Alyne Finley Carroll, 91, died Dec. 14, at her Potomac home from congestive heart failure.
A native of Marshall County, Ala., she attended Peabody College in Nashville, Tenn. prior to moving to the Washington area in 1931 where she worked in the United States Treasury Department in the bureau of accounts. She later became administrative assistant to commissioners Bell, Bartel and Colins prior to leaving the department in 1948.
She has said she left because she and her husband had too many horses, and she had to take care of them.
CARROLL, KNOWN AS LYN, was a vivacious and outgoing woman. She co-founded The Surrey, a Potomac saddlery and gift shop which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.
She and a partner opened the iconic store in what is now the Chevy Chase Bank building before moving it to its current location in the Potomac Village Shopping Center in 1959. When the store first opened, customers could ride their horses to the parking lot and hitch them up outside while they shopped.
The store, which has become known as much for the pleasant smell of saddle leather and potpourri as for its wide array of products, was a success from its very first day, when all but one piece of merchandise was sold. Carroll and her partner, Anita Bogley raided their attics for goods to sell on the second day.
Carroll remained active in the store’s operation and was at her desk the day prior to her death.
Her dedication prompted Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R) to issue a proclamation commemorating her success in business and “the appreciation of a grateful equestrian community and the citizens of Potomac.”
AN ARDENT FOX HUNTER, Carroll continued her interest in the sport until her death. Crippled with arthritis for most of her life, she would often ride with the reins twisted around her wrists, refusing to relinquish her enthusiasm for the sport to the debilitation of the crippling disease. As recently as this past Thanksgiving, she was a spectator at the Potomac Hunt meet.
The Maryland Horse Council named her the year 2000, “Horse Woman of the Year” for her continued interest and support in the horse industry. There was a presentation dinner honoring her at Pimlico Race Course attended by several hundred friends and family members.
Married in 1944 to the late William E. Carroll, a real estate agent and former Potomac Master of Fox Hounds, the couple shared a life-long interest in horses and horse-related activities. She was the first Potomac Hunt member to show foxhounds in national competition, winning the grand championship at Bryn Mawr, Pa. in 1950, her first show. A 61-year member of Potomac Hunt, she was also a member of the Virginia Foxhounds Association.
Carroll, known for her grit, rode in the Potomac Hunt’s first point-to-point ride. When the horse she was riding tired, she dismounted and pulled the horse up a hill across the finish line.
A FOUNDING MEMBER of the Women’s Board of the Washington Heart Association, Carroll was presented with a 40-year service award in 1990 by then First Lady Barbara Bush. She was also a member of the Daughters of American Revolution and the Potomac Methodist Church.
Survivors include nieces Gaines Finley Hurdle, of Bethesda, Alyne Carroll Morgan of Poolesville; nephews David G. “Rusty” Morgan of Rockville, Carroll D. Broyles and Christopher L. Broyles of Atlanta, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Thomas F. Finley III, of St. Louis, J. Patrick Finley of Johnson City, Tenn.; and a sister-in-law, Alice “Cissy” Finley Grant, of Potomac.
* Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19, at Potomac United Methodist Chruch, 9908 S. Glen Road, Potomac, Md.