Carolynn Lavender

Born in Nashville, TN on March 5, 1949

Departed on January 13, 2019 and resided in Hendersonville, TN

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Carolynn Yvonne McGowan Lavender was born on March 5, 1949 in Nashville
Tennessee, to Geraldine Langford McGowan and the late, Harry Leonard McGowan.
She departed this life on the morning of Sunday, January 13, 2019.

Carolynn received her early education at St Vincent de Paul, Wharton Junior High,
and Pearl High School. Following graduation from Fisk University, she spent 38
years at Father Ryan High School as an instructor of English Literature. During
her tenure at Father Ryan; Carolynn acquired her Masters Degree from Trevecca
Nazarene (now Trevecca University). She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

Carolynn and her husband of 38 years, Samuel Lavender have long been staunch
supporters of Nashville arts; attending theatre and symphony concerts, as season
ticket subscribers. They have also enjoyed many Titans games as season ticket

Carolynn was preceded in death by her father, Harry Leonard McGowan and her
brother, Harry Lester McGowan. She is survived by her devoted husband, Samuel
Lavender and her loving mother, Geraldine Langford McGowan. She also leaves to
cherish her memory many relatives and friends.

A life celebration will be held 2pm Thursday, January 17, 2019 in the chapel at Hendersonville Funeral Home. Family will receive
friends from 12-2pm prior to the service. Burial will be held in Hendersonville Memory Gardens.

The family of Carolynn Yvonne would like to express appreciation to all those ex-
tending condolences and love, during this, our time of sorrow.

27 Comments to Carolynn Lavender

  1. CA Williams
    January 16, 2019 11:32 am

    Carolynn you were a true friend and one of my best..I shall remember forever our trips, our after school adventures, and many years of teaching together…I’ll love you always.. CA

  2. Sandy Byrd Hobbs
    January 16, 2019 12:35 pm

    Mrs.Lavender taught my daughter at Father Ryan truly one of her favorites! She was a devoted and wonderful teacher who made a difference ❤️Our prayers for her family at this time!

    • jerry wigger
      January 16, 2019 1:17 pm

      What a wonderful Teacher she was and friend she became to me over the years. In the late 70’s Ms. McGowan taught a whole lot of knuckleheads some very valuable lessons on more than the subject matter of the day. She taught us how to strive to get along with each other, civility and love for our fellow classmates. She was one of a kind and will be missed. Jerry Wigger

  3. Ruth Donlon Bowles
    January 16, 2019 1:11 pm

    Mrs. Laveder taught me English at Father Ryan. I thought the class was hard at the time but I enjoyed it very much. When I went to college, my English courses were truly a breeze because of her! I was and still am so grateful for her. I still think of her often. May she RIP.

  4. Joe Lofaro
    January 16, 2019 1:41 pm

    I am a former student of ms. Mcgowan. A great teacher. Her passion for teaching was awesome! She introduced me to Catcher in the Rye and many others. May she Rest In Peace. Prayers to her family.

  5. Shannon Philbin
    January 16, 2019 1:43 pm

    Carolynn was a wonderful teacher. My children enjoyed her classes. She was so very dedicated to her students. Not only in the classroom but also helping them learn to be better people for the future. She had a warm and welcoming personality and she will be missed by many.

  6. Alan and Nickie Lancaster
    January 16, 2019 1:45 pm

    Mrs. Lavender was such a great teacher for our two sons and grandson at Father Ryan. She was not only a teacher, but mentor. All three have a love of English that is missing today. She was an example of professionalism and grace.
    Our family was blessed that she touched our lives. Surely, Choirs of Angels came to greet her…Her legacy lives on in all of those she taught and she is legendary.

  7. Mary Alice McWatters
    January 16, 2019 2:07 pm

    Carolynn was a great lady. She was a wonderful teacher and always expected her students to do their best.

  8. Meredith Cadena
    January 16, 2019 3:05 pm

    May peace be with you Mrs Lavender. I have thought of you so many times this school year wishing you were still at Ryan to teach my son Freshman English Lit.
    My daughter Kenley loved having you as a teacher. We still talk about Silas Marner and A Tale of Two Cities. ✝️

  9. Tracey Hughes Royal
    January 16, 2019 7:13 pm

    My deepest condolences to the Lavender family. She was my favorite teacher at Father Ryan. I loved her class. I loved her. She was as tough as she was kind and intent on preparing her students. I didn’t know she went to St. Vincent like me or Pearl like my mother. It’s an honor to learn that we both shared a love for our sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I will always remember our Ivy Beyond the Wall.

    Thank you Mrs. Lavender!

    Tracey Hughes Royal

  10. Stephen Reed
    January 16, 2019 9:43 pm

    You demanded nothing but excellence from us in class. You were an extension of the principles and nurturing that we received from our own moms. I love you Mrs. Lavender and thank you for loving us.

