A Blessed Life Well Lived – The Beautiful Journey of Lucille Bowling Carloftis began February 14, 1928, on Little Goose Creek in Clay County to Verda Mae Marcum and Robert Franklin Bowling. When her mother became very ill, her paternal grandmother, Margaret Bowling Garrison, raised her until her mother could return, where all of them made a loving home in Manchester and helped care for her blind uncle, Chester Marcum. A cheerleader at Manchester High, she graduated in a wheelchair after having been in a full body cast for many months.
Lucille married Carlos ‘Carlo’ Carloftis of Pineville on January 3, 1947, to whom were born six children – Carcille, Buzz, Koula, Betsy, Dusty, Jon, eight grandchildren – Laura Whitney, Koula Verda(Chris), Carly Rae(Lyle), John Zachary(Sallee Beth), Betsy Lucille(Gary) Carlo David, Emma Kate, Ellie Jane, and three greatgrandchildren – Charlie Anna, Gatlin Jude, Bennie Belle. After having five grandchildren, she earned her teaching degree from Cumberland College, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
Lucille and Carlo built a tourism business, Fort Sequoyah, with help of Cherokee Indians in 1955, and later the Rockcastle River Trading Co. and Gardens with son Jon. Lucille was an author, founding board member of Cumberland River Comprehensive Care, member of the Governor’s Tourism Board, member of Kentucky’s Landscape Architects Board, song leader at Livingston Baptist Church, recipient of numerous awards and honors, with gardens named in her honor at Lexington’s Central Baptist Hospital and at the President’s Home at the University of the Cumberlands and Carloftis Garden at EKU. Her love was working daily alongside Carlo. Everyone describes her as a kind, quiet, gentle, very gracious, dignified Southern lady, greeting every single person with a genuine smile – always.
She quietly slipped from this life at her home on the Rockcastle River while sleeping in the sunshine on March 5, 2020, at age 92. Pallbearers were Buzz, Dusty, and Jon Carloftis, Clyde Burchette, Baxter Bledsoe, Bobby Joe Roberts, Mike McKinney, Roger Fristoe, John Zachary Burchette, Carlo David Shivel, Chris Knox, Lyle James, and Gary Lopez. Interment was on Little Goose Creek in Clay County with generations of family.