Dolly Carrier, 70, friend even to strangers

Posted: July 25, 2012

DOLLY CARRIER was the kind of person with whom, if you happened to be standing next to her at a bus stop, you'd be best friends by the time the bus arrived.

"No exaggeration," insisted her husband, Gerald L. "Jerry" Carrier, a retired Daily News copy editor. "I've seen her do it."

Dolly had a way of reaching out to people that was nothing short of amazing, oblivious to anyone's status in society.

"When the doctors broke the news that they could do nothing for her cancer, it suddenly dawned on me what makes her unique: She loves everyone and judges no one," Jerry wrote while Dolly was in hospice care.

Dolores M. "Dolly" Carrier, devoted mother and grandmother and a helpful friend to anyone who needed her, died Thursday. She was 70 and lived in the Northeast.

"No one reaches out to other people the way Dolly does," Jerry wrote. "She doesn't just schmooze them; she makes them her friends. If they need money, it's there. If advice, she gives it. Just a listening ear? She's there.

“When the doctor told us his prognosis, she was the most cheerful person in the room. She's content with the outcome, primarily because she's very devout in her faith. Spiritually, she's ready."

Dolly was born in Wilkes-Barre to Joseph and Helen Beltran. The family moved to Gainesville, Ga., then to Reading, Pa., where she attended Mount Alvernia High School. She thought of becoming a nun, as two of her sisters had done, but gave up the idea. After the family moved to Georgia, she met Jerry Carrier, then an Army lieutenant. They married in 1964 in Decatur, Ga., and eventually moved to Philadelphia.

Writing last Thursday, Jerry told of how the neighborhood trash collectors were concerned about his wife.

"The latest revelation about her came yesterday," Jerry wrote. "It was trash pickup day and the workers were asking about her. When I told them she had terminal cancer, they said they'd be praying for her.

“Turns out that when she saw them collecting trash at the curb, she'd likely go out, say hi, and ask about their families. On hot days, she took water. Does anyone else do that?"

One of her daughters, Monica Carrier Frey, recalled that when the family was living in a small, three-bedroom duplex in the Northeast, with three of the five kids still at home, "Dolly learned that a friend with two young children was suddenly desperate for a home. She immediately made space in the already tight quarters and welcomed the family of three to make themselves at home in her home.

“Dolly's kindness was an amazing example to everyone who knew her. Her memory will go on as those she knew follow her example and treat each other, regardless of circumstances, with kindness and respect."

Her other daughter, Marie Carrier Kinsley, said: "My mom was a sweet, lovely woman, tough as nails but always with a smile, always starting a conversation with anyone she met. She won over the hardest of hearts.

“She was an eternal optimist, always believing the best of every human being, and usually bringing it out in them. Not a cynical bone in her body, always with a smile on her face."

Dolly followed her husband's passion for Civil War history by becoming a member of the Delaware Valley Civil War Round Table.

She was the sister of Eusebius J. Beltran, former archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

Besides her husband, daughters and brother, she is survived by two sons, Gerald P. Carrier and Paul J. Carrier; another brother, Frank J. Beltran; three sisters, Sister Mary Sponsa, Helen Marie Beltran and Angeline Cebulski, and three granddaughters. She was predeceased by a son, Michael J. Carrier.

Services: Funeral Mass 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Jerome Church, Holme Avenue and Stamford Street. Friends may call at 7 p.m. Tuesday and 8:15 a.m. Wednesday at John F. Fluehr and Sons funeral home, 3301 Cottman Ave. Burial in Our Lady of Grace Cemetery, Langhorne.

Contributions may be made to the Teach Peace Foundation, Special Ambassadors Program, 47 Harford Ave., Shavertown, PA 18708.

Contact John F. Morrison at 215-854-5573 or, or on Twitter @johnfmorrison.

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