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Caroline V. Scarlett



MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Caroline Vawter Scarlett of Murfreesboro, devoted wife, mother, sister and friend, died Aug. 13 in Brentwood at age 89.
Born June 30, 1929, in Whitthorne, Tenn., Mrs. Scarlett spent her formative years on her parents’ farm in McKenzie. She was preceded in death by husband, former MTSU President Dr. M.G. Scarlett; son, Jon Barry Scarlett; parent,s Vilas and Carrie Vawter; sister, Betty Jane Harris; and brothers, Vilas, Jr.; Billy; and Bobby Vawter. She is survived by sisters, Judy Blanks and Nancy Holland, both of McKenzie; son, David Scarlett (Teresa) and daughter, Nan Overton (Melbourn), both of Brentwood; daughter-in-law, Melinda Scarlett, Smyrna; grandchildren Taylor Overton of Knoxville; Jackson Overton of Murfreesboro; Heather Wilson (Chase) of Rock Hill, S. C.; Barry Scarlett (Jessica) of Fort Mill, S.C.; and great-grandchildren Halle, Gracie, Cade and Harper Wilson.
A long-time member of Murfreesboro’s North Boulevard Church of Christ, Mrs. Scarlett cooked for the church’s Meals on Wheels program for more than 30 years, into her mid-80s. A lover of sports, she was an excellent high school basketball player, a die-hard Cubs fan, a fixture at MTSU basketball games and an avid golfer, once winning two mother/son tournament trophies on the same day, with 8th grade son Jon in the morning and 5th grader David in the afternoon. She had a quick wit, a brilliant mind and was as comfortable as a beauty queen as she was picking cotton on the family farm. There was seemingly nothing she didn’t do well. While MTSU’s first lady (1968-’78), she was a warm and gracious ambassador for the university, whether hosting a dinner for the governor or inviting students to tour the historic president’s home. She had a beautiful singing voice and loved flowers, a good joke, and playing bridge with her friends.
Mrs. Scarlett loved reading (and correcting her children’s grammar), and attended (then) Bethel College in McKenzie (where she met her future husband), as well as (then) David Lipscomb College in Nashville. In addition to the challenging job of rearing three rambunctious children, she taught in a one-room schoolhouse while living in Nebraska in the ‘60s, and later worked for Youth Services in Memphis. While in school in McKenzie, she worked at the Carroll County Movie Theater. Former Governor Ned McWherter once admitted that, when in high school, he would drive around the McKenzie square trying to find the courage to ask out pretty Caroline Vawter. He never did.
She had a giving spirit and a loving heart, never speaking ill of others, while living her Christian faith each day of her life. Her passing leaves a huge hole in the hearts of those who loved her. But there is joy in knowing she is now in the presence of her Savior and the loved ones who crossed the river before her.
The funeral was Saturday, August 18 at Woodfin Funeral Chapel, 1488 Lascassas Pike, in Murfreesboro.


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