Cover photo for Caroline Best's Obituary
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1950 Caroline 2022

Caroline Best

June 2, 1950 — October 9, 2022

Caroline Best, age 72, died Sunday at Asbury Maryville health care center. Wife, mother, educator, advocate for peace and justice, a person filled with unconditional love, child of God: Caroline is all this and more. Seven years ago, she fell victim to a glioblastoma brain tumor. For most folks, this cancer results in death in a year. But for Caroline, she never gave in, never accepted defeat. For seven years she continued to teach everyone faith, perseverance to “run the race”, and to never grow weary. She crossed the finish line into eternity on Sunday October 9, 2022 (inspired by Isaiah 40:31). 


Caroline was born in Atlanta GA June 2, 1950, and grew to young adulthood in Cartersville GA. She was first-born of six children to Al and Sarah Munn. She graduated from Cartersville High school in 1968. She graduated from Maryville College in 1972 with a mathematics degree. She returned to Cartersville and taught eighth grade. One of her students was her younger sister Nannette. She met her future husband at Maryville College when he returned from serving in the US Army. They married on June 16, 1973. Caroline returned to Maryville, where she taught at Carter Middle school in Knox County. Caroline and Edwin lived in Chattanooga TN for 6 years. Their three children were born there. Caroline received the Master of Science degree in mathematics from University of Tennessee Chattanooga and taught math at Chattanooga State. The family returned to Maryville in 1982.


In the mid-1980’s, she was coordinator of Blount County Ecumenical Action council. She resumed teaching math at Pellissippi State, Blount and Knox County campuses from 1990 until her retirement in 2009. In 2002, she began an advanced degree program, through Appalachian Collaborative Center for Learning, Assessment & Instruction in Mathematics (ACCLAIM). Caroline was ACCLAIM’s first Doctoral program candidate, earning her PhD in math education in 2006.

She served many programs at New Providence Presbyterian church (NPPC): Presbyterian Women (PW), was meaningful to her. She was Moderator of PW at NPPC. She served in leadership of PW of East Tennessee. She was an ordained Elder at NPPC. She sang joyfully in NPPC’s chancel choir. At NPPC, she organized the annual “Alternative Christmas Fair”. She was passionate about peace and justice through Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA). She was awarded OREPA’s Peace Award in 2017. Caroline was actively involved in many Presbyterian peace initiatives, locally and globally. She made trips to Russia, the Holy Land, Uganda, Pakistan, and Central America to help others and to educate herself on society and the greater world.


Caroline is survived by her husband of 49 years Edwin, three children, Sarah (Sophia), Katherine (Ryan), and John (Mari). Also surviving are grandchildren, Rowin and Rose.


A memorial service to celebrate her exceptional life will take place later at 1:00 PM, Saturday, December 17, 2022 at New Providence Presbyterian Church in M. Memorial gifts may be made to: New Providence Presbyterian church, Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, Maryville College.



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Service Schedule

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Memorial Service

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

New Providence Presbyterian Church

703 West Broadway Avenue, Maryville, TN 37801

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