Carolyn A. (Lawson) Mills, 75 of Edgemont, passed away Sunday morning, October 28, 2018 at Carolyn’s House (Hospice of Central Pennsylvania) in Harrisburg.
Carolyn, a widow to Lawrence Mills, Sr., and the daughter of James W. and Catherine E. (Slaughter) Lawson, was born on December 6, 1942, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Richard H., Ronald M. and Baby Lawson; and two sisters, Janet and Judy Lawson. She graduated from the former John Harris High School in 1960 and furthered her education at the former Thompson Institute in Harrisburg.
Carolyn initiated her employment experience by doing some babysitting, graduating to part-time employment at Bowman’s Department Store, and starting full-time employment at Pomeroy’s Department Store. She later secured employment with the federal government at the New Cumberland Army Depot and Fort Indiantown Gap.
She began her employment with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania via assistance for the Honorable George Gekas, current member of the United States House of Representatives. She eventually retired as a career civil servant with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania having worked in various capacities, including administrative services. During her career with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, she was a very proud and active AFSCME Union member.
Carolyn was also very active in the church and community for more than 50 years donating her time and financial resources for the purpose of encouraging and uplifting those in need. Her caring and generosity were exhibited within institutions such as the, Harrisburg Branch of the NAACP, Edgemont Senior Center First Spirit-Filled Missionary Baptist Church and Keystone Juneteenth Observance Foundation (which she founded). She has received numerous national, state, and local awards and recognition, most notably from the National Juneteenth Foundation and the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
She worked diligently with Pennsylvania State Representative Susan Helm to secure a state holiday status for Juneteenth. Although the legislation passed in the House of Representatives, unfortunately it was not passed by the Senate. Plans are underway to honor Carolyn’s legacy by continuing efforts leading to the establishment of Juneteenth as a state holiday in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
She was devoted to her family and leaves behind two children, Renita Lawson and Lawrence Mills, Jr., of Harrisburg, PA. Her grandchildren Elita Lawson (Charles Flood) of Frederick, MD, Charles Rankin II of Harrisburg, PA, Justin Mills, Ian Mills, and Bryce Mills of Harrisburg, PA. Her great grandchildren Le’Ante Baskerville, Kyreese Flood, Russell Flood, Angel Ritter, Cha’zir Flood, Zaroc Flood of Frederick, MD; and Joselyn Cover of Harrisburg, PA.
She will also be honored in the memories of her brothers James W. Lawson, Jr. (Carmen), of Marietta, GA; Stanley R. Lawson, of Harrisburg, PA; and Gary L. Lawson (Lois), of Des Moines, IA along with a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.