Ilene Oakley Carmack
  • 87 years old
  • Date of birth: Nov 28, 1926
  • Date of passing: Oct 22, 2014
Let the memory of Ilene be with us forever

Ilene Oakley Carmack, 87 and her daughter, Cynthia Ann Carmack perished Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at their home at 2579 Hwy 15 North in Creedmoor when a fire started and flames engulfed their home.

Both were longtime residents of Granville County and members of Olive Grove Baptist Church in Creedmoor. Ilene was the daughter of Lynwood G. Oakley and Eula Frances Oakley.

Ilene retired from 39 years of employment with Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company in Durham, NC in 1985. Gifted with an extraordinary green thumb and a love for gardening, she kept a large vegetable garden on her property for many years. Known for her generosity, strength of spirit, love for animals and kindness, she will be sorely missed.

Cynthia was her sweet, loving daughter, born with Downs Syndrome. Cynthia loved to laugh and her laughter was contagious.

The two were inseparable in life and now in eternity.

Ilene was a loving Mother who gave sacrificially to her children to the end and Cynthia was a cherished sister.

Surviving are a daughter, Nancy Holth Adrian, of St. Charles, MO and a son, Harvey Lee Carmack of Creedmoor.

Ilene was preceded in death by her son Thomas “Tommy” Carmack in 1994 and her former husband, Harvey Carmack as well as a sister, Mary Frances Langdon.

Visitation will be 2:00 pm at Eakes Funeral Home on Saturday, November 1st followed by a memorial service at 3:00 pm conducted by Jonathan Barbee, Pastor of Olive Grove Baptist Church.

The family would like to thank the employees of Revlon, members of Olive Grove Baptist Church and the community at large for the outpouring of love and support during the aftermath of this tragedy.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Ashley Holth on 21st March 2016

"My memories of Gramma

1. Spending part of summer break with her, Uncle Buddy, and Aunt Cynthia I'm really glad I got to do that.
2. She would always let me get a YooHoo at the gas station :)
3. Family vacations- I'll cherish those memories forever.
4. That time she was telling me we were gonna pull over and she was gonna get a switch! Lol thank you Gramma for helping make me the better person I am today. :)
5. The conversation before bed at Cabin 13 LOL that was great!! Classic family skwabbles... I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My memories of Aunt Cynthia

1. Watching her eat. It's so cute that she always wanted to finish the plate even though she was full. You could never say she was wasteful. :)
2. When she would talk about Jimmy James, I think we will always wonder who that was lol
3. Playing at the beach with her, it was like having a sister (you know I still wish I had siblings).
4. Going to Goodwill and watching her pick out a new "pocket book" as her and Gramma called them. I'm convinced that's where I get my passion for handbags. Thank you Aunt Cynthia! XO
5.  Her laugh was definitely contagious, I so wish I had recorded it.

I know you both are watching over us and I want you to know I miss you both very much and love you dearly."

This tribute was added by jamie morris on 28th November 2014

"Buddy/Nancy thinking about you both as you celebrate Thanksgiving and your mom's birthday without her being physically here, remember that she is still with you both in your heart, and so many memories that you can cherish forever."

This tribute was added by Diana Weiss on 1st November 2014

"Dear Nancy,  Buddy and Ashley,

It is with great heart felt sympathy that I write to you all today. It is at this very moment that I have just realized something....

Your mother and I shared the same birthday while My mom and Cynthia shared the same birthday. I am not sure what this means but perhaps not just a coincidence.

I had wanted to be there to offer friendship, love and compassion. I hope knowing that I love you all and feel in some ways you are my family too will at least bring you all a little bit of comfort. Please know you are loved.

They say Life is a journey... and if  this is the case, your mother and Cynthia have made the most beautiful journey ever together  into eternity.

But there were many journey's. Happy family journey's to St. Louis, to the beach, to Texas... and memories.... happy memories that I hope you all will let embrace you when the going gets hard and the sadness feels overwhelming. Always remember the fun times, the laughter and know that "CABIN 13" is now Mansion 13 and there will be many rooms for everyone someday.

