May 16, 1928 – March 5, 2022
Called from our midst, much to our sorrow, our dear mother, sister, mentor and friend, Carlene Wooden has answered the call of the master. What else would an upright woman do, when summoned by the grand master and celestial architect of the universe. It was he whom has written our entire story, before we were a mere thought in the mind of a man. Indeed, our Carlene was an upright woman. God called and she answered, She now rests with the King of Kings.
Carlene Bumbrey Wooden was born the only child to the late Robert H. and Carrie Bumbrey of Fredericksburg, Virginia. She accepted Christ as her personal Savior, at an early age. She embarked upon a life of service. Carlene received her primary education from the Fredericksburg Virginia Public School System. She graduated from Walker Grant High School, in 1945. Carlene continued her education at the then Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia graduating in 1949 with a Bachelors Degree in Home Economics, specializing in Fashion Design and Retail Arts. She would later earn her Master’s of Administration Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Carlene was passionate about education. It was a lifelong love that she would share whenever possible.
In the Spring of 1954, Carlene met the love of her life. She and the late Solon E. Wooden would marry on December 26, 1954. For the next fifty plus years, Carlene and Solon would build a wonderful life together, in Surry Virginia. Their union blessed them with a daughter, Denise, who cherishes their memory. Carlene was very active in the Civil Rights movement. She had the honor of knowing the late Chief Justice Thurgood Marshall, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy Wilkins and other leaders of the movement. She was in attendance at the March on Washington. She was Blessed to know Civil Rights icon Dorothy Height. She was honored to be considered a good friend to Mary McLeod Bethune. During the “Massive Resistance” campaign, Vivian Carter Mason, of Norfolk Virginia and Carlene were tasked with setting up training centers in Prince Edward County, Virginia for disenfranchised teachers and students. A total of ten training centers were opened throughout the county. It was hard work. Students, teachers and parents worked tirelessly to make it a reality. Carlene and Solon were founding organizers and life members of the Surry County Chapter of the NAACP.
Carlene was also a loyal member of the Order of Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliation. She was honored to serve as the Grand Worthy Matron, for the State of Virginia from 1990 until 1992. During her tenure, statewide membership exceeded 10,000.
Carlene was also a career woman. She served as an educator in the Spotsylvania County and Surry Public School Systems. Carlene also served as an Assistant Principal in Surry County for two terms. She also served as the coordinator for the Federal Title I, II and III programs. Title III was the Music and Arts program for the Surry County Elementary Schools. She was instrumental in securing the talents of Mr. George Fauntleroy and Ms. Addie Dobie in the Music and Arts fields for the county schools. Carlene served on the faculty of Norfolk State and Virginia State Universities. In 1993, Carlene retired from Virginia State University as a Counselor.
In her spare time, Carlene enjoyed travel and the arts. She planned, coordinated, and directed weddings locally and across the country. Her fellow Hampton classmates, “The 49ers”, would get together annually for retreats all around the country. Carlene was blessed to visit nearly every state in the union. She also traveled internationally, visiting Europe, Mexico and South America. Carlene would also crochet and make floral arrangements for family and friends.
Carlene’s most cherished possession was her personal relationship with God. Keeping her hand, heart and faith in God, our Father, knowing he will lead her all the way.
Predeceased by her beloved granddaughter, Monique Smith. Carlene leaves to celebrate her memory: one daughter, Denise W. Jackson of Prince George, VA; grandson, Rashad Smith; great grandsons, Nasir Banks, Kymani Blackwell and Tyshad Smith; devoted great nephew, David Harrison of Midlothian, VA; two devoted great-nieces, Megan Harrison of Durham, NC and Tonya Harrison, Petersburg, VA; devoted cousin, Betty Scranage of Prince George, VA; special cousin, William Brooks of Houston TX; special niece, Judith Ward of Stafford, VA; devoted friend, Bernice McDaniel; devoted caregivers, Kinika Jones, Maya Lyons, Sage Jones, Gail Johnson and Joyce Blanding; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Services were held 11:00 A.M., Saturday, March 12, 2022 at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, 4405 Prince George Drive, Prince George, VA, the Rev. F. Lamont Gooding, Pastor, eulogist. The interment followed at Blandford Cemetery.