  11. Sheila Adkins Douglass Scales
    January 16, 2019 10:35 pm

    This is Sheila Adkins Douglass Scales ( I know it’s a lot of names) but I just wanted to make sure that you knew how sorry I am that Carolyn has left us. I value the friendship of the two of you and so glad that she was able to teach my son, Paul, III when he was at Ryan. There are soooo many memories of Carolyn and of you and Carolyn’s holiday party whenever I was in town. Bless you, Sammy and may the sweetest of memories remain with you.

    As ever,

  12. Amy Boles Wood
    January 16, 2019 10:37 pm

    May she Rest In Peace! So many wonderful memories of her classes. Was blessed to have her as a teacher and to have her teach my children as well. Prayers for her family.

  13. NaN Bostick
    January 16, 2019 10:43 pm

    Sammy you have my deepest sympathy. So sorry for your loss.
    I am praying for you sorry I cannot make the service. Asking God watch over you..

  14. Julienne “Cox” Mallory (PHS Class of ‘67)
    January 17, 2019 12:42 am

    My deepest sympathy to the Family of Carolyn McGiwan Lavender. Since highschool we have not seen each other often with me living in Chicago. My prayers of comfort to your family as you take your journey home into the loving arms of the Lord 🙏🏽✝️😇 Rest in heaven my dear friend.

  15. Pat Curley
    January 17, 2019 12:55 am

    She taught me my writing skills. I was blessed to have her as my English teacher! Her dry wit was beyond compare…. she could take you out with a single word!!! Rest In Peace!

  16. Ronald &Stephanie Lillard
    January 17, 2019 1:08 am

    My deepest sympathies to Sammy and the rest of
    The family. Especially Mrs. Mcgowan. Carolynn was
    my best friend Harry Lester big sister. Will always cherish the chilhood days at the McGowan house. Rest In Peace Carolynn and my the Lord comfort and keep your love ones.

    Ronnie & Stephanie Lillard

  17. Frank/ Cora Bostick
    January 17, 2019 9:32 am


  18. Chet and Carolyn Martin
    January 17, 2019 10:06 am

    Sammy…we are praying for you in this loss of Carolynn.
    She was a blessing to all who knew her.

  19. Larry & Vanessa
    January 17, 2019 1:10 pm

    We were shocked to hear that Carolynn has passed away. She was such a inspiration to all of us. She had a spiritual side that was special to her. Samuel We know that she is in God’s memory and he will soon bring her back to us. Right here on a paradise earth with no more sickness or death. You may find this hard to believe. That is why I am sending you a link to a short one minute video that explains how this is possible. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you at this most difficult time in your life.

  20. Tony & Alison Barbee
    January 17, 2019 3:31 pm

    We are so sorry to hear this.
    You are in our prayers.

  21. Tracey Hurt Hall ‘89
    January 17, 2019 4:57 pm

    Mrs. Lavender taught me at Father Ryan. She was a wonderful teacher and taught me life lessons I have never forgotten. Thank you for what you gave to us when we didn’t know we needed it. I have always remembered you and that English literature class. My prayer are with your family.
    -Tracey (Hurt) Hall ‘89

  22. Erma Murphy Tarkington
    January 18, 2019 12:31 pm

    my deepest condolences

  23. Joyce Acklen
    January 19, 2019 1:33 am

    Good bye my old friend. May you find peace and enjoyment as you rest with God. You will be missed.

  24. Carol Porter Gilliam
    January 19, 2019 9:51 am

    Carolyn, rest in peace, my dear friend and former classmate from way back!
    Oh the fun times we used to have at St. Vincent de Paul! That’s where it all started!
    Thank you for all of the student lives you impacted during your incredible tenure at Father Ryan.
    I’m sure you will be greatly missed by all.
    Much love and prayers to Sam and family!!

  25. Nancy Patton
    January 21, 2019 5:49 pm

    Sam, my dear sweet Sam,

    TODAY, I learned from a friend about Carolynn’s death. There are no words I can say to express what I, and you especially, are feeling. I remember you so well and kept up with your career through Carolynn. She was an INCREDIBLE fighter for civil rights and underwent unjustified hardships at Father Ryan for which I apologize. But SHE OVERCAME! I admired and respected her SO MUCH, and will miss her wit, talent, teaching expertise, smile,
    fashion sense, and sense of fairness.

    With much love and sympathy,

    Nancy Patton

  26. Darla Rhoden
    January 22, 2019 9:46 am

    So very sorry for your loss. Death is an enemy and is not what God had in store for us. The scripture that has always comforted me is Revelation 21:3,4. Again so very sorry for your loss, she is in Gods memory.

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