BRITTON, LELA CAROLINE , Died November 9, 2007 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Born November 4, 1951, she is survived by her children Kerry Parrish, Scarlett Rasor and Max Rasor, and her husband, Bill Britton and step daughter Lauren Britton. She was preceded in death by her parents, Weldon and Nell Rigdon. Caroline was a true urban pioneer, and she owned Olines Hair Salon in the Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff for 22 years. She was an alumnus of both Justin F. Kimball High School and David Carter High School. She was a life long Oak Cliff resident. Caroline was a former Director and Chaplain of the Oak Cliff Lions Club and was active in the Meals on Wheels program as long as she was able to drive. Her charity extended much further on a strictly individual basis. She leaves behind countless friends. Family members extend their gratitude to Caroline's friends, neighbors and clients who have been there for her over the last months and throughout her illness. Services are scheduled for Tuesday, November 13 at 10:00 AM at Kessler Park United Methodist. Contributions may be made in Caroline's name to a charity of your choice.
 
There will also be a Celebration of Caroline's life on November 13th at 5:00pm at Oline's in the Bishop Arts District.  Caroline Britton Guestbook

Lela Caroline Britton: Owner of Olines beauty shop

08:17 AM CST on Tuesday, November 13, 2007
By BLANCA CANTÚ / The Dallas Morning News
bcantu@dallasnews.com

Nobody - except those who called from doctors' offices - called Lela Caroline Britton by her first name.

"Everybody called her Oline," Bill Britton said of his wife, who operated Olines beauty shop in Oak Cliff.

Mrs. Britton, 56, died Friday after a battle with cancer. Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. today at Kessler Park United Methodist Church.

Mr. Britton said he had known Mrs. Britton, a pretty, redheaded girl, since they were eighth-graders.

No one would have ever guessed they'd be together, he said.

"They would have said, 'He's too square, and she's having too much fun,' " he said.

The two lost touch in their high school years.

He went on to play college football, and she dropped out her senior year at Kimball High School because her first child, Kerry Parrish, came before graduation, Mr. Britton said.

She went back to school and graduated from Carter High School in 1971, went to cosmetology school, got her license and opened a beauty shop on Lower Greenville.

Growing up, she was the girl who always liked fixing everyone else's hair.

After a short stint on Greenville, she moved Olines to the Bishop Arts District on West Seventh Street, where it stands today.

It was at a high school class reunion committee meeting in 1996 where she and Mr. Britton became reacquainted.

He was single and she was going through a divorce when they decided to get together. He was 49 and she was 50 when they got married. Both had been married multiple times.

"This would have been it, though," Mr. Britton said, choking back tears. "We were both quite comfortable."

About six months after the wedding, Mrs. Britton was diagnosed with breast cancer. It progressed to bone cancer, then brain cancer.

"We never could get things lined out," he said. "It just came on too quickly. I only had her for a few years."

Getting back to work and seeing all her customers is what she hoped for the most, Mr. Britton said.

"It's sad – a person who loved life doesn't have it. It's horrible," he said.

Mr. Britton said his wife wanted people to be happy.

"She was so tolerant of everybody," he said. "She never judged anybody. ... She was so understanding, so forgiving."

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Britton is survived by her children, Kerry Parrish, Scarlett Rasor and Max Rasor, and stepdaughter Lauren Britton.

Caroline Britton, owner of the Bishop Arts Districts longest running shop, OLines Salon, passed away November 9 after a battle with cancer that lasted nearly five years.

Caroline, or Oline to her friends and customers, has been a CliffDweller for her entire life. Jill Fabian met Oline in junior high at TW Brown, and their friendship spanned 40 years, including participating in a book club together over the past six years.

Oline had the ability to make everyone feel at ease. She always put others first, Fabian says. And Oline loved the holidays. Any opportunity to cook and entertain with her family and friends was always a time when Oline shined.

Doreen Williams moved into Oak Cliff in 1979 and became fast friends with her neighbor across the street, Oline. We spent many pleasant evenings sitting on each others porch, and Caroline was always dreaming about opening her own salon, explains Williams. The two became business partners, Williams doing the books and Caroline doing the hair, and the dream became a reality in the fall of 1985 with the opening of OLines in the Bishop Arts District.

Williams commented that Oline had a way of making everyone feel special. I would often refer friends to Caroline to have their haircut, and inevitably, after spending just a few hours with my old friends, Caroline would report back to me something that I never knew about my friends. She made everyone feel so comfortable, they just couldnt help but open up to her, Williams shares.

The memorial service honoring Caroline at Kessler Park United Methodist Church was packed, a testament to the years of involvement in the community and the many friends she touched with her life. The reception that followed the service was held at her Bishop Arts salon, and was crowded with friends and family paying tribute to a woman who loved the outdoors, gardening and her children.     

December 2007 issue of Cliff Dweller Magazine