The 'Hot Dog Lady', beloved downtown Raleigh icon, dies at 63

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A downtown Raleigh icon who loved hats, pearls and putting smiles on those who strolled the streets during lunchtime has died at the age of 63.

Carol "Cookie" Passley, also known as the 'Hot Dog Lady', passed away on Friday, Sept. 11 at the Litchford Falls Rehabilitation Center.

For decades, long before businesses flooded the busy street, the New York native peddled hot dogs on Fayetteville Street in the heart of downtown Raleigh. While on the clock, you could find Passley wearing a shirt embroidered with the word, "Hot Dog Lady." You could depend on her to also be wearing a string of pearls and a fashionable hat.

Passley was born in Albany, N.Y., but many of her relatives eventually settled right on the North Carolina-Virginia line in South Boston, Va.

Family members said her funeral will be held there. Arrangements are being made by Jeffress Funeral Home.

The funeral home said she is survived by her mother, two brothers, three sisters and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.

Last month, family members started an online fundraiser to help pay Passley's medical bills. In it, family members wrote, "As some of you know, Carolyn had a major stroke that has affected her right side movements. However, she is in high spirits and active in her therapy with the hospital staff. Despite her best efforts, she needs help from those around to assist in paying part of her medical bills."
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