Caulyne Everett Coble Bramlette transcended this earthly life at 4:15 a.m. on May 3, 2019 having enjoyed 104 years and 6 months of life, while holding the hand of her “baby Joy”. She was born in Athens, AL on November 3, 1914. Caulyne loved her family and life every day. On December 12, 1996 she wrote in a letter to her sister Ennis, after the passing of their beloved youngest brother, Haskin.
“Family ties are woven out of tenderness and caring. Out of standing by and sharing. …Our memories will comfort us and keep him ever near us. And I know for the rest of my lifetime I’ll dearly prize the family ties that keep me close to those I love.”
This is Caulyne’s legacy to each of us…keep close to those you love in life and in spirit.
Caulyne was the first child of six born to Ennis Carroll and Etta Wynn Coble. She was christened here at Trinity Congregational Church. She attended Trinity School from kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating with the Trinity High School Class of 1932 as their Valedictorian. She matriculated at Tennessee A & I College from 1932 through 1934. She was an outstanding academician and was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Psi Chapter in 1933. The love and intervention of her soror nieces resulted in her being officially recognized as a Diamond Soror for her over 75 years of pride and commitment to always being a lady “by culture and by merit.”
Each of the older four Coble children were less than 2 years apart and so their parents were only able to provide 2 years of college for each of them, as “the next Coble needed to go to college.” So Caulyne left Tennessee State College (TSC) prepared to teach in 1934, vowing to complete her degree as soon as possible. Her first teaching position in 1934-35 was in a one-room school in Veto, AL where she lived with one of the local families. Because Tennessee paid $10/month more than Alabama offered a Tennessee educated teacher, Caulyne began teaching in Giles County the following year. Attending summer sessions in 1935 and 1936 at TSC she earned another 27 units toward her degree. She taught from 1936-40 at Prospect Elementary School and from 1940-43 at Odd Fellows Hall School in Giles County. She returned to complete her degree, full time in 1943 and in 1945 she completed her BS in Education graduating with Magna Cum Laude status for her excellent academic work. From 1945 through September 1948 she joyfully taught at Trinity School in Athens. October 1947-48 found her back in Tennessee teaching at Pulaski Elementary. From 1948 through October, 1954 she taught at Bridgeforth High School, completing the 1954-55 school year at Pulaski Elementary. Caulyne always loved learning and teaching.
On April 11, 1937 Caulyne and Willis Herbert Bramlette were married and to their union a beloved son, Clinton Lamar was born on September 4, 1938. In December 1943 Willis joined the US Navy and was stationed on active duty in the South Pacific which gave Caulyne the opportunity to go to back to college full time to complete her degree. On October 20, 1952 Willis, Caulyne and Clinton lovingly welcomed Joycelyn Wynetta, “forever their Joy!” The shockingly traumatic death of Clinton Lamar on October 29, 1954 sent Caulyne’s life into a completely new direction.
As Caulyne and Joycelyn spent the summer of 1955 in Los Angeles with Willis’ sisters and their families unexpected doors opened for Caulyne. She had only taught in segregated schools in the South. When she was challenged to try to take the test for a Los Angeles City School teacher position, she quickly accepted the challenge. She took the test scoring so strongly that she was immediately invited to interview. In 2003 when Joycelyn was being hired in Los Angeles Unified School District, she surprisingly discovered that Caulyne had scored the highest on the written and oral assessments and was the top candidate for a teaching position to be offered to an out-of-state person. Luckily she had made a friend who knew Los Angeles and the quality of each school. Caulyne turned down several schools that were offered to her, as she would clearly explain, “I need a high quality, fully integrated school for Joycelyn, anything less is not worth it for us to leave our home.”
As a result of her friend’s advice, Caulyne and Joycelyn returned to Pulaski and she started her 5th grade class at Pulaski Elementary. Three weeks later LA City Schools offered her a 1st grade class at Hawaiian Elementary School and it met all her criteria for excellence. Willis placed Caulyne and Joycelyn on a plane to Los Angeles and the result was 25 years of teaching 1st grade in Los Angeles Unified School District at Hawaiian, from 1955-1964 transferring to Gardena Elementary, so she could be geographically closer to Joycelyn’s junior and senior high schools. She retired in 1980 from Gardena Elementary. She was fond of saying, “I brought that little girl out here all by myself, to a place where every opportunity was available to her.” Willis joined them full time in Los Angeles beginning in 1959 for the school year, then every summer their family returned to Pulaski and Athens which were the homes of their hearts to be surrounded by love from family and longtime friends.
