Carolyn Marie Donaghe Shown was born in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, November 4, 1926, but moved to Houston in her first year of life. She grew up in the Houston Heights area during WWII and graduated from Reagan High School. One of her first jobs was at the Houston Post newspaper as secretary to the owner, Mrs. Ovetta Culp Hobby. Through the years, she held secretarial and accounting positions at Cameron Iron Works and TRW. After the tragic loss of her only child, Linda, Carolyn enrolled in correspondent courses from TRW to become a metallurgical lab technician, which position she held until retirement.
Carolyn was always concerned with the needs of teenagers and was active in numerous organizations to help them. She was honored by the City of Houston at the Houston Jr. Achievement Awards for her work with young people. After Linda’s death, Carolyn drew closer to the Lord and concentrated her volunteer work at church.
In her late 50’s, she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but that did not stop her from planting her garden each year, continuing her church work, and seeing to the needs of her mother, Blanche Donaghe. In 1998, Carolyn and her mother and sister moved to Kingsland, Texas, in the heart of the hill country. Unfortunately, in December of 2000, she broke her hip, never fully recovered from it, and was confined to a wheel chair from then on. But, that did not stop her. She enjoyed getting out to eat and being driven around to see the beauty of the hill country, and, of course, she made an impact on each nursing home in which she lived by being chosen as queen at each one, and by being elected to the patient’s governing council at each one.
Eventually, Parkinson’s took its toll, and the last few years she was immobile. Still, she made friends with all the CNAs and nurses attending to her. As Carolyn passed away peacefully in Marble Falls, Texas, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, the head nurse was holding her hand and praying for her, while her hall nurse just broke down and cried as she had known Carolyn and cared for her for 15 years.
Carolyn was preceded in death by her daughter, Linda Diane Shown, and by her parents, James Franklin (Frank) Donaghe, and Blanche Beatrice Fahrner Donaghe. She is survived by her sister, Sheila Janell Donaghe of Kingsland, Texas, and numerous 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cousins. The honorary pallbearers are her first cousins: K. Franklin (Frank) Donaghe, Robert (Bob) Edward Donaghe, Joseph Alan Holley, and James Andrew (Andy) Holley.