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Caroline  S.  Lewis
  • Ross-Augusta Fire Department
    12086 M-89
    Richland , MI 49083

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“Dear Tom and girls, Caroline was so very special to me. Not only just because of how awesome she was but because she was my labor and delivery nurse...Read More »
1 of 7 | Posted by: Sue Bouwkamp Hartman - Friend

“Angie, So sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family. I hope you find solace in the beautiful memories you keep of your Mother and...Read More »
2 of 7 | Posted by: Janie jakubowski

“Such a dedicated mom and community servant. It was an honor to know her and her caring ways. ”
3 of 7 | Posted by: Pat Bartlett - Grand rapids, MI

“TomSuch a great lady. She will be missed. It was wonderful working with Carolyn and having her present for our delivery. Am keeping you and your...Read More »
4 of 7 | Posted by: Marie Rogers - Placida, FL

“Tom, So very sorry to hear of Caroline's passing. She was a very remarkable lady. We have so many fond memories of the fun times we spent with you...Read More »
5 of 7 | Posted by: Orville Harness - Kokomo, IN

“Dear Tom, Helena, Angie and the Hofmeister Cousins, My thoughts and prayers are with you even though I will not be in Michigan for the memorial...Read More »
6 of 7 | Posted by: Beverly Hain - Hudsonville, MI

“Helena, From all of the Shaffers, we are so very sorry for your loss. Losing a parent is life changing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Zack...Read More »
7 of 7 | Posted by: KImber Shaffer - Galesburg, MI

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Caroline was born August 29, 1946 in Hastings, Michigan to H. Lowell & Lois M. (Clouse) Hofmeister.

During her lifetime Caroline resided in Yorkville, South Haven, Richland, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Galesburg, Michigan as well as, Dayton, Ohio.
Caroline attended Richland Schools, graduating from Richland High School in 1964.

While growing up, Caroline was active in 4-H Club and won numerous local and state awards including a statewide Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1964, for which she won a new Caloric Gas Range.

Following high school, Caroline attended the Bronson Hospital School of Nursing in Kalamazoo, graduating as a Registered Nurse in 1968.
Caroline met her future husband, Tom, in 1965 while attending classes at Western Michigan University as part of her nursing training. They were married July 1, 1966 at the Sunnyside United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo. Both were young, and though Tom was slightly older, Caroline was more mature had the strength and determination to keep the couple headed in the right direction. Over the years, not only has their love for each other grown and blossomed, they also became best friends. Together they raised two daughters, Helena Joy, and Angela Gaye. During Angie's junior year at Northview HS, the family opened their home for a year, and their hearts forever, to a wonderful foreign exchange student from Germany. Eva-Maria Lichtenberg was immediately, and always will be, considered one of their daughters.

Caroline worked as a labor and delivery nurse for more than 25 years at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, St. Mary's Hospital and Spectrum Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, and as an Office Nurse/Administrator for an OB/GYN practice in Kalamazoo. Over the years, she lost count of the number of newborns that she helped usher into the world.

Caroline loved to give back to her community and participated in numerous organizations in both Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, including the Northview Schools Band Boosters, assisting at concerts, parades, and competitions; and the Aldersgate United Methodist Church, making pasties for, and assisting at, the church's booth at the annual Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts. After returning to Kalamazoo in 1987, Caroline joined the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra League and worked on several of their community fund raising projects.

Through an organization in Kalamazoo called Kids Connection, Caroline met and started mentoring Whitley, a charming 7-year-old. Their time together was always special, whether it was an outing or just spending "girl time" together at home. Caroline made sure to include Whitley in family events such as birthdays and Christmas and enjoyed watching her grow into a beautiful young woman.

Caroline never stopped helping and mentoring, even during her final stay in the hospital. If there were student nurses assisting with her care, she would tell them stories about how things were done in "the old days" when she was a student and talk to them about life as a diabetic with kidney disease and about some of the medical procedures that she had personally endured over the years. She would encourage them to listen to the blood flow through her special artery/vein bypass (fistula) used for dialysis since it was something they would learn about, but might not encounter during their training.

Caroline was also extremely devoted to her family, usually working evening or night shifts so that she could be available for doing such things as being a room mother, attending parent teacher conferences, school programs and band concerts for both girls during their time in elementary, middle, and high school.

Caroline didn't stop when her girls graduated high school and entered WMU where they both joined the Bronco Marching Band. Being back in Kalamazoo by then, she and Tom organized other area WMU band parents to prepare a Homecoming Day chicken barbeque for out-of-town Bronco Band parents and the members of the band. Even after her girls had graduated, "Mom Lewis" would prepare a "refreshment break" for the band members on the last day of Marching Band Camp which always took place the week before regular classes started at the University. "Refreshment" consisted of dozens of loaves of homemade fruit breads baked by Caroline, along with several pounds of butter and gallons of McDonalds punch. There was rarely anything left but crumbs.

After her daughters became members of the Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity for Women (SAI), Caroline offered her home as a gathering place after new pledges completed their "Rose Musicale" initiation ceremony, continuing her practice of providing food and companionship to the girls. Dozens of SAI members have pictures of themselves and their friends, all in their beautiful gowns, posed around the Lewis' Grandfather clock. Over time, and because of her support of both organizations, Caroline became known to members of both the band and SAI as "Mom" Lewis. Due to her support of the local SAI chapter Caroline was initiated into the national organization as a Patroness in 1991.

Caroline didn't limit her support and commitment to just her girls. She supported her husband as well as evidenced by her willingness to move to Dayton, Ohio, when Tom's employer sent him there for training a few months after they were married. She was also willing to leave her job and move to Grand Rapids in support of his employment situation and to return to Kalamazoo eleven years later when that situation changed. Years later, when Tom joined the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Caroline, volunteered her people and cooking skills at Auxiliary gatherings, training camps, and District and National Conferences, earning several Certificates of Appreciation from both local and district officers of the Auxiliary.

Though not a musician, Caroline loved music and often joked that she could "only carry a tune in a bushel basket". She especially loved Christmas and decorating the house, and decorating cookies with her girls and nieces.

In addition to their "two legged" kids, Caroline and Tom raised several of the "four legged" furry variety as well. Caroline adored them all, but she especially loved her West Highland White Terriers (Westies) Gabriella Noel and Sallie Sue.

While not an avid boater, Caroline did like spending time