School 04

Carolyn Carter Miller

December 20, 1949 ~ April 27, 2022 (age 72)

Obituary Image

Obituary

Dr. Carolyn Carter Miller, affectionately called mom, mom-mom, grandma, Carole, and baby sis was a loving woman who enjoyed life to the fullest.  Born December 20th, 1949, at Women’s Medical Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, to Clarence Carter and Mildred Nesbitt, Carolyn spent her formative years at her family home in the Carol Park section of the city.  She attended Hanna Elementary School, Shoemaker Middle School, before graduating from Overbrook High School in 1967.

She and her siblings, Gerald and Clarence (Clancy) enjoyed many summers swimming, fishing and relaxing on the Chesapeake Bay at their family home in Gloucester, Virginia.  During summer trips to Atlantic City, Carole spent most of her time under the boardwalk in the shade alone.  She didn’t really like the outdoors or the heat.  She said that “the outdoors is that stuff between your house and your car and if you aren’t careful, it will get all over you”.  80 degrees to was too high of a temperature and she would go from the house to the car and then back inside again once she reached her destination, so she would not get that “stuff” all over her.  On one of the trips to Virginia, in the late 50’s, Carole was charged with getting ice cream for her brothers at a place where “negroes” were relegated to eating outside on a wall.  To her parent’s horror, she and her brothers were enjoying their ice cream at the counter.  It’s just like her to be a trailblazer.

Carolyn was a woman of extreme faith and grew up in the Episcopalian Church in Philadelphia where she and her family attended regularly.  She often spoke about being a pediatrician because she had a heart for children and enjoyed spending time with the neighborhood kids.  She had a lot of friends growing up, but her early lifelong friends in West Philly were Gail Parker and Millicent Butcher.  One long time family friend, Vernon Smalley recalled that Carole was the first young girl he saw carrying a big baby on her hip.  Apparently, her little sister, Cathy, wasn’t into walking.  At least if she didn’t have to.

At the age of 18 and through the introduction of her brother Clancy, Carole met and later married Roddy Williams, Sr.  Due to Roddy Sr.’s military background, they had the opportunity to live in San Jose, CA, and Hawaii.  Roddy Sr. was an inventor and rigged a television in his station wagon many years before it was even “a thing”.  He was also a mechanic at heart who would try to pass on his “technical” knowledge to his three sons, Jeffrey Williams, Roddy Williams, Jr., and Jason Williams, born from this union.  Carolyn and Roddy Sr. eventually settled in Virginia and made that their home.  She loved being a mother to her 3 sons and ensured that they got everything they needed to be successful in this world.  She loved unconditionally but wasn’t afraid to discipline either.  Her motto was that if anyone had to be unhappy, it would be them.  She taught them about faith and to be thankful for God’s never-ending love.  She also instilled in them hard work, perseverance and humility.  Carolyn was her sons #1 fan, supporting and encouraging them in all their endeavors.  She was the band mom, basketball mom and the soccer mom and present at every event.

Carolyn was also a devoted grandmother who loved her grandchildren dearly, though not eager to take on the title of “grandmother”.  She was such a youthful and energetic woman with license plates tags that said “bzwoman” that she wanted to be called “mom-mom”.  She, however, quickly embraced her title and became to treasure it.  She would put on her educator cap to help and give advice regarding schoolwork and any other situation that life presented.  She was the grandmother who always found time to spend with her grandchildren and every year never missed the opportunity to take them out for lunch and a $100 dollar shopping trip for their birthday.  She would even, on occasion, send money to their closest friends for their special day as well.  She was just that kind of grandmother!

Although her interests took her another path, educating children remained Carolyn’s focus.  While in Virginia she continued her education and earned a bachelor’s degree at Norfolk State (with a 3.482 average), a master's degree at George Mason University and her Doctorate in Education Leadership at Nova Southeastern University.  Her first assignment in Fairfax County Schools where she served for over 30 years was as a 1st grade teacher at Great Falls Elementary School, then Area 111 Language Arts Resource teacher and Area Teacher Evaluation Resource Teacher.

After the death of Roddy Walter Williams Sr, Carolyn later remarried in 2005 to Pedro (Pete) Miller, a longtime friend and neighbor.  Pete was literally “the guy next door” and her neighbor in Virginia of 25 years.  Together they purchased their forever home in Fredericksburg, Virginia, a home they dreamed of and built together.  Their home became a haven for many events with friends and family to include Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings, game nights, mystery dinners, showers and just plain ‘ole family time.  Carolyn was a great cook (known for her candied yams) and enjoyed preparing meals for her family while Pete occasionally wowed us with his saxophone skills.  You would sometimes just have to make her sit down so that she would not be in the kitchen all night.  She had a servant’s heart and wonderful sense of humor and made you feel loved and cared for whenever in her presence.

