VASMA Remembers: Carol Ann Kittrell Richards

RICHARDS, Ms. Carol Ann Kittrell, died after a short illness on September 22, 2021. Born the sixth of eight children to Lyman and Margie Kittrell, tobacco farmers in Broadway, North Carolina on March 5, 1935, Carol Ann graduated from Broadway High School in 1952. In high school, she was known for being a friend to all. She played basketball (quite the feat at just 5’2″), piano and memorized poetry for public recitations, which gave her a lifelong love for the written word. She attended Flora MacDonald College, then met, and in 1954, married, David L. Richards (1933 to 2018), with whom she raised five children and shared 26 years of marriage. While raising her family, she worked full time, primarily as an office administrator and medical assistant for family practice doctors. She was integral to the development of the national certification program for medical assistants, and was herself certified in General and Pediatric Care. Upon her divorce, Carol began a new career, moving into the field of medical insurance, where she rose to the position of Vice-President of Contract Management for the Travelers Insurance, before being recruited by Presbyterian Health Care and moving to Albuquerque in 1998. She served on the board of directors of Sexual Abuse Nurse Examiners (SANE) for six years, serving as treasurer for four of those years. Carol was a dedicated team leader and mentor to those who worked with her.

Upon her retirement, she became a volunteer at the Rio Grande Nature Center (RGNC). She loved to be stationed at the Front Desk, where she was able to talk with people from all over the world. She loved sharing information about her adopted home, New Mexico, especially its birds. She led the Center’s monthly moonlight walks for many years. She earned the RGNC President’s Award in 2014 and the RGNC Volunteer of the Year in 2018.

Carol is survived by sister, Helen Kittrell of Alameda, Calif.; brother, Scott Kittrell and wife, Terri, of Sanford, N.C.; daughter, Leslee Richards and husband, Frank Fine, of Albuquerque; daughter, Ellen Foster and husband, Rick; sons, Larry Richards and Scott Richards of Richmond, Va.; granddaughter, Amber Kramer and husband, Aaron, of San Diego; granddaughters, Taylor, Kelly, Jaclyn and Jordyn; and grandson, Christopher of Virginia; and many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by daughter, Cristi Ann (Richards) Elwell. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Rio Grande Nature Center or Albuquerque SANE. A Celebration of Life is planned for a later date.
Published by Richmond Times-Dispatch on Sep. 26, 2021.