp) Carr

 

Following a short bout of pneumonia and only two hours after enjoying one last late-night bowl of ice cream, Mary Pat (Sharp) Carr peacefully died in her sleep at home in Norris, Tennessee on Friday, October 27, 2023, at the age of 95.  She never gave up on enjoying life, even to the very end.

Mary Pat Sharp was born on September 29,1928, in the same house as her father, in the Speedwell Community of Claiborne County. She was the eldest child of Albert Green and Hazel Kelly Sharp.  She was fondly known as Patty throughout her life. In time, she also answered to Mama and Grandmama as life blessed her with children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

During her early life she was a member of the LaFollette Methodist Church. More recently, she attended the Powell United Methodist Church, where she served as chaplain for her much-loved Fellowship Sunday School classmates.

Patty's first job as a teenager was at the Ration Board during WW2. After the war, she attended college at the University of Tennessee where she pledged Zeta Tau Alpha and worked at the Red Cross during the summer months.  She graduated four years later in 1950 with her BS in botany and then began teaching science at Jellico High School. 

While Patty was in high school, she went on her first date - a square dance - with her future husband, Sonny Carr. His service in the Marines during WW2 and her time at UT paused their romance for a while, but, on June 19,1953, they began their 52-year marriage.  About a year later, she retired from her school position when the birth of their daughter, Mary, began their family. Sarah, Nancy, and Alvis soon followed. She said she was never sad when her children exited a certain stage of life; she always enjoyed whatever age they were.

As they began to go off to college, Patty resumed working outside the home. In the late 70s, Roane State Community College appointed her their coordinator for all satellite classes in Campbell County. In the 1980s, more than 30 years after originally graduating from college, and after her four children were grown and gone, she went back to school and earned her master's degree in education while working at the Campbell County Vocational Training Office.

Hospitality and making friends easily were two of Patty's many gifts. She and Sonny hosted many picnics down by their creek each summer for family and friends. She would often prepare bountiful meals, filling her dining room table with dishes from their garden’s harvest. She created a whole wheat roll recipe that was enjoyed by all, was published many times in cookbooks and newspapers, and is still being prepared by her children and grandchildren today.  She would say it was her most famous recipe, though her family (and countless others she's fed over the years) would argue that her fried chicken was perhaps even more unforgettable, a magical non-recipe that no one has ever been able to exactly duplicate or match.  She always knew when to flip the chicken because it would "sing a song" to her - a song that never played in anyone else's kitchen.

Patty especially loved to grow flowers, and for 40 years she tirelessly created floral arrangements out of her garden each and every week for her church.  She was also a charter member of the Town and Country Garden Club in LaFollette, where she was active in community, social, and educational events for over 60 years.

Patty and Sonny really enjoyed camping and hiking, and her impressive organizational skills helped her get her camping trip preparations down to a science.  She hiked to Mount Leconte in the Smokies 15 times, including one time during her honeymoon. Her special fondness for wildflowers grew from these outdoor adventures.

She was an active member of the Campbell County Historical Society. She also was a member of the First Families of Tennessee.

During Patty's full, busy, adventurous, and well-lived 95 years, she was a woman of great faith. If anyone needed prayers, she was the person to call.  She was never too busy to share in concern or help in need. There was no more clear demonstration of this than when she prayed that she could care for her husband's needs at home during his long, ten-year battle with Alzheimer's disease. God answered this prayer for her, and she never considered her devotion as his caretaker a burden.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Green and Hazel Sharp, her husband, Edwin Alvis (Sonny) Carr Jr., and her great-grandson, Jack Liam Luecke. 

Patty is survived by her children Mary (Michael) Dodge of Norris, Tennessee, Sarah (Tom) Kirkpatrick of Aiken, South Carolina, Nancy (Perry) Worthen of Big Sandy, Texas, and Alvis (Lisa) Carr of Chattanooga, Tennessee; her grandchildren Tarah (Brandon) Schulz, Caroline (Ryan) Luecke, Mark Worthen, Bonnie (Brandon) Smith, Wynn (Crystal) Worthen, Emily (Cory) Smith, John Carr, Masheala Dodge, and Ashley (Trevor) White; her eight great-grandchildren; her two sisters, Doris Wilson and Joyce Summit; and her special niece, Sylvia Charton.

The family will receive friends from 11am-1pm at the LaFollette Methodist Church on Friday, November 3, 2023.

The funeral service will immediately follow at 1pm with Reverend Will Shelton officiating.

Pastor Kelly Acuff will conduct the graveside committal at Fincastle Cemetery following the conclusion of the service.

Memorials in Patty’s honor may be made to the:

 

Fincastle Cemetery Maintenance Fund

629 Old Middlesboro Hwy.

LaFollette TN 37766

                  or the

Campbell County Historical Society

235 East Central Avenue

LaFollette, TN 37766

 

Walters Funeral Home of LaFollette is honored to be serving the family of Mary Pat (Sharp) Carr.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Pat (Sharp) Carr, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, November 3, 2023

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

LaFollette Methodist Church

808 E Central Ave, LaFollette, TN 37766

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, November 3, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

LaFollette Methodist Church

808 E Central Ave, LaFollette, TN 37766

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Fincastle Cemetery

TN

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