Carol Costley Kauffman Wales

Jan. 13, 1931 -

Feb. 8, 2015

 From mom’s journal:

“I would not stay another day,

To love, to laugh, to work or play;

Tasks left undone would stay that way.

And if my parting has left a void,

Then fill it with a remembered joy.

(From “Remembered Joy,” an Irish prayer)

Carol Costley Kauffman Wales, 84, of Waxahachie, passed away quietly at her home on Sunday morning, Feb. 8, 2015. She was born Jan. 13, 1931 in Lafayette, Louisiana. She was a mother of six children, three sons, John Daniel Kauffman (deceased), Vernon Patrick Kauffman Jr. (deceased), Charles Nelson Kauffman (deceased), and three daughters, Susan Evans of Albuquerque, NM., Christine Jackson of Celina, Texas, and Caroline Taylor, also of Waxahachie. She also leaves behind her husband of 34 years, John Ray Wales, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as friends and extended family members that will all miss her loving presence in their lives.

Carol Wales was a deeply loved daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend; endearing herself quickly and easily to everyone whose lives she touched. A true southern Steel Magnolia if there ever was one, taking the loss of her sons over the years with grace and a quiet acceptance that would be admired by the most faithful among us.

Carol was a bookkeeper in her career years, making friends with everyone she worked with along the way. Her passions were numerous; from dancing, piano playing, enjoying great music, Cajun cooking, oil painting, crocheting, to reading, gardening, designing floor plans, to running a ceramic shop; there was nothing she couldn’t do. She joked of not having a green thumb but she left a trail of blooms everywhere she went. A recent saying of hers was that she “never met a seed that wasn’t worth sticking in the dirt.” Another of her favorite “gardenisms” were to tell us kids to “Bloom where you’re planted.” Simply meaning, make the best out of any situation you may find yourself in. She certainly lived what she preached.

And while she excelled at everything she did, her children would all say her greatest accomplishment would be the role of mother. Mom was a genuinely sweet woman, undeniably morally strong, always patient, and loved her entire family with unconditional love. Her favorite way to lead was by example and she had an endless supply of old sayings to make the moments memorable. The matriarch in the truest sense, with her self-proclaimed proudest achievement was having raised children she could be proud of.  

In a journal kept by her bedside I found another of her saved sayings, one in particular seemed fitting to sum up how she lived her life.

“As a well spent day brings happy sleep,

so a life well used brings happy death.”

 — Leonardo da Vinci

For those of us left behind, the pain of her loss is still sharp, though mom would agree it was indeed a happy death. And we all couldn’t ask for any more than that.

No formal funeral or memorial services will be held locally as Carol wasn’t a resident of Waxahachie for very long. Instead, the family has planned an ashes ceremony that will be held at a traditional family gathering place in Louisiana. Mom will be returned to the lake we grew up on, so that she may rest in peace with her sons. In her recent words, “When it is time for me to go I will say goodbye to my beautiful girls and say hello to my boys once again.”