As vice president of State Employees Credit Union, Evelyn Carr of Murphy is one of few African-American women in a position of authority in Cherokee County.


    This is one of an occasional series of articles that draws attention to ordinary Cherokee County residents and their extraordinary lives.

    Murphy – Local business leader Evelyn Carr balances work, continuing education and family with ease.
    “I was born here in Murphy. My dad was in the Army, so we traveled around a lot. We got to meet a lot of people. I think that was an advantage for me,” Carr said.
    “Half of my sophomore and my junior and senior years were spent in Germany, where I graduated. I value the education that I got in military schools. I came back to the United States alone after graduation. My parents and siblings were still in Germany because dad’s tour was not up.
    “I went to Western Carolina University. I was there for 2½ years in the criminal justice program. I got pregnant, so I came home. Ronnie (my children’s father) and I didn’t get married until my son was 10. Then we just kept our relationship together, long distance.
    “I always tell people that we both had to grow up, and that’s what it took. We have an awesome relationship now. I don’t know that it was a bad thing. I wouldn’t suggest that anyone do that, but for me it wasn’t a bad thing.
    “When I came home, I worked at several different jobs. I worked at McDonald’s, then Coats American and finally Goody’s. During that time, I went to school at Tri-County to get my business degree, while I worked full time, and let my kids play sports. I was at every sporting event.
    “My classes were from 8-12, and I came home and slept until 3 p.m., when he got off the bus, helped him with homework and took him to practice. Then would come home and lay down a couple of hours before I had to work 11-7.
    “I went to work at Macon Bank for about four years. Montreat College came to Tri-County. I did the SBA program there and got my undergraduate degree in business. Once I got that, I quit working at Macon and went to work for a doctor at a medical center for about six months, and then the job came open here at the credit union. I was hired in as a loan processor loan officer. Two years after coming to work here, I was named the vice president, and that has been my title ever since.
    “The credit union is education oriented. We have been in school for something the whole time I have been here. I have been able to get my trust license, insurance license, become a certified tax preparer, complete the certified credit union executive program and so many more things, which I cannot begin to name.
    “Ronnie and I have three biological children – the oldest is 31, our middle son is 20 and we have our daughter Kennedy, who is 14.
    “We have been doing therapeutic foster care for about six or seven years. The little boy that we are going to adopt we have had for about 2½ years. They revoked his parents’ parental rights, then he was to come up for adoption. They had identified a family that wanted him. We mulled over it and mulled over it, and I thought, well, maybe it’s just best to let him go. We never went into foster care for adoption.
    “We said we were not going to adopt him. They moved him sooner than we expected, and it was a shorter process than we thought. Low and behold, it was the worst decision we had ever made. We agonized about it and didn’t know what to do since they had already taken him out of our home. It didn’t work out.
    “Finally, we went on vacation to Hawaii, Ronnie and I did, and the whole time, this is sad to say, but we’d be walking and sightseeing, and we’d say, ‘Don’t you miss Cody?’ So I got back home and called DSS and told them that we had made the wrong decision. We didn’t think that there would be anything they could do, but they were able to talk to him. He’s 7, and he missed us just like we missed him and wanted to come home.
    “Now he’s home. We will be working through the adoption process, and hopefully it will go quickly since we’ve had him for so long. He’s in first grade at Murphy Elementary School, and he loves it there. He is my little blond-haired, blue-eyed boy. He is awesome. We never thought we would get so attached. ... He makes us complete.
    “I would like to be known for being a good person. I try to make the best decisions and treat everybody right. I like to treat everyone the way I want to be treated.
    “I like to give people the benefit of the doubt because I would like to think that they would do the same for me. My parents and grandparents shaped me into who I am today because they taught me to be a good person and not judge others.
    “I’m one of the very few African-American women to be in a position of authority in Murphy. My position was truly based on merit. Sometimes people get jobs based on who you know, and I didn’t know anybody. I got this job based on my work ethic and what they saw in me. To show African-American children that you can do whatever you want to do in life feels so great” Carr said.
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