Carolyn Jean Reynolds-West, who counted nursing skills and Bible scholarship among her many talents, passed away on December 23, 2013 in Palmdale. She was 71 years old.
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Carolyn was born to James and Elinora Reynolds on August 1, 1942. She graduated with honors from Central High School in 1960, and later entered the U.S. Air Force. Carolyn served as an Airman Second Class Meteorologist and earned a number of medals and citations before receiving her Honorable Discharge.
In 1964, Carolyn married James A. West and they became the parents of Kenneth Mitchell West. Relocating to California, she enrolled in the University of Southern California’s School of Nursing, becoming only the second African American to graduate from the program.
As a registered nurse, Carolyn’s credentials enabled her to serve as a Critical and Intensive Care Nurse for 35+ years in California, Colorado, Missouri, Kansas and Georgia. She completed post-RN courses at California State University.
Her sister, Elinora, recalled, “Based on extraordinary nursing knowledge and skills, Carolyn was deemed a ‘breath of fresh air’ to administrators and colleagues at the hospitals and organizations where she worked with a plethora of well-known patients as well as other phenomenal, yet ordinary people.” Also, the Spencer Reed Group named Carolyn ‘Nurse of the Year.’”
A member of the Church of Christ, Carolyn loved the Lord and possessed extensive Bible knowledge and wisdom. Carolyn worked and loved hard, and encouraged those in her circle to never let anything stop them from chasing their dream and that “they can do all things through Christ…” (Philippians 4:13).
“Always ready, willing and able to offer an encouraging word to the downtrodden, Carolyn ministered to many from all walks of life. She earned the title of a smart and caring Christian role model and one that family and friends could always rely on,” said Elinora.
She was preceded in death by her husband, James A. West; parents, James and Elinora Reynolds, Sr.; four brothers, James, Jr., Roy, Carl and Eric Reynolds; maternal grandparents, Harrison and Susie McWilliams; and paternal grandparents, Mitchell and Mattie Reynolds.
Carolyn leaves to cherish her memory, son, Kenneth (Monique); granddaughters, Jasmine and Jacqueline; brother, Edward A. Reynolds; sisters, Sylvia Eunice Reynolds-Irvin, Betty (James) Reynolds-Funderburke, Elinora (Lee) Reynolds-Brown; sisters-in-law, Deloris Reynolds, Searcy Reynolds, Brenda King, Juanita West and Marilyn Chamberlain; aunts, Savannah Parks, Shirley Williams and Joan Williams; nieces, Pamela Reynolds and Carolyn Reynolds-Mebane; cousins, Billy and Remel Rochester and other nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.