BURLINGTON - On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, at 5:45 a.m., as the sun poked its head above the eastern sky and the nesting birds started singing their joyous morning carols, Rebecca Caroline Gulledge Veno departed this life into the arms of Jesus and waiting loved ones. What a glorious time of year to go - Spring! - with all its newness and promises.
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Caroline was born four days shy of 87 years ago in the town of Wadesboro, N.C. in Anson County. Her parents were Eddie Lee Coward Gulledge and Walter Jabez Gulledge, both deceased. She was the youngest of three siblings. Caroline had two older brothers that she adored her entire life - Edward Lee Gulledge and Donald Ernest Gulledge, both deceased.
Caroline was a 1949 graduate of the Woman's College of North Carolina in Greensboro. That year she began a career as Home Economist for the Duke Power Company in Burlington, N.C. She taught many women across several counties how to cook wonderful meals (and desserts, such as Carolina Pound Cake) on their new electric ranges.
It was in Burlington that Caroline first met and dated her future husband, Richard George Veno, on a blind date on April Fool's Day in 1951. She and Richard were married April 27, 1952. They were able to "celebrate" their 50th wedding anniversary in 2002 before Richard died of Alzheimer's disease. Caroline and Richard had two children, Caroline Anne Veno, who resides in Burlington, and Richard "Richie" George Veno Jr., who died of diabetes complications in 1997.
After the birth of her first child, Caroline chose to stay home to spend more time with her children. She passed along to them many unforgettable qualities: love of family, kindness, manners, respect, fairness, love of reading, love of history, a gentleness toward animals (especially those in need) and the freedom to be or pursue anything they could dream of being.
Caroline used to record on the kitchen calendar every year the first day she saw a snowbird, the first day she saw flakes of snow, and the date the first crocuses appeared in early Spring. She always had room for "just one more" stray dog or cat to feed and adopt.
As her children were growing, Caroline somehow found the time to serve as PTA President, Garden Club President, Vice President of the Junior Woman's Club, member of the DAR of Alamance County, Treasurer of the Alamance County Service League, President of the Home Economics Club, Vice President of the BPW and Secretary and Life Member of the Humane Society of Alamance County.
Besides her love of her family, one of Caroline's greatest loves was her First Baptist Church, first in Wadesboro, N.C. and then, most of her adult life, in Burlington, N.C. Her other love and passion was for helping abandoned and abused animals. Along with three other women, Caroline worked tirelessly the first few years of the Humane Society's existence to establish aid for pets in Alamance County.
Caroline is survived by her daughter, Caroline Anne Veno, of Burlington, N.C.; sister-in-law, Margaret Caudle Gulledge of Charlotte, N.C.; niece, Sharon Gulledge Starnes of Charlotte; and nephew, Ron Gulledge of Matthews, N.C. She also has several cousins still living in the Wadesboro, Anson County area of North Carolina. She always talked of and longed to be able to go back to visit Wadesboro.
Caroline's daughter (also Caroline) would like to thank the staff at Peak Resources of Graham, N.C. for her care after she suffered a stroke three years ago. She would also like to thank the wonderful staff at The Hospice Home of Alamance-Caswell for their loving care during her brief illness the past few weeks. Also a thank you to Dr. Terry Peele of First Baptist Church of Burlington for his daily visits during Caroline's most recent illness in the hospital, and then at the Hospice Home. And a huge 'thank you' to all the family, friends and church members of both Carolines for their prayers and support during Caroline's final illness.
The funeral service, conducted by Dr. Terry Peele, will be held Friday morning at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Burlington in the Chapel. One hour prior to the service the family will receive guests at the church. Burial will follow in Pine Hill Cemetery in Burlington. As Caroline previously expressed to her daughter, please feel free to wear colors of your choice, as she thought black crepe and veils were a bunch of hullaballoo,
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Alamance County, P.O. Box 5117, Burlington, NC 27216, The First Baptist Church of Burlington, P.O. Box 2686, Burlington, NC 27216 or Hospice of Alamance-Caswell, 918 Chapel Hill Road, Burlington, NC 27215.
Condolences may be offered at www.richandthompson.com
Rich and Thompson Funeral and Cremation Service
306 Glenwood Ave. Burlington, NC 27215
Published in TheTimesNews.com from May 13 to May 14, 2014