Carolyn (McCraw) Carter, of Newton and Sarasota Fla., died Sept. 15 after a long illness at the Newton home of her daughter, son in law and grandson where she had resided for the last eight years. She was 80.

Carolyn was devoted to her family. She was also a registered nurse, medical educator and committed member of many organizations.

She was born Nov. 25, 1932, in Monessen, Pa. to Harry and Ruby McCraw, who preceded her in death. She graduated from Monessen High School in 1950, sang in the choir at Union Baptist Church and was very active in the Baptist Young People’s Union and the local chapter of the NAACP, of which her father was president.

In 1953 she received a degree in registered nursing from the St. Francis Hospital in Pittsburgh and was among the first African Americans to serve as a head nurse there. She went on to the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a Bachelor of Science in nursing, a master’s in psychiatric nursing and a PhD in higher education administration. She served as a nursing educator on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing.


Her interest shifted to medical education in 1981 when she became the second assistant dean for student affairs and special student projects within the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine. There, she worked tirelessly to increase the readiness of minority high school students for careers in medicine, to increase the acceptance of minority college students into medical school, and then to insure their successful matriculation. She retired from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Alphonse H. Carter, currently of Sarasota, Fla. and Martha’s Vineyard. She also leaves to cherish her memory her only child, Cynthia Carter Cole; her son in law, Norris V. Cole; her grandchild, Zachary Alphonse; nieces Shelley Ramsey and Sharon Bailey; a nephew, Dale Simpson; cousins Maurice Rice, Arnold Rice, Alfred Little, and B. Clifford Draper Jr. (Johnny); a godson, Dallas A. Lea 2nd; her best friend, Mitzi Cooper, and many other extended family members and friends. She was preceded in death by her dear sisters, Marilyn Simpson and Harietta Bailey.

She was a life member of The Girl Friends, Incorporated and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

The memorial service will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Girl Friends Fund Inc. at