Jan. 21, 2023
3 p.m. - 4 p.m.


Jan. 21, 2023
4 p.m.


Jan. 21, 2023

Judy Smith Carswell went home to be with her heavenly father on Friday, January 13, 2023 at the age of 74 after a courageous battle with stomach cancer.

She was born in Burke County on April 3, 1948 to the late Clyde William Smith and Mildred Ross Smith. She was a life-long member of Burkemont Baptist Church and enjoyed helping in the kitchen or anywhere she could. She loved the Lord with all her heart and thanked him daily for all his blessings. She was a likeable, loving, funny and giving person who saw the best in everyone.

Judy graduated from Salem High School in 1966, Western Piedmont Community College and Gardner Webb College with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She worked at Western Piedmont Community College for 22 years and retired from J Iverson Riddle Developmental Center as Director of Purchasing. She enjoyed working at the voting sites for the Board of Elections and delivering meals for the Meals on Wheels Program. She was also a previous member of the Pilot Club of Morganton.

She was a natural athlete and played basketball at Salem High School where she was all conference, all tourney, Burke County MVP and voted senior class Most Athletic. After high school she continued to play sports and excelled in everything she played especially her favorites tennis and golf. When tennis became popular, she and her sister started playing and joined the previous Burke Tennis Club. She became a top-notch player and won many tournaments in different categories. When she felt like she was aging out of tennis and other sports, she said she needed to take up an old man's sport so she took up golf at age 40 and developed into a great golfer. She loved playing golf at Mimosa Hills where she served on the Board and was Club Champion 11 times. At one time she held the course record at 6 under par. Many women golfers across North and South Carolina knew her from playing in many tournaments and by serving on the Board of the NC Women's Golf association, where she was tournament chairman twice for the NC State Amateur Championship at Mimosa Hills GC, Board of the NC Senior Women's Golf Association and past President of the Western Golf League. Some of her most enjoyable times were spent on the tennis court or golf course with her friends who she loved dearly. Coach Roy Waters once introduced her as one of the best athletes in Burke County, if not the best.

Her love of sports never competed with the love she had for her family and friends especially the loves of her life, husband Kelly, who shared their lives for over 56 years; nieces Sarah and Anna Tucker, who she considered her children; and her late sister Peggy. Family get-togethers were some of her favorite times and being a good cook she always provided her favorite dishes including the best turkey dressing and chicken and dumplings. Being an outdoors person, she liked flowers and strived to have a pretty yard so over the years you could always see her planting flowers, weeding, trimming bushes and using her little chain saw trimming trees or anything that needed to be done. She was very talented and could do most anything. Christmas was her favorite Holiday and over the years people enjoyed riding by to see a massive yard full of Christmas decorations. Being a perfectionist, she took great pride in making sure everything was placed just right which meant little to no help was allowed.

The family would like to thank all her family and friends who helped get her through this tough time especially her childhood life-long friend Annie Alford and Becky Dale who took her to appointments.

Those left to cherish her memory include her husband, Kelly; nieces, Anna Tucker, Sarah Tucker, Briana Shelton (Joel), Wendy Johnson, Peggy Younce (Brian), and Amy Buchanan (Adam); nephew, Scott Carswell, brothers-in-law, Edward Preston Tucker, Jr., Wayne Carswell, Ralph Carswell, and Bill Williams; and sister-in-law, Rose Johnson.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister, Peggy Tucker; sister-in-law, Arlean Williams; and brothers-in-law, James Johnson and Alton Carol Carswell.

The family will receive friends from 3 to 4 p.m., Saturday, January 21, 2023 at Burkemont Baptist Church. The funeral will be held at 4 p.m. in the church with Rev. Dr. Eddy Bunton officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Burkemont Baptist Church, 4668 Burkemont Road, Morganton, NC 28655.

Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Tribute Wall

Leave a tribute for Judy Smith Carswell.

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So sorry to learn about Judy. Always enjoyed playing golf with her!

—Ruth Mennit

May Light perpetual shine upon Judy and may she Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory. Richard and I will miss you and your sweet smile.

—Willie Helen Greene

I had the pleasure and privilege to play softball w/ Judy at WPCC. She was a great player and considered her a friend. I always enjoyed running in to her, around town and elections polls. Peggy, also, played softball. Two super athletes. Prayers for her family and friends.

—Cathy Cook
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To Kelly, family and friends; to know Judy was to love her. She was always a very sweet and caring sister-in-law. She will be missed by everyone that knew her, but we know Heaven is a better place. Look forward to seeing her again some day. I pray God places his loving spirit upon Kelly to help him with his loss. Our Love to all.

—Bill and Roberta Williams

Judy was the best of the best and a dear friend. I loved playing tennis and golf with her, working together in the Pilot Club, and just enjoyed being with this beautiful soul. So many beautiful memories that I will always cherish! She will be missed by all that had the pleasure of knowing this loving, fun, sweet, smart, kind, generous, competitive and happy lady. ❤ Deepest sympathy to Kelly and her family during this difficult time. Prayers, hugs and love for all🙏 Jan Richardson

—Jan Richardson

What a blessing you were to so many people. I remember you and Peggy were always in the newspaper for your excellence in sports. The kids loved coming by your house at Christmas to see all your decorations. We love you Judy and we’ll miss you.

—Cindy Goins
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Dear friend, how good it was to see you in June. Talking these last few months reminded how much fun we always had together. We could laugh for hours. I will treasure our friendship and memories forever. You were a lovely and talented person and I will miss you. - Derinda Smith

—Derinda Smith
Burgundy Candle

You're in our prayers and thoughts during this sad time and for the days to follow.

—Benny & Barbara Childers

I had the distinct pleasure of knowing and working with Judy. Always with a witty remark she was helpful and precise. I also knew Peggy from attending SHS. Both were fun and funny. Judy, play tennis, golf, basketball - whatever you please in heaven.

—Sheila Roberts
Burgundy Candle

My sincere condolences to Judy's family. I worked with her at Western Piedmont College for 10 years. She had the best sense of humor and we laughed often sometimes at ourselves. I would see her at AJ's or the voting polls. May God bless each of you during this most difficult time in your lives.

—Diann Thomas Tate