Marie Lovelace Carlton

Marie Lovelace Carlton, passed away peacefully on Monday October 31, 2022, at the age of 100 at Sugar Creek Senior Living in Brownsville, Tennessee, less than a month shy of her 101st birthday.

Marie was born on November 22, 1921, in Brownsville, Tennessee, the youngest daughter of James “Jim” Lovelace and Ruby Fowler Lovelace. While growing up, Marie often roamed the fields and streams near her family’s farm, enjoying the freedom of country life with her six siblings and many cousins. She reflected that her stern, but loving father Jim would allow her to miss church on Sundays only if she also missed going to the Old Mill Pond Bridge, a spot where Holly Grove youth and surrounding areas would gather to socialize on Sunday afternoons. Suffice to say, Marie did not miss church often.

Her youth was interrupted by WWII, and she, like many of her age, kept the home fires burning as many of her loved ones served overseas. After the war, she met and married Johnny Carlton on May 27, 1947, a happy and loving union that lasted for nearly 50 years until Johnny’s untimely death in 1997.

Marie truly embodied the quiet nobility of her generation by setting an example of a life well-lived. She grew up during the Great Depression and valued the virtues of a hard day’s work, loyalty to kindred and friends, service to her community, and patience & love for her fellow man.

Marie inherited the gentle, mild-mannered nature of her mother Ruby, always there with a ready smile for anyone she would meet. She had a heart for others and lived her life selflessly.

She worked several professional jobs serving the Haywood County community, including at the local Courthouse, Brownsville Bank, and Anderson school as a teaching assistant. She and Johnny also owned and operated a neighborhood grocery store, just off the Brownsville square.

A lifelong and active member of Lebanon Methodist Church, she taught Sunday school for more than 30 years, shaping and touching countless lives.

Of all her accomplishments, her greatest love and joy was her family. She was immensely proud of them and was forever supportive with both consistent encouragement, unconditional love, and the occasional bit of advice that was thoughtful and wise.

Marie’s hobbies of cooking and entertaining reflected her deep love of family and friends. Since her children were young, the family knew to stay out of Ree-Ree’s kitchen and just enjoy the delicious fruits of her labor, especially her famous squash dressing! She was as meticulous in her cooking as she was everything else in her life. As the last of her siblings, she was her family’s living history. With her memory and mind as sharp as ever, well into her nineties, she loved to share stories of her past and was instrumental in helping to continue the Lovelace family reunion traditions. These memories (and recipes) will be a part of the legacy to her loved ones for years to come.

In the last years of her life, Marie moved to the Sugar Creek Senior Living community, where she flourished. She enjoyed making new friends and having family and old friends visit. Ever vital, despite her advancing years, Marie continued being active, walking a mile (or longer when her son John walked with her) multiple times a week. Marie loved her time there, and the family is so appreciative of the loving care and comfort that was provided.

Marie was preceded in death by her loving husband of 49 years, John T. Carlton, Sr.; five brothers, Otha, James, Ovid, Hobert, Guy, & one sister Blanche. She is survived by her son, John Carlton, Jr. (Judy) and her daughter, Betsy Davidson (Jim), two grandchildren: Thomas Carlton (Kristin) & Jessica “Jessie” Warren (John Harvey), six great-grandchildren: Elora Kate, Saydie Mae, Ellie Brooks, Duke Tyus, Margaret Steele, & Helen Marie, all of Brownsville, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, family & friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lebanon Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, c/o James T. Carlton, 957 Lebanon Lane, Brownsville, TN 38012.