BRUNSWICK, GA. — Carlene Kearns Gilmer, 95, passed away on the afternoon of Sept. 1, 2021, at Senior Care Center in Brunswick, Ga. She was born to the late Carl Allen and Irene Barid Kearns on August 8, 1926, in High Point, North Carolina. She came from a family of strong, caring, talented women and carried those traits proudly throughout her life.

After earning a B.S. degree in Home Economics from High Point College, Carlene spent her first year after college teaching high school science in Pisgah, Iowa. She was shocked to learn that black-eyed peas were served to the livestock and not on the dinner table. She returned to North Carolina, where she worked as the Social Director at the YWCA in Durham. She met the love of her life, Bill Gilmer, at the YWCA’s Friday night Square Dances in Durham, where Bill was a graduate student at Duke University. After Bill graduated in 1951, they married and moved to Brunswick, Ga., where they spent the rest of their years raising four children and becoming strong leaders in numerous community groups. Carlene was very active in the PTA, was a troop leader for the Girl Scouts, a den mother for the Cub Scouts and a long-serving member of College Place United Methodist Church. She was crowned “Woman of the Year” and her family was named “Family of the Year” by the Junior Women’s Club of Brunswick in 1963. A tireless advocate for children, Carlene entered her cherished role as a teacher in Glynn County by earning her teaching certificate while working full-time and raising four kids.

With deep roots established in Brunswick, Carlene and Bill’s hearts still held a strong love for the Appalachian Mountains. They solved their desire to live in both places by building a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina, lovingly dubbed “The Briar Patch.” After retirement, they spent half of each year at the cabin, where they welcomed a rotation of visiting family and friends. Carlene was always the ultimate hostess, gracious and welcoming. She had an eye for detail and a knack for making all their guests feel at ease and ensuring everyone had a great time.

Carlene spent the last years of her life being cared for by her husband and the Memory Care staff at Addington Place in Brunswick.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband, William D. Gilmer; her sister, Ovid Kearns Smith; and her two brothers, Lyles Kearns and Gilbert Kearns. She is survived by her children, Cindy Gilmer Norman (Kerry), Tad Gilmer (Kathy), Debbie Gilmer Zamoscinski (Gino) and Chuck Gilmer (Leigh); her seven grandchildren, Kelly Norman St. Louis (Robby), Lindsay Norman Layton (Jordan), Katie Gilmer, Lauryn Gilmer, Bill H. Gilmer, Gil Zamoscinski and Emma Zamoscinski; and her six great-grandchildren, Dryden St. Louis, Leo St. Louis, Elle St. Louis, Jude Layton, Hattie Layton and Bo Layton.

Carlene left this world on the 70 anniversary of her marriage to Bill. Joining him on their special day, she gave him the best anniversary gift of all. She will be remembered with a memorial service planned for a later date to be shared with friends and family. Edo Miller and Sons will handle the arrangements,

Carlene will be laid to rest in the mountains of North Carolina alongside her husband at a date and time that will be shared with everyone when details become available.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Edo Miller and Sons Funeral home and Oglethorpe Crematorium in Brunswick, Georgia.