Nov. 4, 1933 - Dec. 24, 2017
After raising four children, Carolyn J. Culbreth of Niagara Falls decided to focus her life on caring for others.
That's why she returned to school at age 38 and became a licensed practical nurse, working in the psychiatric unit of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and later as a substance abuse counselor at Milestones Alcoholism Services in the Falls.
Mrs. Culbreth died on Christmas Eve afternoon in Manatee Memorial Hospital, Bradenton, Fla., after a short illness. She was 84.
Born Carolyn Rogerson in Jamestown, Mrs. Culbreth graduated from Lewiston-Porter Central School in 1951 and attended Bryant & Stratton College. She worked as a secretary and switchboard operator at Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. before her marriage in 1952.
In the 1960s, she was active as a volunteer with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, according to her son Robert.
She earned her nursing certificate at the former Trott Vocational High School in Niagara Falls in 1973.
During her time at Milestones, Mrs. Culbreth was responsible for a group of "functioning alcoholics that she tried to keep on track," said her grandson, Patrick Proctor.
She retired from Milestones in 1990 and moved to Palmetto, Fla.
She taught Sunday school and sang in the choir at First Baptist Church in the Falls, and continued singing at First Baptist Church in Palmetto.
Survivors include her husband of 65 years, Thomas A.; two daughters, Carol Lee Harry and Crystal Lynn Giuliano; two sons, Thomas Jr. and Robert; 10 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Memorial services are tentatively scheduled for February in Palmetto and June in Niagara Falls.