Carol ‘Faye’ Branham Sharpe passed away at Springmoor’s Stewart Health Center on July 9, 2020 due to complications of Covid-19.
Faye was born in Raleigh on June 10, 1939 to the late Dr. J. Walton Branham and Dorothy Ray Branham. Her bright intellect was apparent from childhood. She was the valedictorian of the Needham Broughton High School class of 1957. Faye went on to Duke and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Delta Honor Societies while earning her degree in chemistry. Immediately after graduation, Faye overcame the gender barriers of her time and began a 30-year career as a systems engineer with IBM.
Faye had a quick-wit and sharp-tongue, made all-the-more potent by her quiet, soft-spoken demeanor. She spent her college summers working in Yellowstone and travelling Europe. She found great joy in watching the Duke Blue Devils smoke the competition and sharing stories from her many travels.
In much of her travels she had a companion—Victor Vivian Sharpe, the love of her life. The two met in Tampa, and they were married on Valentine’s Day, 1971. From that day forward Faye and Vic lived a life of fun and adventure on sea, on land, and in the air. The couple converted an 80 ft. shrimp boat into their floating home, where they lived full time for several years. Faye and Vic loved to fly small aircraft. In 1990, they built an airplane hangar at the airport in Mountain City, Tennessee, where Faye was an active member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Faye edited the Association’s newsletter and organized flights for young people. She would take them up for a spin, exposing them to the joy of flight. Faye was an accomplished pilot with single engine and multi engine certifications, and she was even certified to fly float planes. When not flying, the lovebirds traveled the country in their RV. They regularly attended air shows, frequenting air strips in Oshkosh and Florida. Back in Tennessee, they parked their RV in the hangar, and made their home in the sky and on the road.
After a life of travel and adventure, Faye and Vic returned to her childhood home in Raleigh to spend time with family. They moved to Springmoor in 2013.
Faye was predeceased by her parents and her brother David “Bucky” Branham. She is survived by Vic, her husband of 49 years, her caretakers, cousins, Brenda and Alex Martin of Raleigh, their son Charlie of Santa Cruz, California, cousins Don and Jan Ray of Houston, Texas, their son Nicholas (Who) Ray of Austin, Texas, Nancy McBride of Raleigh, HC and Marianne Bueck of Franklin, NC and other supportive and loving extended family members.
Because of Covid-19 there is no memorial service planned for Faye; however, those wishing to honor Faye’s life and the value she placed on education are encouraged to make contributions to the NB Broughton High School Foundation.