Cover photo for Carol Ann Long's Obituary
Carol Ann Long Profile Photo
1958 Carol 2022

Carol Ann Long

July 8, 1958 — February 14, 2022

There are four people in this world who will only ever hear my mother’s voice over James Taylor’s when “Sweet Baby James” is played; my brother, sisters and I were rocked to sleep every night of our young lives hearing it.  Long past the time when a baby should qualify for rocking, when our freshly bathed chunky toddler legs were dangling down on top of hers, she rocked us still; her soul knew that the time was precious, and she never wanted to give that up.  

She was homemade corn husk dolls and Little House in the Big Woods; she was Jude Deveraux and Danielle Steele and a pack of Virginia Slims.  She was planting zinnias, dahlias, and swamp irises and nurturing their growth like an amateur botanist; she was picking peaches and plums from trees she planted when the sap was way down in remembrance of those who had passed away; she was jellymaking and canning tomatoes, crotcheting and cross-stitch.  She was buying everything on sale, including the fabric to make our clothes when we were little, during those times that there was no money for storebought.  She was cornbread in milk for dessert, and a master at figuring out how to stretch nearly any meal with rice during those lean years that most of us don’t even remember.  She was Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors on a turntable; Lindsey Buckingham’s chorus to “Secondhand News” in a brown Toyota Corolla with vinyl seats so hot from the Alabama sun that you thought you were getting second-degree burns.  She was every reminder to use more blush and don’t you dare walk out of this house without lipstick (but not the ‘greasy porkchop’ kind), and the enforcer that toenails were never painted, only polished.  She was Goodnight Moon and paper dollmaking, logic puzzles and teaching a toddler to read; she was chocolate oatmeal drop cookies and Martha Washingtons at Christmastime.    

On a good day, she barely crested 5’2”, but in her prime, Lord have mercy on you if you made her mad, because you were dealing with a titan. If you learned the art of the silver tongue from her, you might just spend the rest of your life working to tone that down.

She embodied many miracles, each predicated upon grave trauma that would have been too much for any one person to endure. Raised in poverty by a single mother, as a young teenager, our mother suffered the loss of her own mother to a violent tragic accident.  Only a handful of years later, she was made a widow just ten days before Christmas. Trauma and sadness continued in other forms during the later years of her life, and she fought hard to clutch onto a piece of happiness that brought her two more beloved children.  In the final months of her life, which were spent living with one of her daughters, she remarked to us that she “finally felt like she had a place.”  For being able to help her find that gift of purpose, we feel completely blessed by and are forever grateful to God.

A native of Chickasaw, and resident of Spanish Fort, Carol was predeceased by her first husband, Jessie Randall Sheppard, and both of her parents, James Edwin Searcy, Sr., and Virginia Merle Carter Searcy. She leaves behind to treasure her memory her four children: Jessica Jada Sheppard (Trey) Pierce, Dr. Erin Celeste Sheppard (Gary) Gaden, Rachel Lee Long (fiancée of Gino DiCola), and Matthew Alan Long, her grandchildren, Lee Wright Pierce IV, Virginia Caroline Pierce, and Elias Sheppard Gaden, her sister, Jo Ellen Colvin, and her brother, James Edwin (Linda) Searcy, Jr. She was married for 31 years to Jeffery Alan Long. A private burial was held at Jubilee Gardens in Daphne. 

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