Carol Ann Calkins (Germani), of Oxford, passed away on Friday, September 29, 2017. She was 73.
She joins our Father in Heaven after four decades of resilience and determination in the face of continuously declining health. Carol is survived by her life partner and husband of 55 years John, her daughter Melissa (Flanagan) and son-in-law John, son David and daughter-in-law Rebecca, son Stephen and daughter-in-law Christeena, and nine grandchildren.
Her bravery, tenacity, and desire to live and thrive will carry on in their lives through her example of love and devotion to family and God. A graduate of St. Mary Academy, Monroe, MI, as a young girl Carol aspired to become a nun and pursue her love of literature. Instead, she followed her heart and the Lord’s plan for her and wed John Samuel Calkins, a graduate of Monroe Catholic Central, in September, 1962.
An avid reader, Carol was never far from her stack of books. She maintained her love of learning throughout her life, including becoming her own best advocate during three brain surgeries as a young mother.
In the 1970s, Carol and her family lived in Davison, MI, where she wrote of her experiences balancing motherhood and illness through a weekly column for the Davison Index appropriately called Reflections.
These columns borrowed generously from her frank conversations with her physicians and from the often-humorous anecdotes that arose from explaining complicated issues to three young and impressionable minds.
Over many years of illness, Carol never lost her witty style and enduring sense of humor that provided laughter to others.
She found a vehicle for her humor, benevolence and grace through weekly letters to friends and family, which always contained positive and prayerful words of kindness and wisdom.
Carol took great joy and contentment from the simple things in life.
She loved cooking for her family, from hot oatmeal in the mornings to fresh sugar cookies, coffee cake, or blueberry muffins in the afternoon to dinner each evening. She could also throw a decent spiral with the football and endured long hours in the bleachers for the sake of supporting her children.
Carol and John are active members of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Orion, and Carol loved 7:30 a.m. mass on Sunday morning. Mass was followed by brunch with her family at her favorite local or Big Boy restaurant, where over the years the family would commemorate events of all kinds.
In later years, Carol loved her easy chair and a blanket over her legs, all the better to fall asleep with a good book on her lap. An important lesson pervaded all that Carol did in life.
Though small in stature and of failing health, she taught through example that strength comes from the heart and that through prayer and grace, anything is possible.
In lieu of flowers, her family asks that donations be made to Beaumont Hospice c/o Beaumont Health Foundation, PO Box 5802, Troy, MI 48007-5802 or St. Vincent de Paul c/o St. Joseph Catholic Church, 715 N. Lapeer Road, Lake Orion, Michigan 48362.
Funeral services were held at 11 am (with instate visitation at 10 am), October 3, at St. Joseph. Visitation was held Oct. 2 at Modetz Funeral Home Silverbell Chapel in Lake Orion.