Caroline Skipper Hollins was born in Longview, TX on March 11, 1935 to Dozier Tripp Skipper and Mary Virginia Kelly Skipper. She died on January 4, 2023 in Baton Rouge, LA. She graduated from Longview High School and from Hollins College in Roanoke, VA. Caroline was thrilled to be in the inaugural class of Hollins College students to study abroad in Paris where she lived for a year with a French family and attended classes at The Sorbonne. After returning to Roanoke, she was introduced to her future husband, Harry Hollins, who was stationed in the Army there after graduating from Washington & Lee University. Caroline graduated with a bachelor’s in religion and moved to Lake Charles upon her marriage to Harry.
My mother was passionate about volunteering, education, and the environment; she believed in leaving things better than she found them. Her numerous volunteer roles ranged from Cub Scout and Camp Fire leader to President of the Junior League of Lake Charles. She was most proud of helping research and start Family & Youth Counseling Agency while in the Junior League; she later also served on the Board of Family & Youth.
In her church community, Caroline had been a Sunday School teacher, Women of the Church local and diocesan officer, Vestry member and long-standing choir member of 50 years. My mother was proud that she was able to cast one of the deciding votes at the General Convention which allowed women to become priests in the Episcopal Church.
Caroline briefly taught French at EDS when she was first married. She returned to work in 1975 as the Executive Director of Camp Fire Council of Sowela. It was here that she became good friends with Judy Mayo who was serving as Wi-Ta-Wentin’s Camp Director. Upon learning of her daughter’s interest in photography, Caroline encouraged her to gather a group of friends to form a Horizon Club through Camp Fire. This high school group was led by Judy Mayo, an avid photographer. It was one of the first Camp Fire clubs in the nation to include boys as well as girls.
In 1985, Caroline attended McNeese State University and became certified to teach. She taught kindergarten through third grades and Math Lab. She returned to McNeese in 1992 to obtain a Master’s in Psychology with a specialization in School Psychology. She worked for CPSB on the Pupil Appraisal team as a School Psychologist for about 10 years.
After raising her children, Caroline became an active member of the Southwest LA Rose Society, having made a close friend in Rosarian Judy Mayo. She was “adopted” by the whole Mayo clan, and she traveled extensively with Judy and her parents, Claudius and Madge Mayo, to rose functions all over the world. Caroline hosted the annual Rose Club Garage Sale at her house for many years, honing the production and management of that sale to an art and a science.
Caroline loved performing from a young age; she particularly enjoyed dancing and singing. After retiring, she had the free time to start trouping with the Liberty Belles, a Junior League group that sings in nursing homes. Throughout her life, Mom would gleefully break into dance at every opportunity, until Parkinson’s limited her ability. But even as Parkinson’s slowed her gait and took a toll on her body, it never broke her spirit or kept her from smiling to the end.
The family would especially like to thank LeeAnna Stevens and her whole crew of caregivers, most notably Judy, Mona, Kelsey, Carolane, Teresa and Trina. A special thank you also goes to Martha Steinmetz as friend and caregiver. Ben Williams, M.D. and Anna Landry, N.P. provided years of loving medical care.
Caroline is survived by her daughter, Virginia Hollins Webb and her husband, Patrick Webb; her daughter-in-law, Gwyn LeDuke Hollins; and her two grandsons, Arthur Alexander Hollins and Harper McCullough Hollins. She is preceded in death by her parents; her son, Kelly McCullough Hollins, and her brother LeGrande Kelly Skipper and his wife Dawn Skipper.
Memorial donations may be made to the Church of the Good Shepherd Choir Fund or Church of the Good Shepherd Tend My Lambs Mission at 715 Kirkman St., Lake Charles LA 70601.
Visitation will be in Hardtner Hall at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd on Saturday, January 14, 2023 from noon to 2:00 p.m. Her Memorial service will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of the church. The Reverend Doctor Mitzi George will officiate. A reception will follow the service.