Carolyn Edmonds was an active member of Flat Rock Baptist Church in West Baltimore.
Carolyn Edmonds was an active member of Flat Rock Baptist Church in West Baltimore. (Handout / HANDOUT)

Carolyn Ann Franklin Edmonds, a retired social work administrator active in her sorority, died of cancer Sept. 23 at a family home in Baltimore. The longtime Lochearn resident was 69.

Born in Oakland, California, she was the daughter of Fred Odell Franklin Sr., a longshoreman, and his wife, Willie Ora, a homemaker and cafeteria manager in the Oakland schools district. She attended the McGee Avenue Baptist Church in Berkeley.

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“My mother was a lifelong learner. She placed an emphasis on religious and secular education,” said her daughter, Yvonne V. Edmonds of Dallas, Texas.

Mrs. Edmonds was a 1967 graduate of Berkeley High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography from San Francisco State University. She later received a master’s degree in general administration from from the University of Maryland University College.

Her daughter said Mrs. Edmonds joined the Black Student Union as an undergraduate. She staffed its events and advocated for minority student rights.

On July 17, 1980, she married Ivor Antonio Edmonds, an administrator at Bowie State University. The couple lived in Lochearn.

“My mother was often seen around her community,” said her daughter. “She walked the family dog, chatted with neighbors, picked up litter and shuttled her children to their extracurricular activities.”

In 1973 Mrs. Edmonds joined the Washington’s Bureau of Social Science Research and later the National Manpower Institute. She was a research associate.

In 1983 she began her career with what is now the Maryland Department of Human Services. She was initially a case worker in the Baltimore City Department of Social Services.

She was promoted to Maryland Department of Human Services Central on Saratoga Street in downtown Baltimore. She worked in programming and planning posts.

“Among her responsibilities, she authored successful grant proposals that continue to have a positive effect on the lives of Maryland residents.” her daughter said.

She retired in 2012 as director of the Office of Grants Management. She also taught courses in her field at community colleges in Anne Arundel County and Dundalk.

A member of Flat Rock Baptist Church, Mrs. Edmonds ran the Women of Purpose group and participated in the weekly prayer line. She planned discussion topics, hosted women’s teas and planned religious activities and trips.

"Her goal was to instill her faith in others by example,' said her daughter. “She spent time each morning reading the Bible and was always ready to provide encouragement with a prayer.”

Mrs. Edmonds was an active member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She was initiated into Epsilon Nu Chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1969 and joined the Federal City Alumnae Chapter in Washington, D.C., during the 1970s. In the 1980s, she transferred to the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter.

She was elected to the first of two terms as assistant treasurer in the Baltimore Chapter in 2016.

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Her daughter said Mrs. Edmonds was a planner for the 2018 Delta Sigma Theta Statewide Founders Day.

“She was an active and influential participant in Project Raise, a program dedicated to enhancing the reading and comprehension skills of Baltimore City elementary school students,” her daughter said. “She made friends in every room she entered. She was considered wise and a great insight-giver. She never forgot her friends, either."

Her daughter said Mrs. Edmonds retained friends from California whom she regularly visited. They also came to Baltimore. She had a special bond with three co-workers from the Department of Human Services. They called themselves the Four Madams and enjoyed lunches together.

“My mother loved to travel, and travel she did, from the states to the motherland. In South Africa,” her daughter said. “She traveled from Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, to the majestic Table Mountain, to the Cape of Good Hope.”

She visited the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City and went to Mount Vesuvius. In Rome, she walked down the Spanish Steps to the Trevi Fountain. She and her husband celebrated the National Parks Service Centennial by driving from coast to coast to trek through parks.

“She had detailed travel itineraries filled with museums and performances and guidebook finds,” said her daughter.

A funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 12 at the Flat Rock Baptist Church, 1701 W. Mulberry St.

In addition to her daughter and husband of 39 years, survivors include a son, Ivor Ernest Edmonds of Boston, Massachusetts, and four brothers, Fred Odell Franklin Jr., Julius Dale Franklin, Allen David Young and Wesley Michael Franklin, of the Bay Area in California.

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