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“Carolyn was my supervisor at NM Mental Health in Santa Fe, NM. She coordinated wonderful retreats for her employees at her beloved compound near 10...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Cheryl Thorp - Santa Fe, NM

“Prayers for the family. She was a super lady ”
2 of 3 | Posted by: Jackie McIntyre Flippen Flippen - TN

“Very sad to hear that Carolyn is gone. I have not kept in close touch with my classmates so she was frozen in time for me. She was always a fun...Read More »
3 of 3 | Posted by: Marc Cohn - La Quinta, CA


Carolyn Sue Spence Shamaya passed away May 11, 2019 in Franklin, Tennessee. She was born March 29, 1940 in Dayton, Tennessee to parents Albion Coleman (AC) Spence and Ruth Conner Hicks Spence. She is survived by her son, Spence Dowlen and daughter-in-law, Amy Jetton, of Thompsons Station, TN, daughter, Brooke Turner and son-in-law, Tom Turner, of Los Alamos, NM, and a sister, Marilyn Case and brother-in-law Larry Case of Knoxville, TN. She is preceded in death by her son Paul Salcedo. Her grandchildren, Elizabeth and Brandon Turner, live in Los Alamos, NM.

Carolyn attended school in Oak Ridge, TN and later studied at Peabody/Vanderbilt University. She earned a B.S. in Fine Arts, Biology, and Education and an M.A. in Education. After college, she moved to the Southwest as well as western North Carolina where she worked providing services to mentally, physically, and emotionally challenged individuals. At various times in her career she was an administrator of several programs and three large facilities for disabled individuals. She was a pioneer in the transitioning of disabled children and adults from institutionalized care to community-based care and vocational programs. Toward the end of her career, she owned and managed vacation rentals in Santa Fe, NM, authored two self-improvement books, and started a gourmet NM food store. In retirement, she shared her many talents working in art galleries, interior design businesses, and a plant nursery.

Carolyn had a warm, outgoing personality, and loved being around friends and family, often sharing her gourmet meals. "Mama" was a loving mother who taught her children by example the qualities of independence, resilience, strong work ethic, and compassion. Her grandchildren knew her as a loving "Maya" who had very spoiled cats and dogs. Her boundless energy touched many lives and she will be missed.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Alzheimer's Association
P.O. Box 96011
Washington, D.C. 20090-6011
800-272-3900
www. Alz.org