Carolyn (Smith) Slaughter

Carolyn Ann Smith was born Oct. 27, 1938, to Esther (Andrew) Smith and Clarence Smith in the inaugural year of the Greene County Hospital in Jefferson. She passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Feb. 8 at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City.

Carolyn, a gifted homemaker, created a beautiful and welcoming home. She was a wonderful cook and hostess, often welcoming many over for dinner parties and game day celebrations. She managed to start as an OSU fan then, in retirement, switch to an avid OU fan.

She enjoyed sitting on her deck admiring her gardens and watching her dogs, and being active in her book club. She was an accomplished seamstress, sewing clothing and home decorations for herself, her children and grandchildren. She played the flute and piano and taught musical lessons.  

Carolyn and younger brother Gerald and sister Miriam grew up on their maternal Greene County family farm. With paternal grandparents living nearby Jefferson, many happy times were spent at their rural home. Yearly family vacations and get-togethers with cousins, aunts and uncles were times she enjoyed.

Carolyn was born into a house without modern plumbing and at first attended a nearby rural country school. When this school closed, she and her siblings rode the bus to Churdan public schools where her mother was high school principal.

Carolyn was involved in many school, church and community activities. She was honored as a member of the Iowa All-State Orchestra and graduated valedictorian of her 1956 high school class. As Miss Greene County, she competed for the Miss Iowa title held at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. At Drake University, she was a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority and graduated with a bachelor of music education.

In 1959, Carolyn married David Lohr, also from the Churdan area. Together they had four children: Elizabeth, Steven, Stephanie and Phillips, and they traveled, lived and loved in Iowa, Utah, South Carolina, Iowa, West Germany, Iowa and Ohio. Their children were loved but their marriage ended in divorce in the early 1980s.

Carolyn started a new chapter in Edmond, Okla., in 1982. She built a new life with her youngest children and eventually found new love and marriage with Tom Lilly in 1986. Unfortunately, Carolyn was widowed in 1990, but was blessed with her first of many grandchildren and a career at the State of Oklahoma Employment Service until 2004. She also was blessed with her marriage to Jim Slaughter on Dec. 21, 1996, becoming stepmother to Becky and Lee.

As Carolyn and Jim’s blended family continued to grow, they spent many years visiting family, traveling and cruising while making new friends. Their retirement travels took them to Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, the Caribbean, Germany and so many more places. Carolyn and Jim particularly loved their more than 14 cruises. 

Carolyn is survived by husband Jim Slaughter; sister Miriam (Smith) Peters; all of her children and their spouses: Elizabeth (Lohr) and Greg Koolbeck, Steven and Alicia Lohr, Stephanie (Lohr) and Alan Cooper, Phillips and Betsy Lohr, Becky (Slaughter) and Jason Frey, Lee (Slaughter) and Ryan Jeannet; and all 17 grandchildren.

Carolyn is preceded in death by brother Gerald Smith; nephew John Peters; and former husbands Tom Lilly and David Lohr.

Memorial will be livestreamed 10 a.m. March 8 for those attending remotely. Go to Matthews Funeral Home, Edmond, Oklahoma, YouTube page. Click “Videos,” then “Live Streams.”

Contact Us

Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161