Carolyn Latham of Santa Rosa Beach died peacefully on September 26, 2018 with family by her side. While her family will miss her tremendously, they rejoice knowing that she was welcomed to her eternal home by her Heavenly Father, her husband of almost 66 years prior to his passing on July 30th and a whole host of family members and friends waiting for her to join them.
Carolyn was the first born of JC and Doris Ennis of Elmore County, AL. She attended Montevallo University and then Auburn University, where she met her beloved husband, Ed. They married in 1952 and set out on their life together building a family while Ed pursued his career in the USAF. Carolyn focused on children, family, and home until their youngest, Susan, was in school, at which time she began her career teaching in Fayetteville, NC and later in Okaloosa County (1972-1990) in northwest Florida. Her teaching career led her to obtain her Master’s degree in psychology (1976) from the University of West Florida in Pensacola. She retired from teaching/guidance counseling in 1990 after 17 years at Niceville HS in Niceville, Florida.
Carolyn was a consistent and steady influence in her family. She handled the day to day rigors of daily life, frequent moves, working, and even going to school to advance her education with calm dedication and determination. While Ed served in Vietnam, she wrote him a letter every day and drove to the post office each night to mail it. She showed her love of family every day with the little acts of love that meant so much to Ed and her children. She was strong and fiercely independent. Ed would say if he could choose anyone to be in a foxhole with him, it would be Carolyn. She obtained her Master’s Degree as an adult working woman with 3 children. She learned how to swim as an adult because she thought it was the responsible thing to do. She single-handedly kept the house, yard, and all kids’ activities afloat while Ed served in Vietnam and during countless tours of duty.
When Carolyn and Ed became full time residents of Walton County, they were “the youngsters” in their area at that time and quickly became involved in numerous South Walton community activities. They were active members of Santa Rosa Beach Community Church, where they both served as deacons during their years there. They loved the SRB community and their “Casa de Suenos” built in the late 70s. Carolyn enjoyed gardening and was a talented floral arranger. She and Ed even had a small floral, gift, and ice cream shop called the Sweetheart Shop on Highway 98 in Santa Rosa Beach.
Carolyn’s integrity and honesty has had a long lasting influence on their children. A favorite story demonstrating her character occurred back in the days of roadside pay phones that used nickels for payment. The family had stopped to make a phone call and when Carolyn dialed the number and put her nickel in the slot, the phone dumped nickels until it filled the hopper and overflowed, spilling nickels all over the floor. Carolyn spent a considerable amount of time feeding every single nickel back into the phone before leaving the phone booth.
Carolyn is loved and missed by daughter Lisa (John Boushy) of Santa Rosa Beach, son Brett (Karen) of Shalimar, and daughter Susan (Walter Johnson) of Jackson, MS; grandchildren Brandon, Jennifer, Kevin, Phillip (Amanda), Michael, and Lauren (Alex); Blake and Brice; and Calvin and Erin, and one great grandchild, Kennedy, and brother, William Ennis (Sara), her last surviving sibling of 6 children.
Arrangements are being handled by Davis-Watkins Funeral Home in Defuniak Springs with a Celebration of Life scheduled for November 10th, 2PM at the Historic Gulf Cemetery in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. For those wanting to express their sympathies, please visit the Davis-Watkins website at https://www.daviswatkins.com and/or you may make donations in Carolyn’s name to Beach to Bay Connection, Inc. (412 Hilltop Drive, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459) for the preservation of our pristine forests and beach parks or South Walton Turtle Watch (74 Birch Street, Freeport, FL 32439). Both organizations and their causes were near and dear to Carolyn’s heart.