I remember the first time I met your mother. She was warm, friendly and smiling. She had a strong spirit and was a little quiet until she warmed up to me. She greeted me with her sunny southern drawl that only people who'd lived in North Carolina or Virginia would understand. She was a gracious soul and a loving mom who cradled the strength of a warrior. Although we had talked on the phone many times, meeting her reminded me of my grandmother in many ways... She had gone though alot, but had not allowed pain or bitterness to rob her of all that's precious. She cared about others, Worried about Buddy, Tommy, Cynthia and Nancy... she said that's what moms do and told me once when I was worred about my own son that "you never stop worrying about your kids."

When Nancy and I were we were younger,(room mates) every phone call ended with "Ya'll be good," as we got older it was "Ya'll take care." and later, she even said love ya'll to me a few times. We agreed on a lot of things, (Nancy you can ask me about these later) She wasn't a big hugger I don't think, but  I hugged her anyway and she seemed okay with it.

We spent at least one or two Easters together and a Christmas and a thanksgiving. I loved having everyone here.  Another time, I think it was one of the Easter Sunday's  when you all came over for brunch, she wanted to help. I just wanted her to relax and enjoy not having to work. But she couldn't sits still. After dinner, We were all sitting down to have dessert, and coffee talking and telling stories, but she had sneaked off into the kitchen do the dishes.

I believe that was the same visit that Mikayla and Matilynn met Cynthia for the first time. They went in the bedroom to play "Barbie" and might have taught Cynthia to play beauty shop with the "Barbies." Ashley came in to tell us that they were doing something but we told her to just enjoy playing. and we'd be in to check on them in a few minutes. When I went in to check on them, all four of them had scissors and barbies.  Several Barbie dolls donned new styles that day....Spiked hair... Spiked hair was not in fashion that year.  Matilynn started to cry that her doll was now ugly but Cynthia started laughing and said  a mouth full of words that none of us understood until the last word which was "Funny!"
and we all laughed.

When we travelled to North Carolina for our book signing event, your mother invited us over for dinner. We kept thinking Buddy would be there soon so we stretched the visit out probably longer than we should have. I remember how excited she seemed to have company for dinner. She seemed enjoy our visit and I was glad to be there. She made chicken nuggets because that's what she thought the girls would like. She talked about the salsa she had made and canned herself from the tomatoes she had grown. She opened up a jar for us to use as a dipping sauce and it was quite delicious. She even gave me a jar to bring hone with me which I stuffed into my shoe and packed in my checked baggage. She insisted I try beets...I never liked beets, they tasted like dirt to me, but I tried one and then she told me she always thought they taste like dirt until she made these. I was relieved to know that.

Next she brought out greens beans... not just ordinary green beans, but I think they were the old fashioned ones canned in jars after hours of painstaking work of breaking the beans. I don't remember what all she brought out that day, but I know she kept thinking of other things to bring out even after we were full. Once she knew I loved  the salsa, she kept bring more out for us to try with it.  

And Cynthia loved the company too it seemed. She would say "good" with every bite and when the watermelon came out for dessert, she bit the rind, put the watermelon on her head and had Mikayla and Matilynn laughing so hard. She took their rinds and told them they were good. I don't think I have ever heard so much giggling. her laughter was contagious.... whatever she thought was funny, might not have been to funny to others, but her laughter was contagious to everyone and spread quickly.

When we left her house that day, she made sure we had money to get back on and that we wouldn't need anything. She told us to call and let her know when we got to the airport and again when we got home. She was one of our biggest Lemonade Fans....

Ilene and Cynthia will always be a part of our happy memories and they will be missed by many. I love you guys and please know that I am praying for you all and want to be there for you.


This tribute was added by jamie morris on 28th October 2014

"Buddy and Nancy, You both are in my thoughts and prayers."

This tribute was added by Phipps Family on 27th October 2014

"To the family: Ms. Carmack was such a kind person and will truly be missed. May you find comfort in the Bible's promise of a time when our loved ones will no longer die. Also pain and sorrow will be gone. (Isaiah 25:8, and Revelation 21:3,4).  (Her neighbors)"

This tribute was added by Michelle Smith on 27th October 2014

"Nancy, from all of your co-workers in the GBSC, we wish to express our sincerest condolences to both you and your family.  We are so sorry for both of your losses and have you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.  If we can be of any assistance to you during your time of grief, please reach out to us."

This tribute was added by Juanita Smith on 25th October 2014

"Buddy, I am your cousin, please call me 336-226-1263. I would love to talk to you. It's been a while.   Nita Carmack Smith"

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This memorial is administered by:

Lynn Cox


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