Dell Griffin Carr was born on October 1, 1920 in Grove Hill, AL to Ivy Oma “Pop” Griffin and Bashie Keel “Mama” Griffin as the seventh child of eight. Dell passed away peacefully in her sleep at her daughter’s home in Gainesville, FL on January 22, 2017 at age 96. She much enjoyed being part of a large family and was always eager to recall a special moment experiencing those close relationships.
As a young child, Dell lived in rural Alabama and Mississippi and started school in urban Chicago before beginning and finishing high school in Chiefland, FL where she graduated in 1939. She was a life-long learner, motivated to improve and demonstrate her academic abilities. Through her diligence, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida in 1969, which she used in teaching an International English class for five years at the First Baptist Church and Pensacola Junior College.
Dell dedicated her life’s work to serving as a full-time wife and mother, while actively supporting her husband in his church work. She fulfilled those valuable roles with total dedication and effectiveness. It all started on August 3, 1941 when Dell married the love of her life, William Curtis Carr, Jr. at the Hardeetown, FL Baptist Church. At that time, Curtis was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army so the young couple relocated to several Army posts during World War II until Curtis was shipped to the Philippine Islands in 1945. Dell lived temporarily at her parent’s homestead, “The Ponderosa” in Chiefland until he returned at war’s end. Their growing family, then with two children Betty and Bill, resided in Gainesville for several years until Curtis felt God’s call to Christian ministry; in 1948, he enrolled in Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, TX and the family followed. Upon graduating, he accepted his first pastorate in Wabasso, FL where their third child, Tommy joined the family. Curtis transferred into administrative work as a District Field Secretary with the Florida Baptist Convention while serving in Vero Beach FL until late 1956 when he accepted a similar position in Pensacola, FL. Dell helped Curtis make a major contribution there for over 20 years.
At every step of the way, Dell was engaged with people and programs serving their needs; she was always “on stage” and drawing out others to join her in celebration of God’s love. In the 1970’s, Dell and Curtis enjoyed traveling in their Airstream trailer for several years and after retiring, came back to Gainesville in 1979. Dell was an active member of First Baptist Church of Gainesville for 38 years where she served for a brief time as a deacon, enjoyed Master’s Mission Group and her Sunday School classes. She was an enthusiastic member of PEO and DAR while serving as an Alachua General Hospital Volunteer and a voting poll worker. Dell had a wide circle of friends whose affections she cherished.
She is preceded in death by her husband, William Curtis Carr, Jr., her son Thomas Nathan Carr and her son-in-law, James Robert Greathouse.
She is survived by her daughter, Betty Ann Greathouse of Gainesville and her son, William “Bill” Curtis Carr III (Janice) of Gainesville, her brother, Ivy Byrd Griffin (Evelyn) of Chiefland, FL and her daughter-in-law, Jan Beaugez Carr of Palm Coast, FL. She had eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, one step great-granddaughter and one step great-great granddaughter. She also treasured many nieces and nephews and their families.
Funeral Services will be Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 at Milam Funeral Home Chapel 22405 W. Newberry Road Newberry, FL. at 10:00 a.m., with visitation starting at 9:30 a.m.. There will be a reception following the service at the Funeral Home Reception Room and burial will be at the Chiefland Cemetery.