Carolyn M. (Pendergast) Sumner

Born: Sun., Dec. 10, 1961
Died: Tue., Mar. 10, 2020


5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Mon., Mar. 16, 2020
Location: Gagne-Piechowski Funeral Home

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 AM Tue., Mar. 17, 2020
Location: St. Catherine of Siena

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Carolyn M. Sumner of Griswold, Connecticut, passed away in her sleep on March 10, 2020. She is survived by her beloved husband, Terry Sumner, daughter Rachel Lenda and her husband Joel, sisters Alison Pendergast and her husband Jeff Albert, Daryl Hurlock and her husband Joseph and Mother Kathleen Pendergast. Also, son Brian Sumner and his wife Jennifer and daughter, Laura Crews and husband Wayne. Carolyn also leaves behind her two much-loved dogs Krypto and Keegan. She was predeceased by her father Terrence W. Pendergast who passed away May 2019 and her cherished son, T.J. who passed away September 23, 2015.
Carolyn was born in Groton, Connecticut at the US Sub Base Hospital on December 10, 1961. Growing up, Carolyn attended and graduated from Norwich Free Academy in 1980. She always had a passion for sequins, rhinestones, and everything fashion. In her mid-to late-teens, Carolyn was the winner of 11 out of 14 pageant titles including Miss Teen Connecticut in 1981. Other titles garnered included Miss Preston, Miss VFW, Miss Coachman, and Miss Coachman International. Her spark and charisma could light up any room she entered – people were always in awe of her energy and passion for life.
In March of ’81, Carolyn met her forever soulmate and lifelong partner, Terry Sumner. It was love-at-first sight! They met at Rhanna Pippens in Groton, Connecticut.  Soon enough, Terry and Carolyn married on May 7, 1982. Shortly after, Carolyn and Terry welcomed their first child together, Terry “T.J.” Sumner Jr. on August 17, 1984. Then on June 17, 1986, The Sumner’s welcomed the best child they ever had, Rachel Sumner as their last bundle of joy.
Carolyn was a co-owner of Annlynn’s Bridal Shop in Taftville, Connecticut until 1996. She was the magic behind every gown the lucky brides got to wear. Every Saturday, Carolyn would dazzle with her signature allure and million-dollar smile. She had the innate ability to take one look at a bride and could tell that bride exactly which gown she would look best in – ten times out of ten she was right! Her energy was the light of the shop; her uplifting personality made every day at work seem fun!
The gardens at Carolyn’s home were the envy of the neighborhood. Raised flower beds filled with Petunias, Marigolds, Daisy’s, and vines dressed the home with a sweet, floral perfume in spring and summer. She was a master at her craft and could grow any flower her green thumb touched.  Carolyn was also a songbird and could sing to the heart of anyone she performed in front of. During the 90’s and 2000’s, Mr. and Mrs. Sumner had the pleasure of hosting various karaoke shows across Southeastern, Connecticut. She often would lead the crowd with her funny antics and stories of her and her husband’s relationship. They formed deep connections and lasting relationships with those they met along the way in their entertainment business.
As Carolyn grew older, she suffered a great loss of her Son, T.J. Sumner in 2015. His sudden and unexpected passing left her world shattered from the pain of his abrupt departure. Though, Carolyn found every way to keep her son’s memory alive by being an active participant of TJ’s Annual Bike Night in Jewett City following his death.
The community lost a fighter, an advocator, a great friend, wife, and mother. Her sense of humor was a bit wicked but always filled with wit and laughter. Carolyn’s smile could let you know how gentle and kind her soul was. She always dressed to the nines – her reason? Because she felt like it and wanted to look – and feel – like a million dollars. She always said, “That’s how I roll”. There isn’t a diamond or ruby that could measure up to the sparkle and dazzle she gave to the world.
Funeral arrangements are as follows: calling hours are 5pm to 7pm on Monday, March 16, 2020 at The Gagne-Piechowski Funeral Home on route 138 in Griswold, Connecticut. A mass of Christian burial will be held at 10am on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at St. Catherine of Siena Church on route 164 in Preston, Connecticut.

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Condolence Booklet

Frank Griffin
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Terry and family.
I'm so sorry to hear of your wifes passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. I know your love will continue, even though you are parted. A lifetime together is never enough. I remember her great voice at the Christmas parties.
Frank Griffin, Major Ret. CSP

Michael B Darcy
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Terry: My sincere condolences to you and your family. I know how devoted you were to your wife and I am very sorry you are going through this.

Major Michael B. Darcy, Connecticut State Police

Sherree Greczkowski
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Terry and Rachel,
I'm so sorry to hear about Carolyn's passing. My heart breaks for you. She was such a beautiful soul. May all the wonderful memories help comfort you at this time Carolyn your going to make the most beautiful angel in all of Heaven!!!

vivian nauser
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
My deepest sympathy on the loss of your wife and mother to your children.It is a painful time for your whole family. Prayers continue for Carolyn nightly. What a wonderful life she had even though it was cut short. God wanted her with him. Please find comfort in knowing she is at peace.

Brad Norgaard
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Terry and the Sumner family,
I'm deeply saddened by the passing of your beautiful and loving wife. Although we've never met in person, I just know we would be great friendsMay her love shroud you during this time.

Greg & Joanne Schlough
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Terry and Family,

We wish to extend our deepest sympathies on the passing of Carolyn. She I was a great person and will be a loss to everyone that knew her.

