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Mrs. Carolyn DeCarlo Hollinger
Mrs. Carolyn DeCarlo Hollinger passed February 18, 2018. Memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 11 a.m. in our chapel, with Reverend Mitzi Bickers, officiating. Kai (Carolyn), the 2nd of Lucius W. & Eunice G. Hollinger's 9 children, was born May 1, 1954 in Philadelphia, PA. She is preceded by her father, Lucius; father and mother-in-law Richard Sigman Sr. and Fannie Louise King, as well as numerous near and dear loved ones before her. She is survived by husband Richard Sigman King, Jr. ; son Khalil; mother Eunice; stepson Kevin; stepdaughter Chrystal; sisters Shirl, Wanda, Patrice (Aziza), and Kim (Asha); brothers Michael, Darryl, Anthony (Tony) and Sean; sisters-in-law Helen, Cherry, Melissa, Roxanne, Kathy and Lisa; Uncle Marzel; Aunt Naomi (Tee), and a host of cousins; nieces Chamor, Keina, Maya, Lisa, Shante, Sasha, Manisha, and Abria; nephews Reginald, Steve, Kareem, Keith, Sheldon, Chavar, Sean, Yinka and Bijan; great nieces Jayda, Baijeen, Alana, Ilanna, Yesenia, Mariah, Aliyah, Siani and Cadence; great nephews Jaylin, Alex, Koi and Dhavon; great-great nieces Callie and Mia; and myriad school, work and community friends who loved her like family. As imitation is the greatest form of flattery, Kai, as a person, inspired the naming of several family and friend offspring, e.g. Kai, Kiya, Kaya and Koi.
She attended Our Lady of Holy Souls and Melrose Academy in Philadelphia. In 1977, Kai received her Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Lincoln University in PA. She later moved to Washington, DC where she worked for several law firms, achieving management status, and enjoyed a full social life and multi-cultural experience.
In 1991, she met her now husband, Richard. To this union was born a son Khalil, now 24. Kai was the consummate wife, mother, aunt, sister, daughter and friend. For her, the happiness and wellbeing of others was important enough that she wanted to help you get there. Being a mother was paramount to Kai’s existence, as her love of children was first evident in her demonstrative ways as “aunt” to her familial, as well as “adopted”, nieces and nephews. Kai's warm and outgoing nature touched many. To know her was to befriend her. She had a knack for making people feel cared for, and "attended to", with her easy conversation.
Kai and Richard were a "match made in heaven", as they clearly shared mutual interests, goals, and commitment to family. Among their many compatible traits, Kai and Richard enjoyed a life full of laughter, music, and social outings, often including family and friends. They enjoyed the mountains and often invited family to join them on mountain getaways for fun and relaxation. These were special times, resulting in special memories.
Kai's life was full, to say the least. The family spent the early years residing in the DC/MD area. They then moved to Richard's hometown of ATL, GA for a short period, where they purchased their final home together. Though they retained their home in Atlanta, career interests led them back to Philadelphia, where Kai worked as an addictions counselor, affecting the lives of many clients who received her inspirational words of encouragement and self-empowerment. Kai invested a lot of herself in this work, as she took seriously the struggle that interrupted the lives of her clients. As many would attest, she went the "extra mile" by not only counseling such individuals, but rather tried to demonstrate alternative methods of self-care when managing life stresses, such as meditation, reading, and praying. Without hesitation, she contributed her own resources to create a therapeutic environment for her clients, as she hoped her techniques would help in some meaningful way.
In 1991, the family moved to Rockville, MD. Ultimately, Kai was inspired to return to what she considered her "more natural" calling of helping people, and began a graduate program for Master's level Social Workers. She worked as an independent therapist, again lending her personal touch to the many clients and families that were helped by her desire to empower. She invested many hours, along with her personal touch, helping others see all which was possible in life when we are willing to work with ourselves and the help that is available.
She earned her degree from Howard University (M.S.W.) in 2009, passed her licensing exam, and began her final work with the government of DC's Department of Human Services as a licensed clinical therapist. She did this until 2016. Prior to her illness, it was Kai's ultimate plan to return to Atlanta as a therapist and continue a fulfilling life with friends and family.
In 2017, she & Richard returned to ATL, while son Khalil worked at DC's Children's Hospital. Though illness challenged them, Kai lived her final days in the loving care of her devoted husband who stuck by her side; son Khalil who motivated her will to heal/live; mother who stayed with Kai through much of her treatment; in-laws who supported Richard’s every effort to adjust to Kai’s changing needs and modify their home for Kai’s comfort; and all of her family and friends who ensured she was loved and supported through any tough times.
On Sunday February 18, 2018, Kai’s suffering ended, as she made a peaceful transition, with husband Richard at her side, as some of their best mutual memories and favorite music filled the air. She’s at peace now. In Kai's love of music, she had an appreciation for various types. One of her favorites she liked to share with others ("I Hope You Dance"), reflective of her wishes for others, encourages us "to give faith a fighting chance; never take one breath for granted; never lose your sense of wonder; whenever one door closes, another opens; and when given a choice to sit it out or dance...I Hope You Dance". Let that be her final wish for you...Dance as if no one is watching!