Cover photo for Earl Carnahan's Obituary
Earl Carnahan Profile Photo
1935 Earl 2023

Earl Carnahan

October 25, 1935 — May 3, 2023

Clarence Earl Carnahan, 87, of Hendersonville, TN, entered into the presence of his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023. He was a loving and much-loved Christian husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend.

Earl was born on October 25, 1935, to Ernest Otto Carnahan and Ella Mae Bryant Carnahan in Corning, Arkansas. He was the valedictorian of his classes both at Corning High School in 1953 and Arkansas Polytechnic University in 1957. He worked his way through college working as a printer at  the Russellville newspaper. Earl studied and taught math for a semester at Ohio State before returning home to help on his family's farm after his father's death. He served in the Signal Corps in the Army from 1958-1960.

Earl began his career as an actuary at Volunteer Life in Chattanooga, TN, where he met and married Elizabeth, his wife of 62 years. Earl was a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and a fellow in the Society of Actuaries. He worked at Texas Life in Waco before settling in Nashville at National Life and Accident Insurance Company/ American General.

Earl loved the Lord and His church. He served as a deacon, Treasurer, and as a member of stewardship, building, and pastor search committees at Bluegrass Baptist Church, but his real loves were teaching 3 year-old Sunday School for over twenty years and working with Royal Ambassadors (RA's), a boys' mission organization. He proudly served on the Nashville Baptist Association RA Committee. He and Elizabeth loved visiting and caring for others.

Earl and Elizabeth had a wonderful life together raising a family, traveling with the children to 46 states, canoeing and boating, helping family and friends and playing with their grandchildren. He enjoyed yard work, farming, listening to music, reading, rock hunting, and being a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Earl is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Runyan Carnahan; children Bob (Kim) of Lake Oswego, OR, Mary (Ed) Sanders of Jasper, AL, and Susan (Earl Dingman) of Knoxville, TN; grandchildren Taylor Carnahan, Hazel Carnahan, Parker Carnahan, Finn Carnahan, Ned Sanders, Bonnie (Braxton) Rhodes; siblings Peggy Watson, Tiny Bridgewater, James Carnahan, and Carmen Jackson; many nieces and nephews and dedicated caregivers Heather, Lisa, Marina and Jenn. He was preceded in death by sisters Betty Switzer and Nan Cocke.

The family will celebrate Earl's life with a service on Saturday, May 13th at Indian Lake Peninsula Church in Hendersonville, TN, at 1:00 to be immediately followed by a time of visitation and fellowship at the church for all.  Burial will take place at 4pm at Hendersonville Memory Gardens. Hendersonville Memory Gardens Funeral Home will direct.

If you feel so led, a way to honor Earl's life would be to support Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian missionary or mission organization or a charity of your choice.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, May 13, 2023

2:00 - 3:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, May 13, 2023

Starts at 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Hendersonville Memorial Gardens 353 East Main Street, Hendersonville

, TN

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