Cover photo for Carolyn R. Johnson, Heltman Carr's Obituary
Carolyn R. Johnson, Heltman Carr Profile Photo
1935 Carolyn R. (Johnson, Heltman) Carr 2023

Carolyn R. Johnson, Heltman Carr

March 26, 1935 — May 5, 2023

Rhinebeck, NY


Carolyn Ruth Carr, 88, of Rhinebeck, NY, passed away peacefully after a full life. She was born in Edinboro, PA, to Ruth LaVerne (Henderson) and Kenneth Liebold Johnson. Carolyn was a beloved child, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend.

Carolyn (also known as Lynn) grew up in Edinboro, PA, where much of her childhood was spent on a small farm.  She lost her right eye in a car accident as a teenager, but never let it slow her down in life.  She attended Oberlin College, where she studied Studio Art and met her first husband, Robert (Bob) Fairchild Heltman. Their early-married life included Air Force assignments in Texas and Louisiana.  They settled in Erie, PA, with a short stint in Palatine, IL.  Carolyn was a caring mother, who loved her children dearly. She ensured they had what they needed and that family holidays were special, while also engaging in community activities and enjoying time with family friends.  She loved animals.

Carolyn had a passion and talent for art.  She taught classes in copper tooling, candle making, and painting, and exhibited her art in several shows.  Carolyn also organized many art shows and festivals, including the Erie Summer Arts Festival, a weeklong event with over 200 artists.  She also painted signs for local businesses, worked at the I. Michael Brown art store, and was employed as a Conference Coordinator for Mercyhurst College in Erie.  She worked for the US Census Bureau when the family later moved to Redding, CT.

Carolyn moved back to Erie, PA, in 1987, where she worked in real estate sales and coordinated art exhibits for Peek’N Peak.  She also started a small business to market a self-adhering eye patch that she patented.  She married Michael Carr in 2003, and they retired to the Rhinebeck, NY, area.

Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Margaret (Johnson) Reinhart.  She is survived by her husband, Michael Carr, her former husband, Robert Heltman, and children Kenneth Fairchild Heltman, Kathryn Ann (Heltman) France, Kimberly Kay (Heltman) DeNardis, Karen Renee (Heltman) Ferina, and Kerri Lynn (Heltman) Hufford.  She also is survived by eleven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Carolyn had a smile that everyone remarked about.  She was a caring person who will be remembered fondly and missed deeply by all who knew and loved her.

Friends may call at Burnett & White Funeral Home in Red Hook, NY, on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 from 3-5:00 p.m.  Funeral Service will be held at 5 pm.

A graveside burial service will be held at Edinboro Cemetery in Edinboro, PA on Thursday, May 11, 2023 at noon. The Glunt Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., Edinboro is entrusted with local arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Erie Arts & Culture ( or to the Dutchess County SPCA (

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carolyn R. Johnson, Heltman Carr, please visit our flower store.


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