We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Haywood Funeral Home & Cremation Service
Egun (Ancestor) Michelle Denise Carrington of blessed memory joined her ancestors on Monday, May 16, 2022. She was 41 years old. Sister Michelle succumbed to complications caused by the SARS-Cov-2 virus, which she bravely fought until the very end. Michelle is now one of the over 1 million people lost to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, now in its third year.
Michelle Denise Carrington was the third and final child born to the late Ethel Patricia Ann Bridges Carrington and Lonnie Evans Carrington. From the very beginning, Michelle was a fighter. She overcame chronic gastrointestinal illness during her infancy and grew into an happy, bright, imaginative child. As a kindergartener in the mid-1980s, Michelle was diagnosed with intellectual disability and placed into the curriculum for disabled children then required by Wake County Public Schools. Even under this institutional barrier, Michelle thrived into a dedicated, thoughtful, industrious student. She was admired by all her instructors and made friends easily with her fellow special education classmates.
When she graduated from Raleigh’s Needham B. Broughton High School in Spring 1999, she was awarded the standard Certificate of Completion given to all intellectually disabled students who complete secondary education in North Carolina. However, this formality was not enough for Michelle. Just over a decade later, she earned her General Education Diploma from the North Carolina Community College System, the equivalent of a fully accredited North Carolina high school diploma.
For the next two decades, Michelle worked hard to advocate for herself and other Americans with disabilities. She fully understood that the obstacles disabled adults face have nothing to do with their personal ambition or competence, and everything to do with the ableism and eugenicist ethos that plagues American society. Whenever Michelle encountered a barrier to her educational or career goals, she demanded answers from institutional leaders. Throughout this period, Michelle completed vocational training at Diversified Opportunities in Wilson, North Carolina and was a beloved client of Carolina Outreach Services in both Wilson and Durham, North Carolina. Her ultimate goal was to attend college and receive a bachelor’s degree.
Nearly every person who encountered Michelle Carrington noted the same observations: Her warmth, compassion, curiosity, gentle manner, and reassuring presence. She loved books, music, and art, especially any histories about artists or musicians. Her favorite singer was Aaliyah and her favorite composer was Beethoven. She loved movies and animation and dreamed of being a published cartoonist. She also loved nearly all global cuisines and devoured strong dark coffee and cappuccino.
But her greatest adoration was for companion animals, especially dogs. One of her goals was to train and adopt a certified service dog through a local program. Michelle’s long list of survivors includes her father Lonnie E. Carrington of Wilson, her eldest sister Vanessa E. Carrington of Wilson, her second elder sibling Yolanda Marie “YM” Carrington of Hillsborough, her paternal aunts Ruth Carrington Haywood of Raleigh and Carolyn Carrington Pretty of Charlotte, paternal uncle Rev. James Carrington of Milwaukee, WI, maternal uncle Bill Bridges of Denver, CO, and her maternal aunts Rev. Beatrice Cook of Aurora, CO and Ada Horton, Virdell Smith, and Vernell Smith of Garner. She was preceded in death by her mother Ethel Bridges Carrington and her grandmothers Maggie Lucas Bridges and Gertrude Scarborough Carrington, all of blessed memory. She also has an enormous extended family across the United States, and a host of dedicated friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that community members donate to the nonprofit agencies Carolina Outreach Services of Durham and Disability Rights North Carolina of Raleigh, organizations that assist disabled adults and their families. Thank you.
The Memorial service for Ms. Carrington will be held at 3:00 PM on Thursday May 26, 2022 in the C A Haywood Sr. Memorial Chapel, 2415 South Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC.
***Please Note: We are requesting that all in attendance wear a face covering or mask for the service. Also know that 3 feet of social distancing is expected. We are limited to accept a total of 100 individuals due to COVID. .... Thank you for understanding.