Family Login:

Pause One True Love by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
Share This Obituary

Send Flowers
 Local Florists

Memories & Candles

“Carolyn was the wife of my dear cousin Hein ter Poorten. After his death she married Alan, they visited us here in Holland some years ago. My...Read More »
1 of 12 | Posted by: Caroline Thate

“From Thanksgivings with Louie Armstrong to dancing at our wedding, I have so many fond memories of dear Aunt Carolyn. She was the kind of woman who...Read More »
2 of 12 | Posted by: Phillip Watkins - Lubbock, TX

Big sis Carolyn and Bonnie, sixteen and ten. “Carolyn was my one and only sibling and my only playmate growing up in the country 30 miles west of Houston. We mucked the dairy barn together,...Read More »
3 of 12 | Posted by: Bonnie Watkins - Austin, TX 78758, TX

“In Deepest Sympathy to Alan and the whole family. ”
4 of 12 | Posted by: Eugenia Felsinger - Charleston, SC

“I only had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Ter Poorten on two occasions. The second was at her home last year, and I will never forget the feeling of...Read More »
5 of 12 | Posted by: A friend

“Carolyn was my cousin who I admired greatly for her strength and artistic talents. When I was around her, she always had a calmness and peace about...Read More »
6 of 12 | Posted by: Gail Henning - Katy, TX - Family

“Carolyn was my cousin and like her mother I always thought she was one of the smartest and most elegant women I knew. Carolyn's Uncle Andrew (my...Read More »
7 of 12 | Posted by: Donn Breck - Pensacola, FL

“We will all miss you, beloved cousin. I have such wonderful memories of when we were kids and played all day on the dairy farm, telling stories,...Read More »
8 of 12 | Posted by: Bree Benson - Smithville, TX

“My condolences to the family. Carolyn was a childhood frind ”
9 of 12 | Posted by: edward matzke - houston, TX

“Alan and family: Carolyn had an ability to make you think about the most valuable things. Her art was wonderful and keeps her presence here. Even...Read More »
10 of 12 | Posted by: Donna and David Myer - TX

“Alan and family, We are thinking of you and sending heartfelt condolences, love and prayers. Carolyn was a dear, sweet, wonderful, unique soul. We...Read More »
11 of 12 | Posted by: Emily Swanson - Mount Pleasant, SC

“Carolyn, you will never be gone, but will live on in your family, your wonderful paintings, your large contributions to your church, and the love of...Read More »
12 of 12 | Posted by: Judy Selby - Charleston, SC

Carolyn Nell Ter Poorten, 73, of Mount Pleasant South Carolina passed away Saturday, March 18, 2017. Family and friends may join in remembrance of her life at the Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St., Charleston, SC, Saturday, April 1, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. A reception on site will follow in Lance Hall.

Carolyn was born April 9, 1943, in Houston Texas and grew up on a dairy farm in Addicks, Texas, just west of the city. She was the older of two daughters born to Oliver Higgins and Kathryne Moers Higgins, both of Addicks. Her sister, Bonnie, lives with her husband Dan Watkins in Austin Texas. Carolyn earned her BS degree in speech pathology at Baylor University and taught in that capacity at a public school in the Dallas area. In 1965 she married her college sweetheart Hein J Ter Poorten, M.D. who became a well-recognized and respected dermatologist in Richardson, Texas. They raised two children Jon and Laura. Hein unexpectedly succumbed to cancer in 1997 and shortly thereafter Carolyn left for France to paint for six months focusing on what had been a lifelong interest, talent and developing career as artist and art teacher.

In 2003, through her son Jon, who was then a resident in dermatology at MUSC she met Alan Johnson, PhD, a full time clinical faculty member in the Department Of Family Medicine. Their meeting was not only social, but of mind and heart, and on March 21, 2004 they were married in Circular Congregational Church. Her Christian witness led her to begin painting portraits of the homeless and ultimately resulted in a one-person show of over 20 portraits in the Charleston County Library. Before meeting Alan, Carolyn had completed a Masters of Theological Studies at the University of Dallas and this led to her being asked to serve as a chaplain at the shelter. In addition to painting she began a support group for women. Together, Carolyn and Alan weekly volunteered as reading buddies in a Charleston elementary school.

Carolyn is survived by her husband Alan Johnson, PhD of Mount Pleasant; son, Jon Ter Poorten, M.D. his wife Maryanna Ter Poorten-Coggins, M.D. and their two children James and Grace of Concord, NC; Laura Ter Poorten, licensed counselor, her husband Roger Thompson, PhD, rhetoric and writing professor and their son Ethan of Stony Brook, NY; stepchildren Anne, Ivan and Eric Johnson, their spouses and children - as well as many beloved cousins and friends.