Virginia Carolyn Maynard, age 86, departed this world for Heaven on the afternoon of Friday, June 23, 2023, in DeLand, Florida. A dearly beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend, she passed peacefully, surrounded by her three children, after a brief illness.
Carolyn, as she was known, was born Virginia Carolyn Cochran on October 10, 1936 in Blackshear, Ga. to William F. Cochran and Mattie Lou Harper Cochran. She was the fourth of seven children (famously the "oldest one of the second set"), and she was the last to pass away. Theirs was a boisterous and joyful household, full of love and laughter.
Carolyn graduated from Blackshear High School in 1954. She then enrolled at Georgia Teacher's College (now known as Georgia Southern University) in Statesboro, Ga., majoring in music. She had a lifelong love of music, singing and playing piano with great skill and enthusiasm until near the end of her life.
After college Carolyn left Statesboro for Atlanta, sharing an apartment with some cousins while employed in accounting. It was around this time that she was introduced to the love of her life and the father of her children, Mike Bradley. Her brother Billy, who was in the Navy with Mike, made the introduction, and after a short romance, the two got married.
Soon, a Navy reassignment sent the young couple to Newmarket, UK., where they adopted a son. From there, Mike's career sent them to Texas, California, the Philippines, and back to California. Along the way, they had two more children before Mike retired and they moved to Carolyn's hometown of Blackshear.
Carolyn became an entrepreneur, opening and running popular businesses, including a family restaurant and a Christian bookstore in nearby Waycross. They lived in Blackshear for ten years before eventually answering the call of their beloved mountains and settling down in Blue Ridge, Ga. There, Carolyn continued her entrepreneurial ways, this time operating a highly successful real estate brokerage, among other ventures.
Carolyn lost her husband Mike in 2007, and in 2011 she met and married Roy Maynard, gaining another whole family in the process. They split their time between Blue Ridge and DeLand, Fla., before eventually moving to DeLand full time. They were married for 12 years before Roy's passing in late April of this year.
Carolyn had a heart full of love for her family and for Jesus Christ. She was a fiercely devout Christian who closely read and studied the Bible every day of her adult life. She reveled in family, enjoying regular get-togethers with her vast array of nieces and cousins. She was also known for her stylish dress sense and her skill at completing crossword puzzles...always in ink.
Carolyn is survived by her son David W. Bradley and his husband Richard Swank of DeLand, Fla., her son Stephen C. Bradley and his wife Shawn of Blue Ridge, Ga., and her daughter Dee Phillips and her husband Corey of Mineral Bluff, Ga. She is also survived by her stepson Greg Maynard of Bastrop, Tex., five grandchildren, and too many nieces, nephews, and cousins to count.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 1, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. Visitation with family and friends from 10:00 a.m. until the service hour at noon.
Finch-Cochran Funeral Home and Crematory in charge of arrangements. You may sign Guestbook at www.cochranfuneralhomes.com