Carol Ann Thedford Lane passed gracefully and peacefully away on March 3, 2014, at her Dallas, home surrounded by her loving family.
Carol was born in Tyler to Ruth and Martin Thedford on Jan. 29, 1946. She was the eldest of four daughters and lived all of her childhood years on the family's dairy farm in the Noonday community outside Tyler. Carol attended Tyler schools and graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1964.
Carol had a talent and love for teaching, helping and encouraging others, and empowering women as evidenced by her lifelong studies and achievements. After attaining a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Texas Tech University, she taught kindergarten for the Levelland, Tyler and Chapel Hill school districts. In 1980, she completed her Master's of Science in psychology from The University of Texas
at Tyler. She began her new career as a guidance counselor at Hubbard Middle school in Tyler. In 1985, Carol moved to Pensacola, Fla., where she worked as a middle school counselor and then as the director of Counseling Services for the Escambia County Independent School District. In 2002, Carol returned to her East Texas roots when she moved to Plano. She joined Practical Parent Education, an affiliate of Plano Independent School District. From 2002 to 2011, Carol served as the national program coordinator for Practical Parent Education. She continued her love for teaching and helping others by serving as the lead trainer, instructor and developer of curriculum. Carol had the opportunity to travel the country and share her vast knowledge through training sessions and lectures for counselors and educators all across the United States.
In 2003, Carol met the love of her life, Winn Middleton. In 2008, they moved to Dallas with his children, Scarlett and Rhett, whom she raised and loved as her own. In 2011, Carol retired so she could enjoy her family, friends and especially her nine grandchildren and 13 great-nieces and great-nephews.
Carol is survived by her life partner, Winn Middleton, of Dallas, and his children, Scarlett, Rhett, Jewel and Lauren; her four daughters, Brandi Bragg, of Dallas, Tiffany (and Kevin) McCormack, of Dallas, Ashley Johnson, of San Diego, Calif., and Dusti (and Boogie) Lianez, of Quantico, Va.; her three sisters, Sue (and Tom) Cooper, of Whitehouse, Jessie (and David) Enright, of Whitehouse, and Regina (and Monroe) Kirby, of Tyler; and her grandchildren, Avery and Garrett Bragg, Katie and Copeland McCormack, Liam and Conor Johnson and Kylie, Noah and Morgan Lianez.
A memorial service celebrating Carol's life will be held on Saturday, March 15, 2014, at 1 p.m. at Saint Andrew United Methodist Church, 5801 W. Plano Parkway, in Plano. In the spirit of Carol's giving nature, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, you consider a donation to Heifer International.
It was Carol's lifelong mission to help others become the best person they could be. In the spirit of this: Please mend a quarrel. Search out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion, and replace it with trust. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Gift a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in a word or deed. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgive a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand. Flout envy. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Appreciate, be kind, be gentle. Laugh a little more. Deserve confidence. Take up arms against malice. Decry complacency. Express your gratitude. Worship your God. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love.