Doris “Jill” Carson age 77 went to her Heavenly home on Saturday January 28, 2023.
Jill was born October 13, 1945 in Hartford, CT and was the daughter of Henry and Kathryn Mitchell.
Jill was preceded in death by her parents Henry and Kathryn. She was survived by her husband of 45 years, Ron Carson of the home and two children Kevin and wife Jacintha Carson (Alexandria, VA) and Alexis and husband Mark Perkins (Bristol, VA). Jill also leaves behind two precious granddaughters Zara and Maya Carson, sister Jackie Barrows and husband Anthony, special niece and nephew Tracey Stanley and Troy Johnson, mother-in-law Shirley Taylor, uncle Roy Carson and cousin April Matthews. Special friends include Jill and Ron’s first friends after moving to Pennington Gap in 1986, Dr. Art VanZee and Sue Ella Kobak.
Jill, hailing from Hartford Ct, started her professional career at Prudential Financial in Boston, Massachusetts. After meeting her Husband, Ron, and adopting their son, Kevin, Jill and her family moved to Southwest Virginia to be near Ron’s family in 1986. Soon after, Jill had a daughter, Alexis, and started a new job as a finance officer with the Lee County Head Start program and contracted with the Department of Health and Human Services to review Head Start programs around the country. Along with her new job, Jill along with her husband Ron, co-founded the Appalachian African American Cultural Center in Pennington Gap, VA the late 1980s. In her downtime, Jill became a founding member of Virginia Organizing Project’s original Organizing Committee in 1995.
After a decade at Head Start, Jill left the program to start a new career at the Virginia Organizing Project (VOP), based in Charlottesville, VA, as a community organizer. As a community organizer, Jill became involved in numerous issues including the reformation of the jury selection process in the county, the restoration of voting rights to nonviolent felons in Virginia, and the reopening of Lee County’s only hospital.
After retiring from VOP, Jill continued her obligation to public service throughout the rest of her life. In 2012 Jill was one of the founding members of the Pennington Gap Industrial Development Authority. She was then elected to her first term on the Pennington Gap Town Council in 2014 and was appointed Vice Mayor in 2019. On the state level, Jill was appointed to the Virginia Municipal League (VML) Executive Committee, followed by becoming Vice President of VLM and then President in 2022. In recognition of her commitment to public service, Jill along with her husband Ron was a recipient of the Presidents Volunteer Service Award under the Joe Biden administration. Jill was selected as the Grand Marshal of the Lee County Tobacco Festival in 2022 and was awarded the STRONGER THAN Woman of the Year by the 400 Year African American History Commission in 2023
While much of Jill’s public service work took her throughout the state of Virginia and beyond, she spent many years volunteering at Lee High School within the Guidance department assisting students with college selection and applications.
Jill attended Wells Chapel Church in Pennington Gap where she was a faithful member of the choir and loved her church family dearly.
Services will be held Saturday February 4, 2023 at the Lee Theater in Pennington Gap, VA. The family will receive friends from 12:00 to 2:00pm and the funeral will begin at 2:00pm. The family requests that in leu of flowers, donations be made to the Appalachian African American Cultural Center to help continue their great work in Jills honor ( website https://www.aaaculturalcenter.org/)
Province Funeral Homes are honored to be serving the family of Doris “Jill” Carson
Memorials and condolences can be sent to the family by visiting www.provincefuneralhome.som
We are located at 42098 East Morgan Ave. Pennington Gap, VA 24277