STATE COLLEGE, PA. — Carolyn E. Beesinger died September 21, 2013 at the Fairways in State College, Pa.
She was 96. She was born Carolyn Ansley Elliott on September 16, 1917 in Winnsboro to Charles Finch Elliott and Katherine Patton Flenniken Elliott. Her father was the last president of the Winnsboro Bank. Carolyn grew up in Winnsboro in a house that is now the Honeysuckle Acres Bed and Breakfast, a house that her father designed and built. Carolyn graduated from Mr. Zion Institute in Winnsboro, class of 1934. Carolyn's friends growing up in Winnsboro were Sara Desportes (Obear), Patsy Davis (McCloud), Mary Wiley, Marion and Helen Johnson, Louisa Lyles, Nelle McMaster (Sprott), and Rebecca McFie. Her aunts were Nell E. McMaster, Eloise Woodward Elliott ("Pat") Dupre, Carrie Aiken Elliott II ("Aunt Dimple"), and Mrs. ID. Best of Lexington, Ky. Carolyn's grandfather was Thomas Ketchin Elliott, president of the Winnsboro Bank, director of the Winnsboro Cotton Mill, and founder of the first telephone company in town. T.K. Elliott's house still stands at 500 Peays Ferry Road.
Carolyn attended Agnes Scott College near Atlanta and married M.A. Beesinger on December 9,1939 in New York City. During World War II, her husband was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and later became Director of Military Administration at the Adjutant Generals School at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. Later, he became an IBM marketing executive. The Beesingers lived for 42 years in the "Willowmere" section of Riverside, Conn. Carolyn had three children (Dr. Joan Johnson of Lancaster, Pa. and Kent and Suzanne Beesinger), three grandchildren (Alexandra Williamson and Victoria and Chris Johnson), and four great-grandchildren (Brett, Holly, and Lily Williamson and Wesley Johnson.) Carolyn is survived by her sister Katherine E. Smith of Pinehurst, N.C.
Carolyn was a gifted artist and pianist. She won the state prize for her age group in piano performance. She studied piano with Nell Mellichamp in Columbia, S.C. Carolyn was also gifted at oil, watercolor, and pastel portraits and drawing. She studied art at the Art Students League and the Grand Central School of Art in New York City and at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Conn. She studied oil portraiture privately with Freda Delavey in Stamford, Conn. Carolyn's brother, Tom Elliott, was also an artist.
Carolyn had wide interests. She loved not only art and music, but also ballet and films, antiques and old houses, nutrition, natural healing and organic gardening, cooking and dogs. She once owned an English Setter AKC show champion Ch. Halfback of Buttonball who was shown twice at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Carolyn's family has deep roots in the states of South Carolina and North Carolina. She is descended from Captain Thomas Woodward "the Regulator", James Hearst, and Daniel Elliott, Revolutionary war heroes and early settlers, and from William Aiken, founder of one of the earliest railroads in America and after whom Aiken, S.C. is named. Carolyn is also a direct descendant of John Patton. The Patton brothers- John, James, and Thomas- were early settlers of Asheville and Hendersonville, N.C. Carolyn's grandmother was Kate Kennedy Patton Flenniken, at one time poet laureate of the state of South Carolina. Carolyn's great grandfather was A.K. Patton (Archibald Kennedy Patton), a lieutenant colonel and one of the three field commanders of the Arkansas 15th at the Battle of Shiloh, where he was killed.
Donations may be made in her memory to the A.S.P.C.A., as she loved animals, and to Agnes Scott College. Interment will be at the Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Ithaca, NY.