‘She was a welcoming soul’: Friends of Carolyn Bartles remember her love for others

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Those who knew a Sevier County woman who was found dead after going missing are now speaking out.

Carolyn Bartles had been reported missing to Gatlinburg Police Department on Feb. 20.

Those who knew Bartles are now sharing their memories, saying she never met a stranger. Bartles will be remembered for her love for others.

“I met Carolyn working at Howard’s Steakhouse about 10-11 years ago and she trained me,” said April Chapman. “She’s the nicest person.”

As a restaurant server, Bartles loved meeting new people.

“She loved that she worked in a tourist community,” Chapman explained. “She loved going to see the waterfalls, she was an animal lover like most of us. She was just a warm good-hearted person.”

Now Chapman and others are morning their friend who brought so much life to the community.

Shirley Ellison also worked with Carolyn. “I’ve known her probably for around 15 years,” she said.

Ellison said going to work with her friend now gone wont be the same.

“She would try to load up all the dishes at once and try to carry them to the kitchen, and of course sometimes she would drop a plate and it would bust and you could just hear all of us just laughing all over the restaurant,” she said. “I’m sure going to miss that. And every time we hear something drop – that’s Carolyn.”

These are just a few stories of a friend who loved a challenge and who loved others.

“I want people to know just what a good-hearted person she was, how she didn’t deserve this, how much she’ll be missed,” said Chapman.

Bartles was 52 years old.

Family and friends held a memorial service for her last Friday.

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