Carolyn McCarty is another one of the many fine people in Hancock County who donates time to volunteering in the community.
Over the years, she has been a Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout Leader, Assistant Boy Scout Master, and helped with 4-H, to name just a few. Her daughter, Emily, achieved the Bronze Award in Girl Scouts and her three sons, Zachary, Ben and Christopher, all became Eagle Scouts.
McCarty grew up in Owensboro, the oldest of five siblings; two brothers and two sisters. Her mother is Frances Drury and her father, Arch, owned a clothing store, Drury’s Men’s Store.
She loved her neighborhood growing up. There were sidewalks, families, and lots of friends to play with. “It was a wonderful way to grow up. We walked to school & church. Everything was close,” Carolyn said. She and John McCarty were friends and in the same grade at Owensboro High School.
John’s grandparents, the late Harold & Dorothy Hagman, lived on the family farm near Jeffreys Cliffs, and Carolyn and he would drive to Hancock County to see them often.
Carolyn & John both graduated from high school in 1971, were still just good friends at that time, and both went to college at University of Kentucky. She was struggling with math and needed a tutor. John made time to tutor her and shortly after, they went on their first date. They were married in 1975.
Carolyn earned her degree in Elementary Education and John earned his in Vocational Agricultural Education. He got a job teaching High School in Marion County and she substituted for awhile and then taught Kindergarten at Holy Cross School.
John felt a calling to go to law school and while studying at University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, Carolyn taught 3rd Grade at Holy Family School in Louisville. When John graduated, he got a job with a firm in Owensboro and Carolyn got a job teaching 1st grade at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School.
Two years later, there was a greater need for attorneys in Hancock County and John started his own practice. “It was an easy transition,” she said. They had their first two sons, Zachary and Ben, and they were moving into a house and neighborhood that they had both dreamed about for years.
John is currently the District Court Judge serving Hancock, Ohio, Butler and Edmonson Counties. Over the years, Carolyn has taught at Immaculate Conception & St. Columba and is now teaching 2nd Graders on Sunday evenings at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Owensboro.
Carolyn and John have taken the kids on many bicycling trips. There are organized bike trip events with many other people, including some of John’s siblings, that they’ve taken over the years. One is an Old Kentucky Home Tour, from Louisville to Bardstown.
They rode their bikes for 42 miles on Saturday and 50 miles on Sunday, going back home. Zachary and Ben were only around 8 and 11-years-old, Carolyn said; the first time they took that trip together.
On their trip from Georgetown to Lexington and back, Emily was only 18-months-old and Christopher was 4. John pulled them in a 2-child bicycle trailer, behind his bicycle. “It is great way to get exercise and be together,” she said.
In 2014, Carolyn went to the Hancock County Career Center and asked how to apply for jobs through AmeriCorps. She interviewed for 3 different positions and was hired by Hospice of Western Kentucky, in Owensboro.
“It has been an amazing, wonderful experience,” she said. There are normally 2 years of service. However, after her 2 years, her boss gave her a third year.
She applied and got on at the Hancock County Public Library in Hawesville, doing tasks that help the Librarians. If you are interested in volunteering, she encourages you to find out more about AmeriCorps, by visiting the website or through the career center.
McCarty is currently still volunteering for Hospice. “It’s such a pleasure to work with the staff. Everyone has such a heart for what they do,” she said.
She delivers flowers donated by Welborn Florist and handmade quilts donated by the Hilldale Methodist Church Quilters, to patients in Hawesville and Lewisport.
Every single patient has a quilt. The fresh flowers are donated every Tuesday and divided into vases, to brighten their day. Carolyn says that Hospice patients live 28 days longer with hospice care, and it helps the family so much.
They also offer grief counseling and supply calls during the week. There is care available for patients in the hospital or at home, as well as an in-patient facility and respite care, 5 days a month. “Hospice of Western Kentucky is fantastic,” she said. They serve 4 counties: Hancock, Daviess, Hopkins and Muhlenberg, and no one is ever turned away.
“There are all kinds of volunteer opportunities with Hospice.” The Homemaker’s Group, through the U.K. Extension Office, is another great way that Carolyn serves the community. Call the Hancock County Extension Office if you’re interested.
Some of the things they do are: outreach community service projects, making bags for Christmas to give out at Heartland Villa, and taking trips to learn more about the culture of KY.
On the first day of 2021, Carolyn and a group of women from around the area, started a Women’s Book Club. “We have bonded as a group. They lift me up,” she said. They’ve been reading some amazing books and then discussing them on Zoom. Three of her favorites have been: Habits For Holiness by Mark-Mary Ames, I Am by Chris Stefanick and Walking With Purpose by Lisa Brenninkmeyer.
Carolyn & Judge John McCarty are blessed with four very successful adult children: Zachary, Ben, Christopher and Emily, as well as six grandchildren: Max, Stuart, Camden, Liam, Hadley and Tinsley.
By Jennifer Wimmer