Sarah McGoogan Carpenter Feely passed away on Sunday, March 17, after a year-long battle with acute leukemia. She died surrounded by her family.
Dad’s adopted birthday was March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day) ; it was a wonderful gift for her to join him that day. They were happily married for almost 43 years. Mom was born in Jacksonville, FL on August 11, 1934 to William Twitty Carpenter, Sr. and Elizabeth Hartman Carpenter. She grew up in Rutherfordton, NC and spent many a summer in St. Paul’s, NC. Both places were very special to her, as were her McGoogan, Carpenter and Hartman grandparents and relatives. She attended Maryville College, and graduated from Richmond Professional Institute of the College of William and Mary (now Virginia Commonwealth University) with a degree in occupational therapy. After college she worked at the Georgian Clinic in Atlanta, GA where she met Dad. They were married on July 22, 1961.
In 1967 they moved to Lookout Mountain, GA where mom has lived ever since. Mom was active at First-Centenary UMC, as well as attending East Lake UMC and other churches where her family might be visiting or speaking. She had friends and family all over the country, and loved staying in touch. She was an avid letter and card writer, keeping treasured relationships thru the art of exchanging letters. Mom was curious about everything, interested in all sorts of things, and loved keeping up with the news. She was a passionate bird watcher and loved animals and nature. She loved growing things, including her cotton plants. She was the family historian and a wonderful storyteller. She enjoyed people, and had a ready smile and a laugh (even when she wasn’t feeling well). She will be missed in so many places.
Mom loved her family and was full of advice for her children and grandchildren. She wanted to make sure that we stayed in touch, and there were frequent celebrations at her house for any conceivable birthday or event. We kidded her but were impressed by her determination and spunk. She leaves behind a refrigerator that has been running for well over 56 years, bird feeders that we will be refilling, and notes on almost everything. She was organized, and she got it taken care of.
Mom was preceded in death by her loving husband, Dr. O.Floyd Feely, Jr. and by her parents, her grandparents as well as many much loved aunts, uncles and a host of other beloved ancestors.
She is sadly missed by sons Michael (Annette) Feely and Stephen Feely, and daughter Laura (Peter) Ashline, daughter-in-laws Maria Hurt and Heidemarie Huber, and grandchildren Mary, Sarah, Emanuel, Angelina, Noah, Sylvan, Heather and Matthew.
She is survived by her younger siblings William (Carol) Twitty Carpenter, Jr. and Margaret (Henry) Neale. She deeply loved her nieces and nephews Prana, Nicole, Ashley, Leigh, Jennifer, Henry and William.
Mom volunteered everywhere she could. She was a member of the Outlook Club and a Rossville High School band parent (working every home game in the concessions stand). She gave her time to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, the Chattanooga Food Bank, Metropolitan Ministries, and First-Centenary UMC, among others. She loved music (including singing “O What a Beautiful Morning” to wake us up for school) and was an active member of the Aldersgate Handbell Choir at her church. She enjoyed game days with the game day ladies and luncheons with the East Lake group.
Memorials can be made to some of the causes that she loved; Metropolitan Ministries in Chattanooga, Camp Lookout in Rising Fawn Georgia, and UMCOR. Even though she was a fervent Georgia Bulldog, Mom donated her body to the UT medical school in Memphis. Her celebration of life service will be on Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m. at First-Centenary UMC, Chattanooga, TN. There will be visitation before and after the service. There will be private internment services later in Rutherfordton, NC in the family plot and in Columbus, GA where Dad is buried.
Many years ago, when Mom would take us kids to visit family in Rutherfordton, we would load up the station wagon and head east on Highway 64 around Lake Ocoee. Right after passing through Copper Hill, we’d cross the North Carolina state line. And Mom would always smile and shout “We’re in God’s country!”
On March 17, she fully entered God’s country. We will always miss her and always love her. Amen.