Carolyn Griffin Hughes, 66, of Fayetteville, died Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, surrounded by family. She was born May 16, 1954, in Ft. Sill, Okla., one of three children lovingly raised by John William Griffin and Edith Allen Griffin.
Carolyn was an artist, educator, tailor, potter, gardener, dog lover and daily consumer of books. She battled rheumatoid arthritis from age 28, but rarely let the crippling disease slow her from enjoying life. To many children at the Play Learn School and The New School, she was known as “Ms. Carolyn,” the art teacher who once made a life-size gray whale using garbage bags, tape and her rich imagination. Her students learned that we all are born artists, all born with a desire to create, build and make the world a more beautiful place.
The daughter of a career U.S. Army NCO, Carolyn was born on an army base and, along with her two siblings and mother, spent most of her early life living on or near bases in Texas, Oklahoma and Germany. At age 16, her father was posted to Fayetteville where she graduated from high school and later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas.
Preceding her in death were a brother, James Alton Griffin, and father John Griffin.
Carolyn is survived by her husband Charlie of almost 34 years; mother Edith Griffin of Springdale; sister Patsy Miller and husband Bob of Norman, Okla.; sister-in-law Caroline Griffin of Jackson, Miss.; nieces Cathy Miller and Kelly Miller of Norman; niece Rebekah Payne and her husband Jeff of Memphis, Tenn.; nephew John William Griffin and wife Anna Claire of Monroe, La.; Stephen James Griffin of Jackson; sister-in-law Janie Hughes Montgomery of Fayetteville; and brother-in-law Harold Hughes and wife Shelly of Austin, Texas. She also leaves behind three grandnieces, a grandnephew, many cousins, aunts, friends and a loyal collie named Sonny.
Carolyn spent her final 30 days in Washington Regional Medical Center and the family is thankful for the care and compassion shown her by the doctors, nurses and staff in the cardiac unit. While flowers are nice, those wishing to honor her memory are asked to contribute to the Arthritis Foundation at arthritis.org.
Burial will be in Restland Memorial Park in Nashville, Ark. Due to concerns about gathering while the coronavirus is spreading, the family is delaying a service until next spring or summer.