Carrie Rochon McAfee, distinguished educator, was born on December 20, 1930, in Galveston, Texas, to Tom and Daisy Hampton. Upon finishing high school, McAfee attended Texas Southern University where she studied history and English. In 1951 she was secretary of the student body, president of Nu Alpha Chapter Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and Lady of the Year. During that year, she also earned a B.A. degree and married her college sweetheart, Lonnie Bernard Rochon, on September 29. To this union one daughter, Rhonda Rochon, and one son, Roy Bernard Rochon, were born. She later wed Joshua O. McAfee, and their marriage lasted thirty years until his death in 1994. Over the course of her career McAfee earned an M.A. degree from Texas Southern in 1963 and did coursework at Lincoln University (Jefferson City, Missouri), Columbia University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Houston, and University of Texas at Austin.
McAfee started her career in education with the Houston Independent School District in 1953. She worked at Jack Yates Senior High School as a teacher, counselor, club sponsor, and academic coach. In 1968 she was promoted to “Dean of Girls” and later to assistant principal. While at Yates High School McAfee received the following awards: Wall Street Journal Outstanding Journalism Teacher (1963), Wall Street Journal Newspaper Fund Fellow (1964), Forward Times Newspaper Women of the Year King’s Class Award (1965), and Who’s Who of American Women (1972).
In 1973 she relocated to HISD’s James Madison High Senior School as an assistant principal and made remarkable history a year later as the first African-American female principal of a comprehensive senior high school in Texas. During her fifteen years at the school, she was known as “Mama Marlin.” After leaving the school in 1989, she worked in administrative leadership positions in HISD where she implemented “Project Reconnect,” a recognized, statewide model for parental involvement.
McAfee received additional accolades, honors, and awards including the TSU Distinguished Alumni Award (1983), National Council of Negro Women Finalist Outstanding Women Community Leaders (1996), and the National League of Business and Professional Women Sojourner Truth Award (1996). In 1996 the Madison High School library was named in her honor. McAfee’s professional and social memberships included: City-Wide Clubs of Houston, American Bridge Association, Federation of Houston Professional Women, Friends of Hermann Park, Young Women's Christian Association, Texas Democratic Women, Greater Houston Women's Foundation, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Lambda Zeta Chapter.
McAfee retired from the school district in 2004 with fifty-two years of service. She was also active in the civic life of the Third Ward area of Houston. Following a brief illness, Carrie Rochon McAfee died in Houston on September 22, 2006. She was buried in Golden Gate Cemetery in Houston.