DuBose cousin writes eulogy for Charles Linton Carroll

Published 1:53 am Saturday, February 2, 2019

It is a unique honor to be asked to write a tribute to be a part of someone’s memorial service. One such request was made recently by children of Charles Linton Carroll who passed away on January 21. They selected a very close first cousin, Darryl Thomas DuBose, currently a resident of Wilmington, N.C., who is known for his creative writing skills. The Carroll and DuBose families lived near each other in the small community of Sanford in Covington County, Ala. The cousins were very close during their childhood years, which gave Darryl the personal experiences and inspiration for penning a eulogy for his dear cousin, affectionately known as “Coon.”

A brief review of the deceased, Charles Linton Carroll’s, family and genealogy will be presented before sharing Darryl’s tribute.

Charles Carroll’s paternal grandparents were William Henry Carroll (1868-1956) and Charlotte Mack (1880-1952). His maternal grandparents were Cornelius Thomas Thomasson (1872-1970) and Nancy Anna Frazier (1877-1956). Both of these families resided in Covington County, Ala., where they reared their families.

Cornelius Thomas and Nancy Anna Thomasson made their home in the Sanford community. Thomas or “Tom” like so many of his neighbors was a farmer. He and Nancy were the parents of the following children: Iva Myrtle, b. 1908, m. 1932 Fletcher L. DuBose; Bonnie V. Celeste, b. 1910, d. 1976, m. James Presley Carroll Sr. (1902-1984); Thomas Jefferson “Buddie,” b. 1912, m. 1942 Jewel Pauline Pursell; and Charlie Clawson “Dodd,” b. 1914, m. 1940 LaRue Pursell. These families also reared their children in the Sanford community.

Bonnie V. Celeste Thomasson was married to James Presley Carroll Sr. in 1926. They were the parents of the following children: James Presley Jr., b. 1929, m.  Alice Mueller (1929-1983); Gerald Henry, b. 1931, m. Louise Roughton; Charles Linton, b. 1935, d. 2019, m. Barbara Rae Peters; and Patricia Ann, b. 1937, m. O.J. Henley.

The family of Bonnie and James Carroll is the one being featured today since their son, Charles Linton Carroll, is the one recently deceased and for whom the eulogy below was written. They were farmers who also resided in Sanford near their relatives. Their oldest son, James Presley Carroll Jr., and his wife, Alice Mueller, daughter of Jacob Mueller and Celia Latigo, were married in 1949. They were the parents of the following three children: Judy Sharon, b. 1957; James Perry, b. 1958; Jerry Paul “Red,” b. 1963, m. 1981 Domini “Vickie” Voucher.

The second son, Gerald Henry Carroll, was married in 1953 to Louise Roughton, daughter of Owen Gaston Roughton and Madie Lee Windham. They were the parents of the following three children: Miriam Ann, b. 1953, m. (1) Donnie Stephens Bartlett; (2) Daniel Lee Davis (3) Jimmy Charles Thomaston; Jerry, b. 1960, m. 1979 Kathleen Crowley; and Lisa, b. 1966.

The third son, Charles Linton Carroll, was married in 1958 to Barbara Rae Peters, daughter of Raymond Peters and Edna Matilda Colberg. They were the parents of the following four children: Lori Andrea, b. 1958, m. 1976 John Gallman; Diana Lynn, b. 1962, m. 1982 James Isaac; Charles Gregory, b. 1965; and Jenny Marie, b. 1974, m. Andrew Rutledge.

After the deaths of his wife and that of his brother, Gerald Henry, Charles Linton and Gerald’s widow, Louise, remained close friends and eventually married. They resided in Opelika, Ala., which was Louise’s home. Near the end of his life, Charles wanted to go back to his former home in Tallahassee, Fla. where he passed away on January 21. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 2, in Tallahassee.

The youngest child and only daughter of Bonnie V. and James Presley Carroll Jr., Patricia Ann Carroll, was married to O.J. Henley, son of Oliver Manuel Henley and Mattie Andrews. They were the parents of the following three sons: Jeffrey Brian, b. 1960; Jimmy Carroll, b. 1967; and Jody Douglas, b. 1970.

The above Charles Linton Carroll is the cousin for which the following eulogy was written. The author, Darryl DuBose, entitled his story as “Happy Hour,” which is shown below in its entirety.

“Times were hard when we were young; that is, during the forties and fifties. Fact is, it had always been hard times for our folks. We were farmers with none of the modern-day equipment. We had no electricity or running water, and mules and horses pulled the plows. Work and finding a way to survive one season to the next was the main thing that mattered, and that made our families pull together to help each other. Parents, cousins, aunts, and uncles were like one big family. We were close, and we were young. We had to find fun in all that toil, and my Carroll cousins, Pat, Charles, Gerald, and Jim, knew how to do it.

“In just about everything those cousins did, there were happy events to be remembered. They were highly competitive; seemingly not in ways to out-do the other, but to do things in ways better than before. The brothers taught each other. They were handsome, strong, agile, and coordinated, and they could master any challenge, be it baseball, basketball, hunting, fishing, card games, golfing, and all sorts things that triggered their interests. They seemed to always be happy, laugh and have fun. I wanted to be like and with them as much I could. They knew that and included me as one of them. They taught me and gave me their hand-me-downs, like baseballs with covers torn off, basketballs that no longer held air pressure, broken bats, and all such treasures. Better still, they gave me nicknames just like they had.

“Charles, the youngest of the boys, was five years older than me, and he took it upon himself to teach and tutor me in things we all liked. What more could a boy want. He was better than anyone else. He looked out for me and prepared me in so many ways. The first scene that comes to mind is when I was about four to five feet tall, and I carried a Colman kerosene lantern that I could hardly keep from dragging on the ground as I followed him and other kin in the dark of night. Ol’ Bose and Hitler barked with all their might, for the night air carried with it the fresh scent of that ol’ coon moving toward the swamp. I couldn’t keep up and trailed farther back through brush and briars that tore and scratched me. Then here he comes to stomp down the obstacles and clear the way for me. As we crossed a wire fence, he stepped on the wire to hold it down for me to go over, and he held up the barbed wire for me to go under. And that’s the way it was for him and me. He was always there or available for me, and I tried to do the same for him. But…but about that racoon…the dogs treed the coon and Charles climbed the tree to capture it without injuring it. That racoon was among so very many others that he captured – so many that he was given that nickname we all love.

“Those loving memories that we all share about Coon’s adventures will linger and probably grow. It was one of his favorite things to do, you know; that is, to sit and share recollections of times – good times – as we did on almost every occasion through the years when we got together. It was gentle and genuine. There has been nothing better; not food to fill the stomach, nor anything else, than to sit and fill the heart with the warmth and love in re-living in those recollections during Happy Hours with Coon, the Carroll cousins and friends.

“Dear Lord, you know it already, but my heart compels me to say it anyway. We know that Coon is there in Heaven with you and among our folks you’ve called before. You know, too, Lord, that by knowing he’s there makes it easier for us to anticipate and accept your invitation when it’s time. We can imagine being again with him and those we’ve loved, and enjoying a never-ending Happy Hour. I think you’d like it, too.”

Anyone who might have a comment or question regarding this narrative is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.



The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Guests and prospective members are encouraged to attend.