Carolyn Elizabeth Hodges Balcom, 84, passed away Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Virginia Beach.
A remarkable woman, she was born April 16, 1935, in Covington to Mary Apperson Hodges and Paul Wister Hodges.
As her father died before her second birthday, she was raised by a single mother who worked full time to set an indelible impression upon Carolyn. Her grandmother, Rowena Peters Hodges; and aunt, Aline Hodges, are credited with raising her in her early years. Carolyn graduated from Clifton Forge High School, attended two years at Mary Washington College, and then graduated from John Hopkins University School of Nursing with a B.S. Degree in Nursing in 1958.
Her nursing interest was spurred by the encouragement from her mother; uncle, Raymond Hodges, and his wife, Sophia “Su” Hodges, who wanted her to be independent. Raymond and Su supported her as their own child. Su is credited in introducing her to her partner in crime, Roger C. Balcom; after six years of dating, they married in 1958.
Having been lifelong residents in the Northern, Virginia, area, Carolyn and Roger settled in Sterling, where Carolyn utilized her skills as an R.N. for what would become 40-plus years, primarily working for INOVA. Carolyn concurrently established herself as an avid quilter, a master baker of bread, a diabetes activist, an avid traveler and a lover of sunsets. As a woman of action, she was passionate in her faith, which was self-evident in her participation, volunteering and contributions to her family in the United Methodist Church. After working nights and raising a gaggle of children, she chose to volunteer as a parish nurse to simply demonstrate that kindness should not have set business hours. She and Roger relocated to Atlantic Shores in Virginia Beach, where she had many endearing friendships within the community.
Carolyn was a joyful soul, but never more so than when she spent time with family. Carolyn was preceded in death by Roger C. Balcom, and is survived by her children, Peggy Heimbach (Leon), Cathy Gargano (Dave), Linda Jinks, Laura Gadsby (Brian) and David Balcom (Jenn); and grandchildren, Kathy Jinks, Robert Jinks (Hannah), Kaitlyn Gadsby, Andrew Gadsby, Alexander Balcom, Julia Gadsby and Connor Balcom. The two newest additions to the family, Nathaniel and Rueben Jinks, were ambassadors who had only recently ushered Carolyn into the role of great-grandmother. Carolyn is also survived by her sister-in-law, Jean Balcom (David A. Balcom, deceased); nieces, Daean Menke (Jay), Jean Marlene (J.M.) Dixon (Scott), Kathreen Puryear (Samuel); great-nieces, Emily Ann Menke, Amanda Menke, Clare Menke, Sydney Saunders (Travis), Madison Puryear and Gracie Dixon; and great-nephew, E. Alexander Menke.
Two memorial services will be held. The first will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, March 13, at Francis Asbury UMC, 1871 North Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach, with a reception to follow. The second will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 21, at Arcola UMC, 24757 Evergreen Mills Road, Sterling, with a reception to follow at the home of David and Jenn Balcom.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one of the following: Atlantic Shores Employee Gift Fund, American Diabetes Association or Loudoun Interfaith Relief. Alternatively, or in concert with, you may find an opportunity to humbly bestow kindness upon others in the way that Carolyn lived her life.
Share online condolences with the family at Altmeyer Funeral Homes & Crematory.