Carroll Brent Gookin Williams, a long-time resident of Middleburg, Virginia, died on October 3, 2019, just two weeks before her 90th birthday.
Carroll, the matriarch of a large family, was a person of kindness and caring. She made a world of friends and was much admired for her beauty and elegant style.
A native of old Washington, Carroll was the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Edward Richard Gookin; her father, Dr. Gookin, was a prominent eye surgeon in Washington. She was the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Lowndes Jackson. A forbear, Robert Brent, was first Mayor of the City of Washington; another was Col. Charles Simms, patriot, friend of George Washington, and executor of Washington’s estate.
As a youngster growing up in downtown Washington, Carroll was a Girl Scout, rode ponies, and also learned to ski. She took ballet lessons and was a wonderful dancer. She modeled, and played in choral parts in local Washington theater productions. As a young woman, Carroll loved to travel; in 1956 she went to the Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, northern Italy, and although intending to stay for 2 weeks, made life-long Italian friends and stayed 6 months. Later she toured the Continent, England and Ireland. She was a wonderful traveling companion.
After graduating Western High School in 1948, Carroll was on the staff of the Remington Rand Corporation and the American Chemical Society. On her marriage to John Chauncy Williams, Jr. in 1958, she left Washington to reside with her husband at “Rockhill,” his family property in Casanova, Virginia, where they had a family of three children. She became a member of the Warrenton Antiquarian Society.
In 1966, Carroll moved to Middleburg, Virginia, where she was active in the Middleburg Garden Club, the Pink Box, and Emmanuel Episcopal Church. She took a great interest in Middleburg’s new Sporting Library and Museum. Carroll grew beautiful hydrangeas and clematis and received blue ribbons over the years. She loved life in Middleburg and continued raising her family there. Vacations were enjoyed at Rehoboth Beach in summer and Palm Beach in winter. Carroll chronicled all this in scrapbooks and photo albums that she kept for over 50 years. She enjoyed sharing stories of travel adventures and the accomplishments of her loved ones.
Carroll is survived by her children, John Chauncy Williams III (Julie), Richard Thurston Williams (Letitia), and Elizabeth Spilman Williams. Also surviving are her brother, Richard James Gookin of Warrenton (Betty), and sister, Eleanor Gookin Gregory, of Severna Park, Maryland, as well as numerous other close relatives, including her devoted grandchildren, George, Virginia, and Ord.
A private graveside service and interment was held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church Cemetery, Middleburg. The Reverend Eugene LeCouteur officiated. A family celebration of Carroll’s life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, PO Box 306, 105 East Washington Street, Middleburg. Virginia 20118, or Middleburg Humane Foundation, 5000 Cunningham Farm Drive, Marshall, VA 20115.