MyArea Network Loses Friend, Co-Worker and Founding Content Manager
She was a friend to everyone she met, warm and welcoming and always unassuming. That was Carlyn Riggs-Bullock, friend, mentor and co-worker at MyArea Network. The staff is mourning the loss of Carlyn who passed away earlier this week after a long battle with ovarian cancer.
Carlyn first started at 813area as a freelance writer while she was also blogging on her Off the Sidewalk site about life around Bayshore Boulevard. She later became a full-time employee and Content Manager for all of the company’s 150 sites around the country, managing and editing a slew of freelance writers.
A Pennsylvania native, Carlyn moved to Dunedin in middle school then Tampa after meeting and marrying her husband of 35 years, Bill Bullock. She loved writing and mentoring writers, something that she was gifted at. Scott Conlon, President, and CEO at MyArea Network says, "Today we lost an amazing person on this great earth. Carlyn will be missed and always remembered. She has made a resounding mark on my life and for all of our staff."
Carlyn had a variety of jobs that included sales, artist, volunteer teacher, consultant, eBay Power Seller and client relations. She met people easily and enjoyed forming new relationships. Many of her customers would become lifelong friends.
Kelly O'Brien first met Carlyn twelve years ago and said she was always friendly and loving to everyone she met. Kelly recalls a time when they were at the hospital and she was making the nurses laugh, "She cared more about other people even as she struggled to save her own life!"
With almost 4,000 Facebook friends, Carlyn posted about her cancer updates as well as meaningful stories and quotes. As her cancer advanced, her messages were predominantly about love and forgiveness. She often shared popular quotes and bible verses about hope and adoration. She was public with her cancer battle, showing her strong Christian faith and hoped that she would inspire others. She traveled with Flat Jesus and had him above her bed her last week at Hospice. One of her final posts was published a week before her death:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Roman's 15:13
Chelsea Martin worked with Carlyn as an intern and later as a writer and editor and says, "I was very fortunate to know Carlyn the last year and a half. She taught me a lot of what I know about writing and editing, but ultimately, she was such a positive, inspiring person who truly loved life and other people."
Carlyn had a beautifully sweet and soothing voice and could talk for hours about everything and nothing at all. People were drawn to her warmth. She was giving of her time and her heart. She was insightful and knew how to read people. That gift helped her at work and in life. She could always find the funny too! Carlyn posted a picture of herself admitted to the hospital on Cinco de Mayo and titled it "Cinco de Sado".
“Carlyn and I used to laugh about how busy we kept our guardian angels back in the 70s and 80s,” said best friend Grace Smith, “We had a blast!” Grace and Carlyn met in junior high and became fast friends in high school when their boyfriends at the time were also best friends. Carlyn told one of the nurses that Grace was her “BFF” and it’s something Grace says she’ll treasure for the rest of her life. It’s the last time they spoke as Carlyn became unresponsive for much of her last week.
Debbie Torres, VP of Sales for MyArea Network knew Carlyn before they worked together, bonding over their love of hats and their height differences. Carlyn was 5'9 and Debbie is 5'. Debbie calls Carlyn a gifted writer and is convinced she is going to continue her love of writing with a new blog about "Best Craft Beers in Heaven"!
Carlyn leaves behind husband Bill, sons AJ and Hunter, a mountain of friends and very sad but grateful co-workers for their time together.
LeeAnn Huntoon, Content Manager for 407area shares the feeling of staffers saying, “Carlyn was and will always be a beautiful soul. She had a love affair with words and a passion for life. I feel so blessed to have known her. She taught me so much not only in the context of writing but also about life. She was my mentor, my friend, and she will forever be missed.”