Carolyn Culpepper Miller, 43-W-7


Carolyn C. Miller (Thames), 86, of Cocoa Beach, FL, died Friday, October 7, 2005, at home. Carolyn was born in Perry, Florida and came to Cocoa Beach in 1950.

She served on the Board of Trustees at Cape Canaveral Hospital for 31 years and was active as a hospital auxiliary.

She graduated from Florida State Teachers College (FSU) and subsebuently went to Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Tx. during World War II where she earned her wings as a WASP. She was eventually stationed at Randolph AFB, San Antonio as one of 11 women certified as an Air Force multi engine instructor. She remained an active member of the WASP Organization.

For more than two decades her passion was raising and showing Yorkshire Terriers including several Champions. She was an active member of the Community Church of Cocoa Beach, the Business Improvement Council of Cocoa Beach, the Cocoa Beach Citizens Academy, a past president of the Cocoa Beach Womens Golf Association, and a Director of the Cocoa Beach Citizens League. Carolyn was preceded in death by her husbands, L. L. (Bubber) Miller and James Thames and sons, James Grimes and John Michael Thames.

She is survived by her daughter, Jacque T. Crawford and husband, Tom of Delray Beach; step-son, Larry Miller and family of Big Canoe, GA; grandsons, Jansen Thames of Cocoa Beach and Mark Crawford of Lake Placid, NY; and four great-grandchildren. Carolyn has requested no flowers, and asked that memorials be made to the Cocoa Beach Community Church, 126 South Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 or Hospice of Health First, 1900 Dairy Road, West Melbourne, FL 32904 or to the Humane Society of Central Brevard, 1020 Cox Road, Cocoa, FL 32926. Calling hours will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, October 10, 2005, at Beckman Williamson Funeral Home in Cocoa Beach. A Memorial Service will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, beside her mausoleum at Florida Memorial Gardens in Rockledge.

Carolyn Culpepper--at Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas, 1943

From the Wings Across America notebook:  We were blessed to spend time with Carolyn at her home in Cocoa Beach in April of 2003.  Her early memories include going on house calls with her grandfather, who was the first doctor in Taylor County, Florida.   Later in life, she was involved with doctors again, this time as the only woman on the 12 member Board of Directors for the Cape Canaveral Hospital. Guess who was in charge?   Her 6,000 volunteer hours and her time on the Board were important to Carolyn.  She was part of the 'Battle of Banana River' --making sure the hospital could expand and continue to serve the growing community.

As one of a select few of WASP who married "Navy Pilots," Carolyn lived the life of a military wife in Sumatra and Indonesia.  The move back 'home' to Florida came when her husband took charge of establishing Weather Service stations all down the west coast of Florida for the military.

Carolyn took us to lunch at a local cafe where she had been going since the late '40's.  Everyone knew her.  Everyone.

Carolyn made a difference in her community and to those whose lives she touched.

Below is a picture of Carolyn and 2 of her beautiful yorkies.  Champions all--including Carolyn.  Her kindness and  gentle spirit were contagious, and the time spent with Carolyn in 2003 was a  blessing and a joy. 

I think Carolyn would be proud to share this space with these 2 puppies--mother and son.



left column reprinted from "FLORIDA TODAY"  October 10, 2005
right column from Nancy Parrish, Wings Across America