Cover photo for Carol Ann Thelen's Obituary
Carol Ann Thelen Profile Photo
1945 Carol 2023

Carol Ann Thelen

May 5, 1945 — October 21, 2023

St. Johns

     Carol Ann Thelen, beloved daughter, sister, and aunt, was welcomed to her heavenly home on October 21, 2023. Carol was born on May 5, 1945, to Alex and Rosemary (Hengesbach) Thelen of Fowler. She was preceded in death by her parents and her nephew Steven. Carol leaves behind six siblings: Marlene (Fred) Martin, Don (Debbie), Dave (Carol), Dan (Lisa), Steve (Beth), and Debbie, as well as many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and cousins.

     Carol grew up on the family farm in Fowler, Michigan. As a child, she helped her mom run the household and care for her siblings. Carol graduated from Most Holy Trinity School after the eighth grade. As her siblings grew up and began to have families of their own, Carol enjoyed spending time with her nieces and nephews. She really loved babies and enjoyed getting them to smile and laugh.

     In 1986, Carol and her parents retired from the farm and moved to St. Johns. This was quite a change, but Carol handled it well. Her parents included her in activities like playing cards and Bingo, and going shopping. They made many new friends in St. Johns.

     Carol loved being around people. She was great at remembering names and greeted people with an excited “Hi!” from across the room. She loved to talk and ask people how they were doing. She was quick to laugh and share in others’ laughter, and her laugh was contagious. Carol brought pure, carefree joy to any gathering.

     Carol always remembered people’s birthdays, and she made sure everyone knew that her birthday was May 5. She loved to celebrate by going out to eat, having people sing “happy birthday” to her, and receiving lots of birthday cards. She enjoyed looking at her cards and showing them to others. Her 60th birthday was a very special one -- her family gathered for a party in her honor.

     As the years went by, Carol helped take care of her parents. Her dad passed away in 2008. A few years later, her mom entered the nursing home, and her sister Debbie stayed with her. Debbie and Carol visited their mom almost every day. They also enjoyed going out to dinner and shopping with their niece Shari and spending time with family and friends. Carol especially liked visiting family pets, including Dan and Lisa's dog Rosie. When Carol had spare time at home, she liked going through her many purses, putting photos in her albums, playing word games, and watching game shows.

     In 2012, Carol was diagnosed with uterine cancer; although she had many rough days, she kept “going and going” as she always did, because she had so much energy and she loved life. She met a lot of people during her cancer treatments, and her cheerfulness inspired many others. Everyone admired her strength and courage.

     Carol had pain in her hip and back through the years. Eventually it became harder for her to get around, and she began to use a walker. In June 2017, Carol’s mom passed away. A few months later, Carol entered the Hazel Findlay Country Manor in St. Johns so she could get 24-hour care. It was an adjustment for Carol to move there, but she enjoyed being around the residents and nurses every day. She made many friends there.

     As time went on, Carol’s mobility and health declined. She kept going until she no longer could, and she passed away in the presence of her sister Debbie and niece Shari. She went to be with her mom and dad in heaven. We will miss her dearly, but we are comforted in knowing we will see her again someday. We are grateful for the gift of knowing her. We celebrate her life, and her spirit lives on in our hearts.

     A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, St. Johns, MI, at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, October 26, 2023, with Rev. Fr. Michael Williams presiding. Burial will take place at Mt. Rest Cemetery, St. Johns, MI. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, from 2-8 P.M. with family present from 2-4 & 6-8 P.M. at Smith Family Funeral Homes - Osgood Chapel. A Vigil Service will be held at 7:30 P.M. on Wednesday at the funeral home.

     Memorials may be made to Hazel I. Findlay Country Manor, St. Johns, MI  48879. Online condolences can be sent to www.smithfamilyfuneralhomes.com. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes - Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, Michigan.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carol Ann Thelen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

2:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Smith Family Funeral Homes St Johns

104 East Cass Street , St. Johns, MI 48879

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Vigil

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Starts at 7:30 pm (Eastern time)

Smith Family Funeral Homes St Johns

104 East Cass Street , St. Johns, MI 48879

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Joseph Catholic Church

109 Linden St, Saint Johns, MI 48879

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Burial

Thursday, October 26, 2023

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