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Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Carolyn Broene, it is easy to see that she lived to love and serve all who were within her reach. She didn’t shy away from telling it like it was at times, but that certain spunk made her so much fun to be around. A more devoted wife and mother would be hard to find, but Carol just may have argued that nothing was sweeter than becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother. It was easy to see that her life was deeply rooted in her faith as her life exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord she loved. Genuine, thankful, and gracious in all things, Carol was a blessing to all who knew her. She will never be forgotten.
It was great to be an American during the decade that we often recall as the Roaring Twenties. Cars were widely mass produced on an assembly line by this time, which made them more affordable for the average American. There were also advancements in the world of flight as Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart were fearless beyond measure. It was just as this decade was dawning that Edward and Jennie (Japenga) Scholtens were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Carolyn Edna on August 26, 1920, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was the middle of seven children to be raised in the family home near Pine Street and 11th Street. It was a modest home with only three bedrooms and one bathroom for their bustling family. Carol’s father worked as a printer while her mother was a busy homemaker. The Scholtens family attended Alpine Avenue Christian Reformed Church, and Carol went to West Side Christian School. She then went on to Grand Rapids Christian High School where she became close with a group of friends who called themselves “the Gang". This group of friends remained close for the rest of their lives and got together at least once a year even until this year.
Not to be forgotten during her years in high school was Carol’s introduction to the young man of her dreams. His name was Ladd Broene, and they became high school sweethearts. Their love grew, with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Carol and Ladd were married on June 27, 1941, at the chapel of Calvin College. After honeymooning in Grand Haven for a few days, the newlyweds settled into their new roles as husband and wife in their apartment on 11th Street, NW. Ladd worked for American Seating and was a student at Calvin College while Carol worked in retail at J.W. Dykstras. In 1942, they welcomed their daughter, Jan, into their hearts and home. A short time later, Ladd was drafted into the Army and was stationed in Salt Lake City and then Nebraska. Carol and Jan joined him for a time. When he was shipped overseas, Carol and Jan returned to Grand Rapids. Their daughter, Ellen, was born while Ladd was in the service. Their family was later completed with the births of Marian, Kathy, Al, and Bob.
Carol made it seem effortless to keep things running smoothly on the home front. She was very organized when it came to caring for their home at 1104 Widdicomb and later at 1448 Tamarack Avenue, NW. Each child had a chore list in the morning, and they knew their chores needed to be completed before they were allowed to play. As a family they attended Alpine Avenue Christian Reformed Church. Also of great significance in the life of the Broene home was Carol and Ladd’s deep love for the Cubs, which started with Grandma Broene. They took family trips around Lake Michigan each year, and these trips always included a Cubs game and a trip to Riverview Amusement Park with meals being eaten at various roadside parks along the way.
In addition to managing their home, Carol worked as a CNA. Her work schedule often found her working at Butterworth Hospital on Sundays. But, since they loved being together as a family Ladd and their children often had lunch with her in the cafeteria at work. Despite her own busy schedule, Carol was always there to support her children at all their events. This tradition continued when she became a grandmother as she was there for all of her grandchildren’s events. Throughout their married life, Carol and her husband were always together. There was always enough food at their table but never a dessert. Sunday coffee after church was a favorite tradition, and as their family grew the whole family continued to come over. Carol liked to have baked treats for her family and was known for her magic squares, almond bars, and banket. Family was always her top priority, and Carol and Ladd went to see her mother every afternoon at four just to spend time with her for years.
Throughout her life, Carol was a woman of many interests. Described as a sports nut, she was not only a fan of the Cubs but also of University of Michigan. Carol liked to watch or listen to any kind of sports and even got into racing a bit because of her son-in-law, Rick. She had a very sharp mind, which made her a strong competitor at Scrabble as she usually won. Carol did word search puzzles and enjoyed reading newspapers, mysteries, and novels as well as romance novels. She also loved listening to hymns.
During their retirement years, Carol and Ladd stayed busy. They enjoyed taking Brenner Tours, traveling all over North America. Carol made countless church and school dinners to help with fundraising as she was so eager to help others in any way she could. Together she and her husband also delivered cars for Budget Rental, but in 1990 Carol was in a terrible car accident that left her with multiple injuries requiring 17 months of therapy. Through it all, she never complained and Ladd willingly took over on her roles. In 2004, Ladd was diagnosed with dementia, and Carol tenderly cared for him until a fall in May 2006 brought him to Brookcrest Nursing. On June 1, 2006, she was deeply saddened with his death.
All who knew Carol Broene would agree that she was one special lady. She was God fearing, living her life in accordance with the Christian beliefs that were engraved upon her heart. Carol was happiest whenever she was surrounded by her family, and she was there to nurture, support, and even care for her loved ones in whatever way was needed. She will be forever missed.
Carolyn E. Broene (Scholtens) age 97, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Ladd, her daughter, Ellen Doornbos and many other loving family members. She is survived by her children, Jan Langeland, Gord Doornbos, Marian and Bob Orange, Kathy and Rick Wray, Al and Margie Broene, Bob and Mary Broene; 29 grandchildren; 33 great grandchildren; brother-in-law Henry Ritsema; dear cousin, Jane Scholtens; and many nieces and nephews. A special thank-you to Emmanuel Hospice for the loving care given to Mom. The service to celebrate Carol's life will be held at 1 PM on Friday, September 22, 2017 at Westend Christian Reformed Church, 1015 Westend Ave. N.W. with Rev. Henry Admiraal officiating. Family and friends are invited to share their memories from 2-4 and 7-9 PM on Thursday at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. N.W. Contributions in Carol’s memory may be made to West Side Christian School. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read Carol’s lifestory, archive a memory, photo, or to sign the guestbook.