- November 14, 2023
Born on May 21, 1939 in Sunflower, Mississippi, Carrie Mae Robinson was the second child and daughter of Alex and Bessie Robinson. When she was 3 years old, the family moved to Lima, Ohio, where Carrie and her 8 siblings matriculated through the Lima public school system. After graduating from Lima High School in 1958, she remained in Lima while attending the St. Rita’s Hospital School of Nursing. Carrie graduated from nursing school in 1961, passed the state licensing examination, and was certified as a Registered Nurse.
Thereafter, Carrie moved to Cleveland, Ohio and in 1963, she began her employment at Saint Luke’s Hospital. Although she initially rotated around several areas of the hospital, she principally worked in the medical and cardiac critical care units. A consummate professional, Carrie was devoted to providing outstanding care to her patients and their families. Her nursing career was her life’s calling and she remained at Saint Luke’s Hospital for 36 years, until her retirement in 1999. However, she continued in her calling and served at some local nursing facilities for several years post-retirement. Throughout her life, she lovingly nursed family members, neighbors and friends through medical situations and tragic losses. Even during her own doctor visits and hospital stays, Carrie was favored and respected by the medical staff because of her professional wisdom and positive encouragement of their work. On several occasions, younger nurses would gather in her room to learn and observe her techniques for proper peritoneal dialysis care.
While working one afternoon, Carrie was approached by a young gentleman, James Gist, who was visiting a friend at Saint Luke’s. The two started dating in 1963 and eventually wed on November 26, 1966. They began their married life in Cleveland and welcomed their son, James Patrick, in May 1968. In 1970, the family settled in Warrensville Heights, and in March 1972, welcomed their daughter, Crystal Anita. Carrie frequently served as a “School Mom” at her children’s classroom events and kept a watchful eye on the many children who played in the family’s yard. She was also a loving grandmother and doted on her two grandchildren, Olivia Denise and James Christopher, whenever and however she could—there was rarely a “no” from Grandma Gist!
From a young age, Carrie demonstrated her love of the Lord and her commitment to His Church. As an adult, Carrie was a dedicated member of New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ in Cleveland, Ohio for over 40 years, and faithfully served on the Usher Board and Nurses Guild. She eventually joined the Mother’s Board as well. She also taught vacation Bible School during various summers and was involved in various other ministries at the church. She loved participating in ministry-sponsored trips to religious plays and concerts, Amish country, and the like. She and James also hosted Bible study sessions at their home, as they both enjoyed learning and discussing the Word of God.
Carrie’s favorite hobbies were reading and cooking. When heading to work each night at Saint Luke’s, she always kept a book handy to read during her down time. Insofar as cooking, she was renowned for her butter pound cake, and readily baked them for family gatherings, church events and just because for family and friends. She frequently welcomed guests at home for Sunday dinners and always cooked a little extra for those who just stopped by. She was a perfect complement to her outgoing and extrovert husband and enjoyed entertaining and spending time.
with their extended family and wide circle of friends and acquaintances. Carrie was also a lifelong learner, and after retiring, she completed computer classes to become better versed with the current technology.
In July 2017, Carrie relocated to Bowie, Maryland to live with her daughter. She embraced the challenge of her new residence by joining the local community’s Senior Center. At the Center, she actively participated in a support group for those widowed and a book club. She also attended church services at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden and attended events hosted by the Seniors Ministry. She mastered the usage of her iPhone and Facebook to stay connected with her family and friends back home in Ohio, whom she missed dearly.
On the afternoon of November 7, 2023, the Lord called Carrie to his Heavenly home. She is survived by her son James Patrick (Tia) of Scotch Plains, NJ; daughter Crystal Anita of Bowie, MD; grandchildren, Olivia Denise and James Christopher; sisters Bessie Tibbs (Leron), Georgetta Powell, and Gloria Moore, all of Akron, OH; Joyce Smart (Robert) of Columbus, OH; Sandra Battle (Sam) of Elyria, OH; brother Alex Robinson (Nancy) of Stockton, CA; a host of nieces and nephews; grandnieces and nephews; cousins and other extended family; and host of cherished friends and neighbors. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 49 years, James; her sister Betty Washington (Wesley) of Atlanta, GA; and her brother Sonny (Dorris) of Houston, TX.