Cover photo for Carol Jean Crowell's Obituary
Carol Jean Crowell Profile Photo

Carol Jean Crowell

May 20, 1939 — July 11, 2023


Carol Jean Crowell

Carol Jean Esch Crowell, age 84, died Tuesday, July 11, 2023, surrounded by family at her new home in Albemarle, NC.

Daughter of Rev. Byron and Mary Rauch Esch, Carol was born May 20, 1939, in Beaver Valley, PA. After childhood residences in PA, OH, and West Walworth, NY, she moved to Dunkirk, NY, where she met her high school sweetheart and future husband of nearly 61 years. She was salutatorian of her high school class of 1957 and graduated from the State University of New York at Fredonia with a degree in elementary education.

Following her time as a teacher, Carol ran the Crowell household, taught piano lessons to dozens of neighborhood children, and co-founded and managed Attic Fanatics, the family’s antique business. Carol loved traveling to antique shows and interacting with all kinds of people. She had a true gift for spotting opportunities and closing deals. She frequently commented that those were some of the best times of her life.

Carol’s passion for her family was reflected through three generations whom she loved dearly. She was the brightest light at every gathering and a shining star in every life she touched. With her colorful outfits and whimsical accessories, she personified fun and was an exceptional entertainer. Her dining room table was always set with the “good dishes,” and her Christmas tree was up year-round (decorated for each season, of course).

The grandkids will fondly remember Camp Cornelius with Gramy and Grampy. Those weeks were packed with RV trips, card games, swimming, shopping, and reading. Gramy often had at least one grandchild curled up on her lap listening to her read stacks of books at a time.

Other family memories include Gram’s annual Christmas cookie decorating, her love of chickens and chicken decor, her scarf curtains, her swear jar, her manicured nails, her tight hugs, and her unabashed and distinctive cackle. The house was always filled with laughter when Gramy was around.

Carol’s husband and children were blessed to have a wife and mother who had an endless capacity to love. They were enamored by her musical talents, her extensive vocabulary, her feisty personality, and her lifelong vocal support for gender and racial equality. Carol would be honored to know that family and friends are contributing to a charity of their choice that supports those causes.

Memories of Carol will forever be cherished by her husband Richard (Dick); her children Scott and his wife Kim; Amber and her husband Jim Kelleher; Melissa; and Dale and his wife Sharon; her daughter-in-law Theresa; her bonus son Eddie, her grandchildren and their children, Nicole (Jeremy), Ellison, and Hutson Blackwell; Erika (Mark) and Willow Dail; Demetria, Joshua, Christopher, Jacob, and Reagan Poindexter; Rayquan (Imani), Maejor, Victory, and Pharaoh Gravely; Alaysia (Brandon) and Cairo Gravely; Jack (Abi) Geerts; Surae Gravely; Finn Kelleher; Lindsay Crowell; Duncan Kelleher; Margaret Crowell; Meredith Crowell; her brother Robert Esch and his family; her sister Shirley Blarr; her many nieces and nephews, and many friends from across the years.

Carol was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Marion, her daughter Laura, and other family members.

The family gathered in Albemarle, NC to honor Carol. They will host an online celebration of Carol’s life on September 2, 2023, to share stories and laughter. All are welcome. Please contact any family member for more information.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carol Jean Crowell, please visit our flower store.


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