MURFREESBORO, NC – Carol Marie Piper passed into heaven on October 9, 2021, at the age of 88.
Carol was born January 6, 1933, in Miami, Florida to Marie and Ernest McGiboney, where she lived until her senior year of high school, then finished at Tulsa Central High in Oklahoma. She attended Florida State University, then moved to New York City to pursue a career in music. It was there that she met the love of her life, Bob Piper. He was a newly minted attorney from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was working with MCA (Music Corporation of America). They met on St. Patrick’s Day and then began working together, performing often in Atlantic City and around New York. From there she began to perform and tour with many artists of the day including Les Elgart and Buddy Morrow.
Bob and Carol followed the music business to Hollywood, California, where they married on March 21, 1958, at Hollywood Presbyterian Church. They were very active in the church and brought music to worship and other missions of the church. Carol joined the Drama Group at the church and joined the Hollywood Christian Group, meeting and worshiping with people in the television and film industry. She enrolled in the Hollywood School of Drama, and found work acting in live theater, television, and some bit and extra roles in movies.
In addition to his law practice, Bob had begun to work in the radio, television, and film business, and brought Carol in to sing jingles and commercials. She had also been singing with several professional groups, performing and recording, and is still heard to this day on many recordings, including the Nat King Cole Christmas album.
While living in Hollywood, Carol became active in politics, working on campaigns for a Congressman, Senator, and Ronald Reagan for Governor of California. She served as an election judge for several years and as precinct captain for two years.
Carol was a member of many organizations while in California, including the American Federation of Radio & Television Artists (AFTRA, National), Screen Actors Guild (SAG, National), Screen Extras Guild (SEG, National), Women’s Political Club, Los Angeles Republican Women’s Club, as well as many church and charitable organizations.
Bob and Carol and their three boys (so far!), Brian, Stuart, and Paul, moved to Dallas in 1967 to work for a company called Pam’s, Inc., where the “jingle” industry was booming. Bob as a writer and producer, and Carol as a singer. It was in the studio she met Mary Jo Grogan and Tinker Rautenberg, who were original singing members of Vaughan Monroe’s Moonmaids from the late 1940’s through the early 1960’s. With these two and another, June Bretone, they started a revival group called the Moonmaids, added a male singer, Harrold Grogan, and called it Moonmaids Plus One. Bob was their arranger and musical director, and they enjoyed touring Texas and the Southwest, while also making several recordings. Their last “hurrah” was performing with the Palm Beach Pops Orchestra in 2006 to celebrate the 80th birthday of their dear friend Bucky Pizzarelli, who had also toured with Vaughan Monroe and the Moonmaids in the 1940’s.
The fourth son, Darren, was born in Dallas in 1968. With four boys Carol was very involved in PTA groups at Lipscomb Elementary, J. L. Long Junior High and Woodrow Wilson High Schools for many years. Other Dallas organizations were the KiwaniAnnes (Kiwanis women), her church choirs, directing the Children’s choir, the Dallas Historic Preservation League, the Swiss Avenue Historic Association, the Greater Dallas Chapter of Sweet Adelines and many more.
Bob and Carol moved to Murfreesboro, North Carolina in 1992, after 25 years in Dallas, a total surprise to the family! But they quickly fell in love with the area and the community. They bought a large home and opened a Bed & Breakfast. Even as “outsiders” to the town, they flourished immediately and made fast friends. They were thrilled to begin a long relationship together with their business and with plans to continue to perform together in the surrounding area. Sadly, Bob was diagnosed with cancer in late 1993, just a little more than a year after they had moved and died in February of 1994. With him died their dream of a new start together in Murfreesboro.
So, Carol started life over. Rather than head back to Texas she planted roots in Murfreesboro and became part of the fabric of the town. In the years since she has operated two B&B’s, an antique mall, an antiques and collectibles store, a restaurant and gift shop, and has even had her own radio show on WZRU in Roanoke Rapids, where she played jazz and a “music of your life” program.
One of Carols passions was genealogy, and she was active in many genealogical societies all her life, including the Society of Descendants of Mayflower Passengers, the John Howland Society and Colonial Dames, among others.
Carol was preceded in death by her husband, Robert William Piper, on February 12, 1994. She is survived by her sons Brian (Nancy), Stuart (Hawn), Paul (Michele) and Darren; grandchildren Caitlyn and John Piper, Haley Grimes, Caroline Martinez and Alexandra Piper; many nieces and nephews whom she loved.
If desired, please make memorial contributions directly to Murfreesboro Baptist Church, 200 Main Street, Murfreesboro, NC 27855; or you may donate online by clicking here
The family along with Murfreesboro Baptist Church will be having a memorial service for Carol Piper on Thursday, November 4, 2021 at 10:00AM with Rev. Lane Bass officiating.