Caulyne’s teaching career spanned 45 years of excellence. Her service and caring for each and every child she came into contact with is without question. Numerous former students kept in contact with her throughout the years. At the celebration of her 100th birthday, many of her former students were in attendance or sent gifts and messages of thanks for her positive influence on their lives and those of their children and for many even their grandchildren. She was quick to tell anyone how much she loved teaching and the children she served.
Caulyne remained a devoted Congregationalist her entire life. In Los Angeles she joined Western Knoll Congregational Church in 1960. Her church merged with Morningside Congregational Church, UCC in the early 1970s and she remained a member until May 3, 2019. She took great pride in her Congregational Church and AMA school roots. Caulyne found great joy and love in returning to Athens every other year to celebrate the Trinity High School Grand Reunions and attending Trinity for services on that following Sunday. Twice she was the Trinity Grand Reunion parade Grand Marshall and keynote speaker. However she got the biggest kick out of being crowned Ms. Trinity in 2006. She sat that crown on her living room mantel once she returned home and she would lovingly share her delight in it and her Trinity education with her guests.
Caulyne was a beautiful, classy lady who enjoyed sewing, calligraphy, playing duplicate bridge and closely following her stocks on the stock market. She was a great cook and hostess. She loved music, classical and the ‘old spirituals’, live theater, ballet, The Young and The Restless, reading and more recently politics. She watched MSNBC daily and she had numerous opinions and comments which she voiced frequently and loudly to anyone who would listen. She was an amazing mother and she loved “my baby Joy” with all her heart to her last breath and now beyond.
She was preceded into Heaven by her: loving husband Willis Herbert in 1970, beloved son Clinton Lamar in 1954, well-loved granddaughter Taara Jalise in 1977, all her siblings Emma Sue, Ennis Wynetta, Carroll Samuel, Haskin Frazier, Gwendolyn Louise and their parents, and a host of friends and former students. She leaves to celebrate her love: her daughter “always my Joy” Joycelyn Wynetta; Coble nieces and nephews- Roland, Veretta, Gregory, Roselyn, William, Susan, Michael and Carmen and their spouses Pat, Cynthia, Levi, Barbara, Donald and Michael; Bramlette nieces and nephew- Brenda, Lana, Wanda, Eddie Jean and Bill; a host of grand nieces and nephews- La Shaun, Briana, Alana, Tristian, Maya, Gregory E, Levi III, Ennis, Mickey, Alex, Christian, David, Marcus, Brandon, Cole and Maxwell; all her former students; Joy’s friends; her longtime caregiver Saturnina (Terry) Canchan; other caregivers- Brenda Martin, Lillian Ruffin, Kendra Young, Mary Anderson and Ron Young; special friends- Diana Garcia, Mack William David, Bobby Swinea, Christine Simmons Hicks, Marsha Diane Collier, Nell Birdsong, Carmen Le’mon, Elizabeth White, Caulyne Hayden, Linda Gannon, Esther Castruita, Dorie Jean Beaumont, Mary Irene Cozart, Delaine Enge, Jessie Bea Leggings, Carmen and Lamar Hudson and all who took the time to stay in touch with “the old lady” as she called herself.
A memorial service for Caulyne Coble Bramlette, will be held on Saturday June 1st at 11:00 a.m. at
Trinity Congregational Church in Athens, Alabama
In lieu of flowers or other donations, Memorial Contributions may be made to honor the legacy and memory of
Caulyne Coble Bramlette to the following organizations:
The Athens Limestone Community Association Class of 1932- ALCA, P.O. Box 1476 Athens, Alabama 35612
The Trinity Congregational Church- 722 Browns Ferry St. Athens, Alabama 35611
Memo: To honor the loving spirit of Caulyne Coble Bramlette.
As a very old woman I tell you…Those dear to us should never be denied the knowledge of how deeply they have enriched our lives. I still have my old hopes and dreams but some have faded. We cough to clear our throats and cry to clear our hearts. We must fill our hearts with love and kindness and then at the end, just move on. ~Caulyne Coble Bramlette
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