Cover photo for Phyllis McCarn Early's Obituary
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1931 Phyllis 2024

Phyllis McCarn Early

February 20, 1931 — June 7, 2024


Phyllis Corine McCarn Early died June 7, 2024, at Brookridge Retirement Community in Winston-Salem, NC. A memorial service will be held on Monday July 1, 2024. at 2pm at First Baptsit Church in Sanford, NC.

She was born February 20, 1931 in Cabarrus County, NC, the daughter of Charlie Lindsay McCarn and birth mother Maude Hinson McCarn. Her birth mother died in 1937 prior to Phyllis’ sixth birthday. Her father later married Elizabeth Anita Gilleland, who quickly became Mother to Phyllis and her brother, Foy McCarn.

Phyllis graduated from Cannon High School in Kannapolis in 1949. She then attended Mars Hill College, receiving her AA degree in 1952. She worked as a church secretary in Lakeland, FL and Concord, NC following graduation. Later in life, Phyllis worked at the DSS offices in Iredell and Lee Counties, serving the public in her uniquely friendly manner for 20 years before retiring.  

While at Mars Hill College, she met David Lee Early of Winston-Salem, NC, and they there began their lifelong relationship. They dated by phone, letter, and in person when possible for the first three and a half years while David earned his Bachelors degree from Stetson University in Deland, FL and pursued his Masters degree at Baylor University, Waco TX. They were married Dec. 27, 1953, at First Baptist Church, Kannapolis, and honeymooned in Waco, TX before returning to Concord, NC when David became the Minister of Music and Education at McGill St. Baptist Church.

Phyllis loved nature and especially enjoyed landscaping and maintaining her yard. Her artistry was evident in her cultivated and colorful plantscapes, as well as in the natural and silk flower arrangements she loved to create.

Phyllis is survived by her two sons, Eli Wesley Early and wife Sarah Jane Early of Greensboro, NC, and Harold Lee (Buck) Early of Lewisville, NC, granddaughter Julia (Jules) Lisbeth Early (Dennis Hancock III, husband) of Pilot Mountain, NC, as well as numerous cousins, nephews and nieces, including niece Lindsay Anita McCarn Pless (Henry Pless, husband) and their extended family. Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Foy Wahavia McCarn and his wife Doris Overcash McCarn, niece Beth McCarn, and other family members.

Last but first, she was predeceased by her beloved soulmate, friend, and heart, David, her devoted husband until his passing just shy of their 60th anniversary. She stood beside him as helper and companion at the several churches he served in Florida and North Carolina, supporting him in his ministries at each and herself serving in various church capacities throughout the years. Their ministerial partnership culminated at First Baptist Church, Sanford, NC where they lovingly served for 22 years. They cherished the church and its members and formed many lifelong friendships there.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, Sanford NC or to your preferred charity.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Phyllis McCarn Early, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Memorial Service

Monday, July 1, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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