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Ethel R. Carraway


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Date published: 8/27/2014

Ethel R. Carraway

Ethel Rebecca Jones Carraway, at the end of a full life of 95 years, passed peacefully from this world on the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Bowling Green, after a brief illness. As she departed, she was watched over by members of her family.

Her husband of 62 years, William Warren Carraway, predeceased her in November 2004. She is survived by her four children, David Carraway, Rebecca Crisman, W. Dennis Carraway and Cathy Carraway; seven grandchildren, Allison, Anne, Kurt, Jenny, Elizabeth, Ashleigh and Thomas; and eight great-grandchildren, Megan, Toby, Charlie, Gabriel, Brianna, Liam, Keegan and Kayla.

Ethel was born in East Lansing, Mich., in 1919, the year her father graduated from the forestry program at Michigan State University. Her family soon settled in East Stone Gap, where she grew up. After her training as a nurse, Ethel returned to her parents' home in western Virginia before eventually marrying Warren in April 1942.

Thereafter she followed her husband through his various Coast Guard assignments during and after World War II. Like most of Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation," Ethel and Warren had their dreams interrupted by the war, but they made a life for themselves after the peace was won, and Warren left the Coast Guard for a career with the Veterans Administration.

Ethel became the archetypical homemaker and mother. She raised her children in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, imbuing them with the values she learned as a child: honesty, thrift, hard work and ambition. She and Warren succeeded in their version of the American Dream, giving their children better opportunities than they themselves had. Both sons became career Army officers, and both daughters trained for professional lives. When her children had grown and left home, she and Warren settled in eastern Tennessee, and then eventually back in Virginia, first in Franklin and finally, in Fredericksburg. There, their second son, Dennis, and his wife, Linda, assumed the care of Ethel and Warren in their old age. Ethel was always a Virginia lady at heart, and the three thriving generations of her descendants are the best expression of her life's testimony.

At some time in the near future, her children will meet for a family memorial in Ocean View, where she and Warren, in a summer of their youth, met for the first time in 1933 and began their lives together. We request, in lieu of flowers, those wishing to express their sympathy make a donation to a favorite charity of their choice.