While Carolyn had found love again, her career also flourished.  She rose to the position of Assistant Principal of Forest Edge and some years later, Principal of Lemon Road Elementary School.  Carolyn truly loved being the principal at Lemon Road and thrived in that role. She was inventive, creative and compassionate.  Her standard for a school was one where her grandchildren (at the time), Justin, and Ashley, could walk into any classroom, and choose their teacher and she could feel comfortable with whomever they chose.  She called this the “Justin and Ashley” test.  She conducted workshops on “Teaching Every Child as if Gifted”, was selected to teach the Bernice McCarthy 4 Mat Learning Styles course for other educators and co-authored the 4MAT Learning Styles Coaching Guide (illustrated by her sister Cathy).  She pushed the envelope to get what was needed for her students, teachers and school and they honored her for that.  One day a student gave her a pink ceramic pig as a gift.  She looked puzzled for a moment, but quickly had the biggest smile on her face.  Throughout her years, “pink pigs” became synonymous with Dr. Miller (in a good way) and her office was filled with them.  Shortly after Dr. Miller became principal at Lemon Road, the county was going to close the school because of low enrollment. She instituted a “multi-age” schoolwide structure at Lemon Road and the school flourished. She pushed “Open Enrollment” and enrollment grew. She instituted a uniform policy, the first in a Fairfax County Public School, to level the economic gap with such success that it is still in place today.  When Dr. Miller had a vision there was no stopping her.  Dr. Miller’s legacy will continue to live on at Lemon Road through the yearly PTA award presented to a staff member that embodies her “commitment to excellence for all students”. She made a point that each student received what they needed to meet their full potential.

Carolyn later retired from Lemon Road Elementary in 2012 where she served for 20 years.  She began to spend more time with her “ride or die” buddies, Dr. Robyn Hooker, Linda Handy, and Shirley McCoy to name a few.  She was also an avid reader and part of the “Bodacious Babes” book club who met regularly to discuss Oprah’s top book choices and just have some girl time.  She and Pete also began traveling more, particularly on family vacations with the rest of the family and also to visit her youngest son, Jason, in Maui.  In retirement, Carolyn worked as an independent-educational consultant and continued her educational guiding mantra of the “Justin and Ashley Test”, working with several schools, principals and administrative teams across the United States and Australia (virtually).  Her work of coaching and supporting, instilled the importance of creating schools where every child was treated as if they were gifted, because in her eyes they were!  Carolyn also spent countless hours as a member of the Evidence of Effectiveness Committee for Solution Tree as an evaluator of schools from around the world to assess if they were worthy of International Model PLC at Work School status.  Carolyn honored the mission she was called to do as an educator and her goal was first and foremost to help all schools to do the best they could for each child.  She literally touched tens of thousands of lives through her life’s work.

Everything was going well for Carolyn, but she did not forget from whom all her blessing came.  She had been visiting several churches but felt the need to “belong” to a spiritual community.  Carolyn soon became rooted at The Inter-denominational Church of God, a non-denomination church, where her son Roddy, Jr. and his family worshipped.  She served there until 2012, when her son Reverend Roddy, was called to start The City of Righteousness Church.  Carolyn was always the biggest supporter of her children and immediately joined Reverend Roddy to serve under his leadership.  Her commitment to ministry and passion for helping other educators and students was yet again very evident.  In 2015, she again joined her son, Roddy Jr., in opening The National Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (NASTECH) to provide STEM education to children in underserved communities, where she served on the Board of Directors and a Camp Director during the summer of 2019.

Carolyn, mom, mom-mom, grandma, Carole and baby sis, you will truly be missed!  You will always be with us and our memories of and with you will be engraved in our hearts forever!  Thank you for being a woman who embodied love, faith, kindness, patience, servanthood, humility, passion, perseverance and a sense of humor that made us all laugh!  …Until we meet again!  We love you!

Left to cherish her memories and continue her legacy:

Sons: Jeffrey Williams, Roddy Williams (wife Natasha), Jason Williams (wife Christine)

Grandchildren: Ashley Richardson (husband Clyde), Justin Williams, Alexander Williams, Andrew Williams, Adam Williams and Gabrielle Williams.

Greatgrandchildren: Jaden Richardson and Kayla Richardson

Siblings: Cathy Harris (husband Arthur), Clancy Carter (deceased) and Gerald Carter (deceased).

Nieces/Nephews: Craig Carter (deceased), Jaleel Carter, Malik Carter, Lauren Harris and Kirsten Harris.

Cousins: Dwight Carter (wife Robin).

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Carolyn, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Friday
May 13, 2022

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Inter-Denominational Church of God
19201 Woodfield Rd
Gaithersburg, MD 20879

Funeral Service
Friday
May 13, 2022

12:00 PM
Inter-Denominational Church of God
19201 Woodfield Rd
Gaithersburg, MD 20879

Interment following funeral service
Friday
May 13, 2022

Parklawn Memorial Park
12800 Veirs Mill Road
Rockville, MD 20853

© 2022 Snowden Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility