November 18, 1939 ~ December 24, 2022

Born in: Blackshear, Georgia
Resided in: Torrance, California

Thank you for visiting, please note Live Streaming details and other information can be found at the end of the obituary.

You are welcome to light a candle, sign the guestbook or share a memory.


Carolyn Elizabeth Avant was born November 18, 1939, in Blackshear, Georgia, to the late Arnie Mae Pender Avant and Leroy Avant Sr. Carolyn departed this life at Sun Ray Health Care Center in Los Angeles on December 24, 2022.

Carolyn was the 7th of 10 children and was especially known for her beauty and sandy red hair. Her protective and caring nature for her family was demonstrated throughout her life. She grew up on her family’s farm, where she and her siblings helped her parents tend to the many chores necessary to maintain their property. Her religious upbringing began at First Born Holiness Church. Along with her siblings, Carolyn attended Lee Street School in Blackshear, Georgia, until 1956, when she moved to California to live with relatives.

Carolyn relocated to Los Angeles, California, where she lived with her brother Joel’s family. Carolyn completed her high school education, receiving her GED from Manual Arts High School. She went on to study Vocational Nursing and received a certificate from Harbor College. She gained experience working at General Hospital, where she made lifelong friendships and remained focused on advancing her education. Among her many notable traits, Carolyn easily made friends, enjoyed going to the racetrack, and loved getting her mother’s long-awaited fruitcake in the mail for Christmas.

In 1956 Carolyn gave birth to her first child Shirley. In 1958 she gave birth to her son Daniel. Carolyn met and married her first husband, Marvin Lee Armstrong, in November 1958. And in 1959, she gave birth to their daughter Maureen. Carolyn and her husband lived in Santa Monica, California, raising their children, which included Marvin’s son Marvin Lee Jr., who calls Carolyn “Mom” to this day. The couple separated and divorced in 1962. She met her second husband, Harold Smith and gave birth to their son Daryle in 1969. She remained married to Harold until his death in 1974. In 1981 she later married her husband of 40 years, Lawrence McCollum, until his death in December 2018.

Carolyn assumed the responsibility of caring for her aging parents when her parents left their residence in Blackshear, Georgia, in 1984 and came to Los Angeles. Carolyn and Lawrence’s household was known for reflecting a generous and caring spirit where family and friends were always assured that they could find good food and good company. Many fond memories follow the couple, and the love they shared shines on as an example for all who knew them. Carolyn’s renewed interest in attending church followed the lead of her older brother Joel, when she became a regular member of KRST Unity Center of AfRaKan Spiritual Science in Los Angeles, ministered by the late Reverend Byrd.

Carolyn departed this life on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2022. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence McCollum; her brothers Leroy Avant Jr., Joel Avant, and Arthur Avant; her sisters, Christine Avant, Lucy Avant, Emma Jean Mitchell, and Martha Warren. She is survived by two sisters, Mary White and Clementine Jones; her children Shirley Ferguson (husband Neil Ferguson), Daniel Reliford Jr., Maureen Cross (husband Terry Cross), and Daryle Smith; her Twelve Grandchildren Sibongile Enchill, Lateisha Christopher, Daniel Reliford Jr., Shaunte Herndon, Sarah Ferguson, Joshua Ferguson, Peyton Cross, Ekechi Cross, Kariamu Cross, Rafael Smith, Tori Smith, and Troy Smith; Six great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces and Nephews and other relatives as well.

Church Honoring (Sun Jan 15)

*pls note the location and time change

Family and Friends are welcome to join Carolyn’s Church (KRST Unity Center of Afrakan) as they honour her Legacy!



Marmalade Cafe

2014 Park Place, El Segundo, CA 90245

Sunday, January 15, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.

*Please arrive early as seating is limited

*Any questions about the event please call: 323 413 1634, or 310 648- 7200


LIVE STREAMING via Zoom (Mon Jan 16)

Meeting ID: 848 7338 6705

Passcode: carolyn
*please download Zoom before the stream start

 Graveside Service (Tues Jan 17)

In memory of one of Carolyn’s favorite colours, family & friends are welcome to wear BLUE


Floral Colours are pink, purple, blue and white
Floral Orders can be made through Luigi Flowers, 804 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90014, (323) 448-6226 for FREE delivery refer to “Carolyn McCollum Funeral”


Viewing: January 16, 2023 9:00 am

Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions - McMillan Center
1016 W. 164th Street
Gardena, CA 90247


Service: January 16, 2023 10:30 am

Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions - McMillan Center
1016 W. 164th Street
Gardena, CA 90247


Reception / Repast: January 16, 2023 12:00 pm - January 16, 2023 2:00 pm

Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions - McMillan Center
1016 W. 164th Street
Gardena, CA 90247


Graveside Service: January 17, 2023 12:00 pm

Inglewood Park Cemetery
720 East Florence Avenue
Inglewood, CA 90301


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  1. candle 8My prayers for daily strength to you and your family Daryle. May your positive memories give you comfort during this difficult time.

  2. My Darling Family. The Love and Memory of Caroline will remain in our hearts forever. Prayers of Strength Comfort and Peace.

  3. candle 7Caroline, may you rest in Heaven. Your memory and live will never leave the hearts of your family and friends.

  4. candle 8It matters not how far I go or where my feet may lay, I find comfort in the fact that God is not far away. The peace of the Lord be with you Carolyn. Thank you for welcoming me as a family friend. Rest In Peace.

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