R. I. P. Carol Underwood Eiland

WANA: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

R. I. P. Carol Underwood Eiland

The first time I saw Carol Underwood, I thought she was one of the most beautiful women I’d ever seen. She was a tall, willowy brunette, and I thought my cousin Randy Eiland had married above himself. Even in her sixties, shown here with her daughter Shawna, she was still a beautiful woman.


Carol and her daughter Shawna

All the years she was married to Randy and through the years since, she has maintained her beauty, both inside and out. She exercised all the social graces and always had nice words to say about everything. Although they’ve been divorced for a quarter of a century now, I’ve never heard her say anything bad about Randy.

They raised two kids—Shawna Eiland Gross and George Randolph (Shad) Eiland IV—and helped finish raising a niece when Randy’s sister’s marriage fell apart. Carol lived her life in Lamesa surrounded by Randy (and my) family and was always a gracious and fun part of family gatherings.

After their divorce, she left the West Texas farm town of Lamesa where they had lived and moved to Dallas. Following an interest she’d always had in interior decorating, she entered that highly competitive business as a salesperson for Stark Carpet Corp. She successfully made a career for herself there even though she was around forty when she began.

At my age, you’re not too surprised to hear that a contemporary has passed on, but Carol would have been about the last one we would expect to see go. She was very slender and always kept in shape.

Unfortunately, she fell down the staircase in her apartment. Her son Shad was visiting and rushed her to the emergency room, where it was determined her only injury was a big goose egg on the back of her head. The fatal heart attack occurred a couple of days later. All we can figure is that the fall must have caused a little clot to form and work its way to her heart.

Be careful even of little injuries. It doesn’t take too much to cause a blood clot to form, and once it does, it can cause irreparable damage to the heart or lungs or brain if it should migrate to one of those places.

Life is a fleeting thing. Don’t take it for granted. God gives us no guarantee of tomorrow. Make the most of today—everyday.


clip_image003David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. Since his retirement from insurance a few years ago, he has devoted his time to helping Kristen Lamb start Warrior Writers’ Boot Camp and trying to learn to write a successful novel himself.


About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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26 Responses to R. I. P. Carol Underwood Eiland

  1. A beautiful tribute, David. So sorry for the loss of your friend.


  2. That’s very sad. You are right about making the most of every minute, life is both stronger and more fragile than we imagine. Sorry for your loss.


  3. Pam Koehler says:

    David, thanks for writing such a nice tribute to Carol. I haven’t seen her since she and Randy divorced, and she moved from Lamesa. While here, she was such a delightful person to know and visit. I know her family will truly miss her, as will her friends.


  4. As a fellow Interior Designer I knew Stark Carpets well and my eldest son is in the carpet business. Wow David, the freakiest things are happening to people. Everyday we need to be grateful for every moment of our life.

    I am so very sorry to hear of your family’s loss. Carol sounded like she was a very beautiful, kind, talented person. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about her David. I’m sending you a hug. 🙂


  5. Barb Estinson says:

    David, the tribute to Carol is beautiful. As Lynn said, we have had other recent losses because of falls and head injuries. Though I don’t know for sure that is what caused Carol’s heart attack, it makes a lot of sense. Though I didn’t know Carol as well as you did, I always enjoyed being with her, and loved her warmth and spirit as well as her creativity. I know she was so good to Mom. Carol and I have recently been playing a Facebook word game together. I will miss her there too.


  6. Christy says:

    Thank-you for sharing such a heart-felt tribute to your friend. You are in my thoughts David and she would be proud of how well you have described her here.


  7. So sorry for your family’s loss.She sounds l just wonderful. Life is so sort and all that matters is…. love. It is all about love., Everything
    is about love.LOVE Our very slavation is because God loves us so much he sent his only beggotten son to die for us. LOVE: it is the unconditional love a parent has for their child. Love: the love a husband and wife share over alifetime Love: It is for love of country and human freedoms brave solders give their all for us in far away lands. If you are filled with” Love” you will be beautiful inside and out.
    Sounds like she was one of those people. A rare treasure.


  8. Thank you David for this touching story. In someways it reminds me of how I lost my dad. He was only 42 at the time and like Carol in good health.

    A couple weeks before his cerebral hemorrhage he’d been body surfing on the west coast. A wave caught him and through him headfirst into the beach bottom.

    We never knew for sure what precipitated his death but felt the injury was a possibility.

    Thanks again for showing your love for a friend and reminding us of how transient life is.


  9. susielindau says:

    That is so sad. What a beautiful friend. We are all so fragile and life can be so fleeting….
    I will say a prayer for her family….


  10. I’m so sorry for your loss, David. It’s never easy to lose someone we love. You have written a beautiful testament to her spirit and the important role you played in each other’s life. I agree with you wholeheartedly – every day is a gift. Appreciate it, as I feel you do.


  11. Lynn says:

    That was a beautiful tribute to Carol. And Aunt Barb and I were just talking recently about friends each of us have who fell and suffered head bumps…her friend died a few days later, and my friend is facing a long recovery. So you are right – take nothing for granted! It is amazing how quickly it can all change!


  12. Donna Newton says:

    David, I am so sorry. I remember watching, years ago, a scene on a TV programme. Pretty much the same thing happened. It is frightening to think that a small injury can have such a fatal and sad outcome.

    My heart goes out to both you and Carol’s family. xxx


  13. We do have a tendency to take things for granted,that’s for sure.

    😦 I am so sorry about your friend.


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