Carolyn C. Boykin, a retired registered nurse clinician and operating room nurse who enjoyed golf, sailing and gardening, dies

Carolyn C. Boykin was an accomplished golfer.

Carolyn C. Boykin, a retired Johns Hopkins Hospital registered nurse clinician and operating room nurse who was also an avid golfer, Chesapeake Bay sailor, and gardener, died of natural causes May 8 at her longtime Ruxton home. She was 92.


“She was a wonderful nurse-supervisor who did everything for everybody and set the standards and work ethic,” said Dr. Paul N. Manson, a plastic surgeon, who had been chief of plastic surgery at Hopkins from 1990 to 2010. “She always organized everyone well, did the right thing and was a wonderfully reliable person.”

The former Carolyn Ellicott Maccoun Croker, daughter of John Hanson Croker, a vice president and senior trust officer at what was then known as Maryland National Bank, and his wife, Carolyn Ellicott Maccoun Croker, was born in Baltimore and raised on Bolton Street in Bolton Hill.


Growing up, Mrs. Boykin, in order to reduce the risk of being exposed to polio, spent summers at her maternal grandparents home at Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania.

A 1948 graduate of Garrison Forest School, she also made her debut that year at the Bachelors’ Cotillion.

She earned her nursing degree in 1953 from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and began her nursing career at the Baltimore City Health Department as a staff nurse in its health care program.

After working part time as a nurse from 1956 to 1957 at the York Hospital in York, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Boykin joined the York County Tuberculosis & Health Society in 1955, where she worked until 1960.

She later worked at Greater Baltimore Medical Center from 1968 to 1973, and joined the Johns Hopkins Hospital staff in 1992, where she became an operating room nurse in Nelson 2 specializing in removal of breast implants and in vitro fertilization. She was also responsible for creating an inventory system for surgical instruments for the operating room surgeons.

It was thought that Mrs. Boykin was perhaps one of the oldest nurses to have worked at Hopkins, and when she was 82 in 2012, “she updated her license,” said a daughter, Carolyn “Carol” Croker Boykin, of Ruxton, and “from 1999 to 2012, when she retired, she worked one day a week in the Hopkins Weinberg operating room.”

In 1953, she married Bernard Carter Boykin, a chemical engineer, who worked for his father who had purchased in the 1930s the former Melvale Distillery on West Cold Spring Lane, which produced rye whiskey. They later established the American Cider and Vinegar Co. there, which manufactured Melvale apple vinegar and Crystal distilled vinegar.

After the business was sold in the 1950s, Mr. Boykin entered the electronics field and founded Boykin Products, which later became Electro Tech. He retired in the mid-1980s.


Her husband passed along his love of sailing to his wife, and the couple, who had owned a Whitby 42, a 42-foot long sailboat, established the Whitby 42/Brewer Owners Association in order to locate parts and sails, and keep theirs and other owners’ boats sailing.

They enjoyed sailing and exploring the Chesapeake Bay and were also active members of the Potapskut Sailing Association. They also liked taking steamship cruises.

After her husband’s death in 2011, Mrs. Boykin married Dr. Francis Mann Clarke Jr., a general surgeon, whom she had dated before she had married her husband.

Both men were members of the Sons of the American Revolution, and after reading an obituary for her husband in the society’s newsletter, he reached out to her, Ms. Boykin said. They married in 2012, and he died three years later.

Interested in historic preservation, she had been a member of the Hammond-Harwood House Association in Annapolis and had served on its board from 1973 to 1992. She also had been a member for nearly four decades of the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage Inc., and had been recording secretary, chair, and executive secretary from 1978 to 1992.

She was an accomplished golfer and began playing the sport as a teenager at Blue Ridge Summit where she made her first hole-in-one. As a member of the Green Spring Valley Hunt Cup, Mrs. Boykin had a handicap of eight and was club champion in 1968.


Coached by the legendary Baltimore golfer Carol Mann, Mrs. Boykin received a Most Improved Golfer award from Golf Digest magazine in 1966. She was also a longtime member and officer of the Women’s Golf Association of Baltimore.

A fan of Maryland steeplechase horse racing, she attended the Grand National Steeplechase Race in Butler in April, just weeks from her death, Ms. Boykin said.

A regular daily walker, she could be observed walking around Circle Road in Ruxton twice a day until she was 82, and she was also a daily shopper in Graul’s Market in Ruxton until she reached the age of 87. A devoted fan of Heineken Beer, she was seldom seen without her Heineken Beer ski hat.

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Mrs. Boykin, who enjoyed vegetable gardening also grew prize winning daffodils, was a member of The Amateur Gardeners Club and had served as club president from 1982 to 1984.

Gifted with an outgoing personality and an easy smile, she enjoyed hosting parties and was especially known for her homemade rolls which “guests stuffed in their pockets” upon their departure, her daughter said.

“She was outgoing and friendly, but was somewhat a little reserved,” Dr. Manson said.


In addition to the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, she was a member of the Johns Hopkins Club and Chapter One of the Colonial Dames of America.

She was a longtime communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Ruxton.

There are no services with interment in the Ellicott Family Graveyard in Ellicott City.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by another daughter, Elizabeth “Betsy” Whitehead Boykin of North Roland Park; a sister, Virginia “Ginny” Croker Easter of Cockeysville; and two grandsons. Another daughter, Roberta Maccoun Boykin, died in 2012.