Carolyn Johnson Richey had a lifelong calling for helping others. She was born in Greensboro, NC, on September 25, 1939, to Joseph Samuel and Frances “Nana” Johnson.
Carolyn attended Charlotte Central High School, where she met the love of her life and husband of 67 years, Mike Richey. In the mid 60’s, she began volunteering at her children’s elementary school, Nations Ford Elementary, which led to a 30 + years in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System. Her drive to help didn’t end at the schoolhouse, and she devoted any spare time she could find to volunteer at her beloved First Christian Church.
When her mother became ill and needed hospice care, Carolyn found another outlet to spread her infectious joy at Levine & Dickson Hospice House for nearly a decade. From perfectly coiffed hair to expertly lacquered nails, Carolyn always dressed to impress and loved to care for and entertain.
Growing up, her family never ate the same thing twice and enjoyed her creative refrigerator recipes ranging from the timeless broccoli casserole and lasagna to the more imaginative shrimp fondue and “hotdog things,” washing everything down with her famous frozen peach fuzzies! Carolyn was also humorous and quirky, which was evident by her collection of witch and rooster memorabilia that adorned her house inside and out.
Above all, she loved her family, and her family loved her back. She went by many names – Mama, Memommie, Grandmother, Grandma, Memi, and Mommie-me – and cherished them all. Carolyn and Mike created a large family, and nothing made her happier than when someone came to visit.
As the family grew with new spouses and more babies, the Richey house often had too many family members to count, especially at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Kamp Kelsey during the summertime, when you could hear the laughter from across the lake. Carolyn especially loved supporting her grandchildren and made every one of them feel special. Her calendar was always filled with sporting events, performances, recitals, and competitions which she never wanted to miss. She was truly a special grandmother.
On Saturday, June 11, 2022, Carolyn, passed away peacefully at the age of 82 with her family by her side. Carolyn will be missed greatly by her devoted husband, Mike Richey; her 6 children, Mickey Richey (Sam Howard), Lorrette Hyde, Laura Podraza (Erik), Lisa Padgett (Clay), Joe Johnson (Dawn), and Chris Johnson (Misty); her 11 grandchildren, Kelsey Harris (Blake), Audrey Helms (Arthur), Ethan Hyde, Sarah Frances and Caleb Padgett, Katherine and Graham Podraza, Karsyn, Tyler, and Bradley Johnson, and Cameron Howard (Amber); her 4 great-grandchildren, Artie, Lily, Beckham, and Addison; and her vigilant watchdog, Delilah.
A special thanks to the staff at Carolina Caring Hospice House for their compassion, support, and reassurance during such a difficult time.
A memorial celebration will take place at First Christian Church in Charlotte, NC, on Saturday, June 25 at 2 PM.
Donations may be made in lieu of flowers to First Christian Church, 1200 East Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28203 or Carolina Caring Hospice House, 3975 Robinson Rd. Newton, NC 28658