Cover photo for Carolyn Martin's Obituary
Carolyn Martin Profile Photo
1933 Carolyn 2017

Carolyn Martin

February 25, 1933 — May 19, 2017

Dr. Carolyn Anne Martin of Gainesville and Tiger, GA
Carolyn Anne Martin was born in Gainesville Ga. on Feb. 25, 1933. She
passed from this life May 19, 2017.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Joseph Percy Martin Sr. & Agnes
Cain Martin & brother Joseph Martin Jr. She is survived by daughters Carol
Sue Watson (Cammie), Claire Ellen Kilpatrick, & son William Albert Kilpatrick (Bert) and
daughter-in-law Tonya Kilpatrick .Survivors include: grandchildren Meg Watson, Sarah Watson,
Haley Kilpatrick Dozier, William Heard Kilpatrick II and Kelly Kilpatrick Harris, and one great
granddaughter.
Carolyn spent her early years in Gainesville & attended elementary & high
school there. She was a dedicated student. She studied Latin for 4 years for
the challenge presented. She loved learning with a passion.
Carolyn & her family faithfully attended the First Baptist Church where
she began her lifelong fascination with Christianity, philosophy and ethics. It was due to her father's Sunday School class that she was given the opportunity to continue her education. These fine gentlemen offered to pay Carolyn's tuition at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, if she was interested. She was thrilled!
Carolyn's major was Elementary Education, but she found that dull when compared with philosophy, taught by G. Mcleod "Mac" Bryan. She became part of a group of radical activist students dedicated to opposing segregation where ever it was found, whether at school, at church or in the community. For more information about this fascinating time in Mercer's history (1948-1956) see Combustible/Burn, a play by Andrew Silver. A character based on Carolyn appears in the play,
At this time she met Bill Kilpatrick. They were in student & religious activities together, which strengthened their bond. They married, finished college, welcomed Cammie & moved on to Georgia Medical College in Augusta, GA. Carolyn taught elementary school to support the family while Bill studied and worked at medical school. Claire & Bert arrived during those years and were welcomed lovingly despite the added hardships.
The Kilpatrick family travelled from Augusta to West Chester, Pennsylvania, to Crossville, Tennessee while Bill completed his internship, then back to Atlanta for residency at Grady Memorial Hospital. Carolyn taught English at College Park High School which she enjoyed, but retired when Bill joined a private practice in East Point, GA. Unfortunately, homemaking was not a career that appealed to her, and she became involved with The League of Women Voters and began campaigning for "underdogs" like Andrew Young. Her passion for desegregation was stronger than ever and Martin Luther King, Jr. was her hero, along with Abraham Lincoln.
After volunteer work in the Capital Avenue area of Atlanta starting in the 1960s Carolyn decided to learn more about ways to help make positive changes for the poverty stricken people in Atlanta. She returned to her favorite occupation, learning. She earned a Master's Degree in Urban Development and continued until she earned a Ph. D. in Educational Psychology in 1983 (age 50) from Georgia State University. This challenge helped her carry on through a difficult divorce and led her to finding AA which led to her release from alcoholism and dependence on pharmaceutical drugs. This was an extremely harrowing point in her life, but she was prouder of her years of sobriety than of any other of her many accomplishments as were her friends and family.
It was while attending Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Atlanta that Carolyn met Frank Cooley, "the love of my life". Frank was a retired Presbyterian missionary who had served 22 years in Indonesia and had a fascinating history as well as a kind and gentle nature. They were married for 17 years, attending Al-Anon and AA meetings side by side, supporting liberal political issues together and sharing their love of camping and hiking. Tragically, Frank developed Alzheimer’s and passed away in 2010 after several years of struggle.
Before her marriage to Frank Cooley, Carolyn had a private practice in Buckhead as a counselor. Then she moved to Statesboro, GA where she worked for WillingWay, an addiction and alcohol rehabilitation center. She also worked for the State of Georgia in addiction counselling. One of her most memorable projects was the establishment of a halfway house for the nurturing and care of pregnant addicts getting clean so that their infants could go through withdrawal while still within the protection of the mother's womb. This was the first such innovative program in this country and possibly in the world.
Carolyn was an avid researcher and writer often writing articles or editing books. She helped Dr. Arthur Cohen write a textbook about Educational Psychology. She helped WillingWay Foundation with a ten year follow up of former patients. She helped write The Recovery Book, by Dr. Al Mooney. These are just a few of her accomplishments.
She gave generously to her favorite charities, again favoring the "underdogs" and those charities supporting advocacy of the disenfranchised. She supported organizations such as The Heifer Project, American Civil Liberties Union, and The National Parks Service. She donated to several groups for the education and care of Native Americans. She supported local farmers, preferring to shop in our nearby Farmers Markets to chain stores. She was always vocal when she became aware of injustices, and was almost fanatical about global warming and mankind’s duty to the planet which houses him. I was blessed to introduce Carolyn to the Feminist Movement, and we were active in political and social change. She was a woman full of ideas, love and wisdom and she will be missed by many. A Celebration of Carolyn’s Life will be held on Saturday, July 8 at 2 pm at Sautee Nacoochee Presbyterian Church in Sautee Nacoochee. All are welcome. Wear colors.

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