Carole A. Michels, 73, of rural Elburn, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, at home, surrounded by her loving husband and children, and her dear sister Judy.
She has been at her home and/or lake home under family, Hospice and Home Helpers care since April 11, 2014. Carole was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2004 and has been resigned to her condition with an enduring faith in God that was one of her characteristics throughout her life. Carole gave unconditional love and effort to everyone that she met and to everything that she did.
Carole was born June 29, 1941, in Aurora, the daughter of Roy and Gertrude (Kroeger) Brown. She grew up in Aurora, the “middle” child of four children. Carole attended East Aurora public schools and graduated mid-term in the first graduating class from the “new” East Aurora High School in 1959. In high school she developed lifelong friendships with several special friends.
Upon graduation from high school, Carole began her career as a secretary with IBM in Aurora and developed the skills that served her well throughout her life.
She was with her friends when she met her future husband, Jim, at the A&W Root Beer Stand in Aurora, and started a romance that lasted almost 55 years. They dated while Jim attended Marquette University, and were engaged on June 24, 1962, on Powers Lake, Wis. They were married on Dec. 1, 1962, at St. Therese Catholic Church, Aurora.
After a brief honeymoon, they returned to Oklahoma City, where Jim was stationed as a commissioned officer with the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) in the Division of Indian Health. It was while in Oklahoma City that their oldest child, Patrick “Sean”, was born in October 1963. They were transferred to Henryetta, Okla., where Christopher “Todd” was born in January 1965. They then moved to New Brighton, Minn., where they were blessed with their daughter, “Denise” Marie, who was born in August 1966.
The family made another move to Norman, Okla., in 1968, where Jim attended the University of Oklahoma, and Carole made many friends with her outgoing personality, entertainment and cooking skills. In 1969 they moved to their present home in Blackberry Township and joined their extensive families and made a large number of new friends.
Carole enjoyed her new home and rejoining her family. She became active in St. Gall Catholic Church, where she was a Eucharistic Minister, among many other things.
Carole concentrated on raising her three children and, along with her sisters, looking after her mother, dad and widowed mother-in-law. She resumed her secretarial skills as the secretary of the newly formed consulting engineering firm Engineering Enterprises, Inc., in Elburn in 1974. Carole then became active in the Elburn Business Council. In 1982, she became a realtor with Leuer Realty, where she was a “top producer” for most of her 30-year career.
Carole was a member and president of the Greater Aurora Association of Realtors and a member of the Fox Valley Board of Realtors; she held several leadership positions with both boards. She was also a charter member of the Kane County Tourism Association and a member of the Kaneland Foundation and the Waubonsee Community College Foundation. Carole was a precinct committee person for Blackberry Township for many years. She was one of the seven founders of Kaneland Community Bank in Elburn. Carole was also the Corporate Secretary Emeritus of Engineering Enterprises, Inc., in Sugar Grove.
Carole enjoyed life, especially entertaining family and friends by cooking and baking.
She also enjoyed traveling with her family and friends, and vacationing at Powers Lake.
A loving wife and devoted mother and grandmother, her greatest joy was to care for her family. Her love was mirrored in the lives of her children and grandchildren, who adored her.
She is survived by her husband, Jim; two sons, Sean (Valerie) Michels of Sugar Grove, Todd (Jacqui) Michels of Chicago; and one daughter, Denise (Brian) Migliorini of Plano; three sisters, Jean (Don) White of Big Rock, Joan McCue of Aurora and Judy (Jim) Kreitz of Sugar Grove; and nine grandchildren, Abby, Nick, Maddy and Sophie Michels of Sugar Grove, Greycn, Alexa and Samantha Michels of Chicago, and Gina and Nico Migliorini of Plano; three sisters-in-law, Pat, Lil and Lois Michels, and Anna Marie Avram and her brother-in-law Nello Avram; and 44 nieces and nephews.
She joins now her parents; two grandsons, Geno and Ryan Migliorini; her mother- and father-in-law, Marie and Ben Michels; her brothers-in-law, Bob, Art and Bern Michels, and Jim McCue Sr.; and five nieces and nephews.
Her visitation will take place Thursday, Aug. 21, 3 to 8 p.m. at St. Gall Catholic Church, Route 47 and Shannon Street, Elburn. A wake service will begin at 8 p.m.; family and friends are invited to view her remains in the church and to “Celebrate Carole’s Life” in the church hall.
Her funeral will take place on Friday, Aug. 22, at St. Gall Catholic Church, Route 47 and Shannon Street. Visitation is scheduled from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m., with a Mass at 10:30 a.m. Fr. Timothy Seigel will officiate, and interment will follow at the Greenwood Cemetery, Hinckley.
A memorial has been established in her name to benefit St. Gall Catholic Church, CNS Hospice, the Elburn Lions Club, the Luxembourg American Cultural Society and/or the Alzheimer’s Association. Checks may be made to the “Carole A. Michels Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes may be forwarded to the family at the same address or at www.conleycare.com.