Fashion icon passes away in Chapel Hill

Posted January 16, 2011 3:02 p.m. EST

— Georgia Carroll Kyser, a fashion icon of the 1930s and '40s and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, died Friday.

Kyser died at the age 91, according to her obituary.

Born in a tiny town outside Dallas, in November 1919, Kyser first gained attention as a model in Texas and, at age 17, was snapped up by John Robert Powers, the premier modeling agent of her day.

She graced the covers of Vogue, Cosmopolitan and the Ladies Home Journal and appeared in 14 films, the obituary states.

In 1943, she became a vocalist for big band leader, Rocky Mount native and UNC alum Kay Kyser, who had 11 No. 1 hits. A year later, they married, and in 1953, the couple retired to Chapel Hill.

Kyser earned a bachelors degree in studio art from Chapel Hill in 1970. She became involved in preserving the town's architectural heritage and co-founded the Chapel Hill Preservation Soceity with Ida Friday, wife of UNC president Bill Friday.

Her husband became a leader of the international Christian Science church and died in 1985.

Kyser is survived by two daughters, Kimberly, of Chapel Hill, and Amanda, of Sag Harbor, N.Y., along with five grandchildren. Her daughter Carroll, of Chapel Hill, passed away in 1993.

The obituary states that a memorial service for Kyser will be held in Chapel Hill, but a date hasn't been picked yet.