Jan 292016

On Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015, Carolyn Francis Pecotte suffered a severe frontal lobe stroke and was taken to Little Colorado Medical Center in Winslow. Less than a week later she was transferred to Granite Creek Heath and Rehabilitation Center in Prescott. After spending a week at Granite Creek with little improvement, her family decided to bring her home on Hospice. She passed away on Tuesday Jan. 19, 2016, at her home. At her request, Carolyn’s urn will be placed in her grandson’s plot at Desert View Cemetery in Winslow.
She was born in Menonomie Mich., on Feb. 19, 1946, to Francis Ruth Duffrin-Pecotte and Earl Henry Pecotte. She was the only girl and the first of four children.
While she was a child, her father served in the United States Navy and Carolyn lived in various states, including Michigan, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma and California. She attended Frayser High School, in Memphis, Tenn., where she also completed college courses during her senior year. Upon graduating high school in 1964, Carolyn joined the United States Army as a student detachment and began studying at the University of Memphis, seeking a degree in nursing.
In February 1966 she welcomed her first and only child, Carolyn Michelle Shemwelll, into the world; subsequently she requested an honorable discharge from the military.
Carolyn continued studying at the University of Memphis, and earned her bachelor’s degree in education with a double minor in history and English in 1969. She went on to earn a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Memphis in 1970. As a master’s degree student, Carolyn served as an intern for the Mid-South Teacher Corps in Memphis. She worked in various inner-city elementary schools teaching reading and language arts during the Civil Rights movement. Carolyn always spoke highly of her experience in Teacher Corps and it was this program that inspired her to make the biggest move of her life across the country.
In 1970 she was offered a job with the United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs. She was be stationed at Dilcon Boarding School in Dilcon. Carolyn spent the next 31 years at Dilcon teaching and mentoring students, and holding various positions, including guidance counselor, department head, assistant principal, instructional services supervisor and principal. After retiring from the federal government in 2001, Carolyn decided to pursue her lifelong dream of being an academic advisor for a community college. She moved to Winslow, and accepted an academic advising position at Northland Pioneer College.
In 2010, after nine years of advising and teaching part-time, she retired for the second time to her home in Winslow. During retirement Carolyn spent her free time reading and spending time with her family.
Carolyn loved and revered education; throughout her life she attended classes at the University of Memphis, University of Phoenix, Northern Arizona University, the University of Western New Mexico, Northland Pioneer College and Arkansas State University. She was also certified by the Arizona Department of Education to teach standard elementary, standard secondary 7-12, and standard special education, and to hold positions including principal, supervisor and guidance counselor.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Earl and Francis Pecotte; and her grandson, Jacob.
Survivors include her daughter, Carolyn Michelle Shemwell-Hicks (Vince); her grandchildren, Lydia Chanel Renfro, Shawn Michael Lee Hayes and Bohannon Hamilton Irving; and three brothers, Thomas Pecotte (Shelly) of Vacaville, Calif., Allen Pecotte (Beverly) of San Antonio, Texas, and Mike Pecotte of Waynesboro, Pa.
Greer’s Mortuary of Winslow was in charge of the arrangements.