Carolyn Mai Kennedy Stringer, 92, formerly of Winona, passed away January 11th at her residence at The Claiborne in Starkville. Born in Winona May 1, 1929 to Thomas Gaddis (Tom) Kennedy and Anna Mai Pickens Kennedy, she was the widow of James Dudley (Jimmy) Stringer and a long-time resident of Winona.
Due to the current Covid situation a graveside service will be held Friday, January 14th at 10:30 AM at Oakwood Cemetery in Winona with Rev Rusty Keen and Rev Chad Bowen officiating. Honorary pallbearers will be Mitch Stringer, Jimmy Stringer and Kyle Jordan. The wearing of masks is encouraged and the family will remain after the service to greet friends.
Carolyn started playing the piano at an early age and first shared her talent by playing for services at First Baptist Church at the age of 13. She was a 1947 graduate of Winona High School where she was elected Homecoming Queen, and a 1951 graduate of MSCW. Carolyn often joked that, “We never would have made it without my library science degree!”
Carolyn married the love of her life, Jimmy “Dud” Stringer on December 21, 1950. After his service in the USAF they returned to Winona where she taught school for one year at Kilmichael. It was during this time that she became a member of Moore Memorial UMC. She was a gifted organist and voluntarily served in that role at Moore Memorial for more than 50 years, also serving on the Worship Committee. On Pentecost Sunday 2017 the church surprised her by proclaiming “Carolyn Stringer Day” for her many years of service. Part of her gift to the church was playing for weddings and funerals. In recent years she played for many of her close friends’ funerals and, against her objections for two very special friends, followed their wishes by playing “The Tennessee Waltz” for one, and “When the Saints Go Marching In” the other.
For a quarter century she and Jimmy co-owned and operated a hardware store in downtown Winona until his death in 1987. In addition to her gift of music Carolyn was a talented duplicate bridge player, often driving to tournaments well into her 80s. She was involved in the restoration of and an original shareholder of Friends of Immanuel, a non-profit established to restore and maintain the beauty of the historic Immanuel Church in Winona, and was also proud to be a member of the DAR.
Carolyn is survived by her children, Ken (Hallye) Stringer of Madison and Pam (Jim) Corban of Starkville; Grandchildren Mitch (Kelly) Stringer of Madison, Jimmy (Frances) Stringer of Falls Church, VA, and Lura (Kyle) Jordan of Starkville; and great grandchildren, Elizabeth and Harmon Stringer of Madison and Price Stringer of Falls Church.
The family would like to thank her faithful sitters, Ethelene Shurden, Mary Tate, Jackie Childs and Tiffany Guess, as well as express appreciation to the staff of The Claiborne.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts in Carolyn’s name be made to Moore Memorial UMC, P.O. Box 467, Winona, MS 38967, or Friends of Immanuel, c/o Barbara Pittman, 147 Bethlehem Community Road, Winona, MS 38967.