Kate Mawyer
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Terry we love you so much. So sorry for your loss. Carolyn was the one in a million kind of friend and we are blessed to have known her. Sending our love and prayers from Virginia.

Bryan and Kate (Roberts) Mawyer

Dawn Mattos
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Dear Terry and Family,
We were very sad to hear of Carolyn's passing. I met her once but enjoyed interacting with her on social media. She clearly loved her family and found peace in writing about her love and loss. She shared her feelings so much so that it seems as if I know you all- even though I do not. May you all find comfort in the love she had for you all and the everlasting memories. God Bless!

Nancy & Bob Jones
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Terry and family, We are so sorry to hear of Carolyns passing. I know how special she was and she will be terribly missed by all. God Bless you all during this very difficult time.

Aliyah wieczorek
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
I’m so sorry for your loss Terry we love you lots just no we are here for you if you need anything

Margaret Powell DeBari
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
She was my dear friend for many years......and she will be greatly missed. We shared many fond memories over the years. My heartfelt condolences to the Sumner family for this great loss.

Gordon & LuAnn Forier
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Terry: Our sincere condolences to you and your family. Words can not express how we feel for your loss.

Pamela Fillmore
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Our condolences to Terry and his family during this difficult time. Jim and Pam Fillmore

Nancy L Lanteigne Foss
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Dearest Terry and Family
So very sorry for your loss. ❤️

Cheryl Freeburn Burdick
   Posted Fri March 13, 2020
Terry and family I am so sorry for your lost. I know Carolyn well. I lived in Preston just around the corner on Tanglwood, and we went to school together. She was a joy, loved her smile. She loved live. She will be missed. God bless thoughts and prayers to you all

Glenn and Jolene Camley
   Posted Sat March 14, 2020
Our best to the Sumner and Pendergast Family, from the Camley’s in New Hampshire. No loss is ever too easy, however, knowing that she is with T.J. And has now touched the face of God, should be a comfort.

Leah Friedman Sparks
   Posted Sat March 14, 2020
Carolyn's smile and zest for life will be missed by all who knew her. My sincere condolences to her family and friends. Rest in peace!

Joyce Kuusela; Albuquerque, NM
   Posted Sat March 14, 2020
Terry and family,
My sincere sympathy over your loss. I have fond memories of Carolyn. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

Erin Guertin
   Posted Sat March 14, 2020
So sorry to hear of the passing of Carolyn. She sold me my wedding gown 28 years ago, and I have always remembered her. I was one of the first brides when they opened!!! She was such a lovely person!!

Mike and Heather Spellman
   Posted Sat March 14, 2020
Terry and family,
Please accept our deepest sympathy and condolences upon the passing of your wife. You and your family are in our prayers during this difficult time. May your memories sustain you and your family.

Bill Buchert
   Posted Sun March 15, 2020
Our hearts go out to you and your family my friend :(

Glenn and Debbie Duch
   Posted Sun March 15, 2020
Our deepest condolences to her loving family and friends. She is at peace with her dad and son.

Lynn & Bill Flanagan
   Posted Sun March 15, 2020
Dear Terry & Family-

We're sorry doesn't seem like enough. I will never forget Carolyn. I, also, was one of her brides that was treated with red carpet service. I picture her in her mink coat, hair done, makeup perfect and that smile! Back in the day, we danced, drank and were merry together often. Cherished memories. Please know you and your family are in out warmest thoughts and prayers.

Joe and Jean Wierzbinski
   Posted Sun March 15, 2020
Our thoughts are with you and your family, Terry.

Marc Sumner
   Posted Mon March 16, 2020

Spring's Bounty Basket was sent by Marc and Michele.

Carolyn will always be remembered as a strong and beautiful woman. "Beauty permeated her every pore". Our hearts break for you brother. We love and family. 💖May she be dancing in the arms of her beloved TJ💖

Gina & Jim Janelle
   Posted Mon March 16, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, she was a brilliant light and heaven is a much brighter place now. Everyone will now be able to feel the warmth of her beautiful soul !
She will be missed.

Gale Ennis
   Posted Mon March 16, 2020
Terry and family, Allison, Daryl and Mrs. Pendergast,
Please accept my most heartfelt condolences. We were so happy when you all moved into County Squires in Preston and right across the street from us. Another family of girls! We had so much fun together and are thankful for the memories with Carolyn. She is free from pain now and with her Dad and TJ.
Wishing you peace -
Gale Eccleston Ennis

Annette M Gutknecht
   Posted Mon March 16, 2020
Dear Terry, Rachel and family....No words can express the sadness! Carolyn was certainly the heart of Annlyn's and everyone who's life she touched when she was there, will remember her with fondness. She was the "lifeblood" of the business, the backbone of every wedding that went out the door. Her Bridal show "Productions" were something out of a fairy tale. I could go on and on about her talents, but you already know all that. I could tell stories that would curl your hair, but you probably have more of your own. She was one in a million and will be missed more than words can express!
Please know how sorry I am for your loss of this glorious soul! My thoughts and prayers are with you. May she rest in peace in God's arms forever without any more pain and suffering. Love, Annette

   Posted Fri May 15, 2020
Terry and family,
I am so saddened to hear of Carolyn’s passing. I went to high school with Carolyn, and during that time was blessed to have her as a friend. I thought of Carolyn today and randomly decided to google her in hopes to possibly get together at some point, and catch up. My heart goes out to all of you. Carolyn was beautiful, funny, smart, kind-hearted, confident, and driven. I will always remember her beautiful smile. I wish you peace, strength and love. -Darlene

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