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Carol Moffett Memorial: a Woman of Principle and Courage

Carol Moffett and Jitterbug, 2019

With a heavy heart, we announce that Carol Ann Moffett passed away on September 2, 2021, at the age of 84. Carol was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer almost four and a half years ago, and with the help of her wonderful team at MD Anderson Cancer Center, she enjoyed a high quality of life for most of that time. Her irrepressible spirit was an inspiration to everyone who knew her, and she maintained her strength and courage until the end.

Carol was born in 1937 in Port Arthur, Texas. She met her husband, Milton Moffett, Jr., at the University of Texas at Austin, and they were married in January of 1960. After spending sixteen years at home raising her three children, she earned an M.Ed. in School Administration at the University of Houston – Clear Lake and began a 35-year career in education as a teacher, a principal, and as one of the first women superintendent of schools in Texas—first at Houston’s Broadway Baptist School, and later at Ingram ISD, Mabank ISD, Woodville ISD, and Flour Bluff ISD. She inspired and mentored many educators with her leadership and compassion, and they have continued her legacy across Texas. As one of Carol’s friends and former colleagues wrote to her: “A few times in our lives, we meet someone who changes our personal and leadership character, elevates our self-confidence, and inspires us to be better than we would have ever been had we not met them. You have been that person…you were so inspirational to me that your example of being an inspiration to others carried over to those that I led.”

Carol’s deep commitment to education continued upon her retirement. She served as an interim superintendent at Flour Bluff ISD and founded Texas School Solutions, an educational consulting firm that focused on board training and superintendent searches. Over the past ten years, she supported Texas Serenity Academy, and she continued to serve the school until her death.

Carol strove to live a life in honor of Benjamin Franklin. In her words: “My Hero, Ben Franklin, was one of the most accomplished Americans ever; Ben was focused on self-improvement and enjoying a rich and full life. His guidelines for living, written 300 years ago, still have application for this complicated and confusing world in which we live.” She described him as “a lover of entertaining and conversation, full of grit and determination, and a man of principle and courage.”

Carol lived Ben’s values throughout her life. As an educator, friend, wife, mother, and grandmother, she inspired the people around her and spread her enthusiasm for service and community. For many years, she volunteered at the Humble Area Assistance Ministries (HAAM), an organization that was dear to her heart. She was also a docent at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, where she shared her love of knowledge and education with the Houston community. And long before she would become a patient at MD Anderson herself, she volunteered there for ten years as a patient advocate; she said many times that MD Anderson is truly a place of hope and inspiration.

When she received her diagnosis, Carol moved forward with determined positivity and zest for life, connecting with her many wonderful friends, spending joyful time with her family, and modeling the grit and courage that Ben valued. She created what she called a “chemo playlist” to keep herself in high spirits (which included her favorite song, “Welcome to Wherever You Are,” by Jon Bon Jovi) and found joy even in her trips to what she called “my wonderful MD Anderson” for treatment. She often said that her years after diagnosis were some of the best of her life. “What a lucky person I am,” she said. “What a blessing it is.”

Carol was preceded in death by her mother, Janette Jernigan, and her father, Elmer Lee Jernigan. She is survived by her husband, Milton Franklin Moffett, Jr; children Suzan Lee Moffett, Milton Franklin Moffett III, and Albert Franklin Moffett; and granddaughter Saira Ann Moffett Weinzimmer. Carol was incredibly grateful to and in awe of her team at the wonderful MD Anderson: Dr. Robert Wolff, physician assistant Kelli, and her nurse, Carla. As she said many times, it is not easy to specialize in pancreatic cancer, where nearly all patients die; Dr. Wolff, Kelli, and Carla supported her and her family with the utmost care and dedication.

A celebration of Carol’s life will be held at some point in the future when her many friends, former colleagues, and former students can safely gather to honor her. More information can be found on her blog, livingben.com, where she shared her musings on life and her cancer journey. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Humble Area Assistance Ministries (HAAM) in her memory: haamministries.org.

Though our hearts are broken, Carol’s friends and family take comfort in knowing how many lives she touched and the impact she made in her rich and full life. As Carol liked to say:

“Onward!”

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2 Comments on "Carol Moffett Memorial: a Woman of Principle and Courage"

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  1. Betty Fleming says:

    It was a privilege and pleasure to know Carol Moffett, inspiring and
    important professionally and personally to me and my family and friends. Her optimism and interest in living life well is an example to all who loved, respected and valued her. She is already missed and ever remembered.

  2. Lisa Leitch says:

    What a wonderful tribute to Carol! I could hear her voice speaking those words as I read it. She was such a blessing in my life, so optimistic and positive and encouraging.

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