Carrol Francis Pickens passed away August 23, 2019, age 86 in Moorestown, NJ. Beloved husband of Phyllis C. Pickens (nee Conner). Dear father of Paula (Ron) Wengerd, David (Penelope) Pickens, Ann (Albert, Jr.) Berardocco, Mary Caroline (Danny) McLaughlin. Loving Granddad of Conner (Brian) McCaw, Reid (Kelly) Briglia, Noah (Jackie) Pickens, Bayard (Emily) Pickens, Grace Pickens, Jessica (David) Shamash, Marissa Berardocco, Albert Berardocco III and Steven Landis; and Poppy/Great Grandfather of Gavin, Kylie, Luca, Colbie, Olivia, Layla, Beck, Cohen and Dylan. Dear brother of Ann (Robert) Reid.
Carrol was born in Concordia, Kansas in 1932. He was named after Sister Frances, who cared for him when he was born prematurely at 4 pounds, and his mother, Ina Caroline Pickens. Carrol graduated from Hutchinson High School and earned a Bachelor of Science from Kansas State University. He was a United States Navy Veteran of the Korean War, serving two years at sea including a stint in Japan where his love of East Asian cultures blossomed. An avid card player, he sent his Navy salary home to Phyllis and lived on his poker earnings. Upon his return, Carrol earned his Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas.
Carrol was a builder. “If you can build it, you should – but you must do it correctly and build for a lifetime.” As a city manager, he strengthened the framework and operations of several municipalities. He poised the communities for growth and sustainability, especially in Blue Ash, OH; Monroeville, PA; and Cherry Hill, NJ. His integrity and passion for excellence in planning are evident in these cities today.
Cooking was Carrol’s means of communication, relaxation and renewal. Carrol and his family talked about the food they were going to make, how they were going to prepare it, and then lavishly enjoyed every bite. Vacations, visiting exchange students, friends and family all influenced his palate. Family favorites include Nova Scotia Bread, feijoada, and Mrs. Martin’s Banana Bread.
Carrol was blessed with great creativity and an innate ability from boyhood cartoons, self-taught oil painting, and Japanese brush illustrations. He enjoyed rediscovering his artistic flair at The Evergreens with ceramics and painting.
An ornery, quick-witted and soulful man with a very dry sense of humor (“That’s 1!”), Carrol always encouraged his children to follow their dreams, and he always treated women as equals. His son and grandsons took his advice to “Make sure you pick a woman who’s smarter than you” to heart.
Special thanks to the staff at The Evergreens for their generous care.
Relatives and friends of the family will meet for the funeral Mass on Thursday afternoon, August 29, at 12:45pm at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 42 W. Main St. Moorestown, NJ. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1:00pm Thursday afternoon. Private entombment will be held at a later date at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veteran's Memorial Cemetery, Arneytown, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Carrol’s memory to the following organizations:
Carrol's Rotary International membership strengthened his professional relationships with other community leaders. He and Phyllis welcomed Rotary exchange students over several decades into their home and hearts.
To plant a tree in memory of Carrol Francis Pickens, please visit our tribute store.