Carol Buckley Lunde, 78, died suddenly of natural causes in her beloved home in Athens, Georgia on November 9, 2020.
Born on July 12, 1942 at Emory University Hospital in Decatur, Georgia, she was the elder daughter of Jane Coffer Buckley and John Clarence "J.C." Buckley. She lived with her family in Newton, Mississippi and Atlanta, Georgia before they settled in Athens. As a teenager, she once had a chance to kiss Elvis through the window screen of his dressing room while he performed in Atlanta at the beginning of his career, but she exited the line feeling that should not be her first kiss! Carol completed high school in three years, a 1959 graduate of the former Athens High. A member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority, a UGA Freshman Camp counselor and a Pink & Gray staff member, she earned her A.B. in English from the University of Georgia in three years, graduating in 1962.
She married David A. Lunde in December of '62. They lived in Norfolk, Virginia; Newport, Rhode Island and Atlanta before putting down roots in Athens. In 1967 they had their only child, Laura Lee Lunde (Clark). Carol was extremely active with numerous volunteer organizations throughout the Athens community, including University Woman's Club, PTA (former President), YWCO, Friends of the Library and P.E.O. She was a dedicated member of First Presbyterian Church, where she sang in the Chancel Choir and served as a Deacon. Long before it gained popularity thanks to Kate and Leo, Carol was a dedicated member of the Titanic Historical Society, even meeting several survivors. Amid all this activity, her top priority was being a dedicated mother to Laura.
Carol had an incredible talent for writing hilarious parodies to popular 1970s songs and enjoyed singing them, as well as traditional Christmas tunes, at church functions and other events. She played an integral part in restoring Athens' historic Morton Theater, serving on its Board of Directors and performing in fundraising shows-nobody could toss a tambourine like Carol! She joined the casts of a few Town & Gown plays, sang in some Athens Choral Society shows and even performed stand-up comedy locally after completing a course at the Georgia Center.
Following her divorce, Carol worked as an English teacher, in insurance and at two local churches. Travel was her passion, preferably aboard Cunard ships as a Diamond-level World Club member, and at Disney World. (As a young teen she met Walt Disney and received birthday cards from him for years.) She generously shared this love of travel with her family, treating them to trips in the U.S. and abroad. An extrovert in all the best ways, she never met a stranger and could converse with anyone, often trading Christmas cards and phone calls for years following a mere chance encounter. She made a lasting impression on everyone she met with her genuine kindness and contagious laugh. There is no doubt her loss will be felt by many, even the servers at the Beechwood Chick-fil-A drive-thru, who surely knew her orders by heart.
Living a quiet life in retirement, Carol was known for her quick wit and strong spirit. After surviving a seemingly fatal head injury in a car crash at the age of 14, she went on to live a fulfilling life as a fiercely loving, supportive and proud mother and grandmother. She left nothing unfinished, living long enough to attend her granddaughter's wedding in September, to celebrate October family birthdays and to witness the election of a new U.S. President in November, something she steadfastly hoped to see come to fruition.
Now that she is gone from this earth, her family envisions her in her own personal heaven, where she is a permanent guest onboard the QE2, singing in the talent show, taking afternoon tea and enjoying fabulous five-course meals, while frequently making side-trips to Walt Disney World when she's in the mood for a little magic. And while she always regretted not kissing Elvis, we feel it was his loss.
Carol was preceded in death by her mother, Jane, and her daddy, J.C. She is survived by her daughter, Laura Lunde Clark (Jamie) her granddaughter, Kinsey Clark Harrison (Joseph); her sister, Alice Buckley Brown (Wendell); her nephews Jeff Brown and Greg Brown (Becky); her niece Sharon Brown; and her cherished great-granddog, Heidi.
Due to the pandemic, plans will be made for a memorial service in the new year.
In lieu of flowers, gifts can be given in memory of Carol Lunde to the following, or to a charity of your choice
Books for Keeps, P.O. Box 49761, Athens, GA 30604; www.booksforkeeps.org/donate
Skyland Trail, 1961 North Druid Hills Road, Atlanta, GA 30329; www.skylandtrail.org/giving
Bernstein Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.www.BernsteinFuneralHome.com