Carolyn L. Smits, age 85, of Wisconsin Rapids, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, March 22, 2020, when she passed away at her residence in Wisconsin Rapids surrounded by her loved ones.
Carolyn was born to Louis and Catherine (Wondergem) DePagter in the Town of Wilson, Sheboygan County, WI, on January 16, 1935. She graduated from high school in Ootsburg, WI and worked as a bookkeeper at Sheboygan Memorial Hospital and as a receptionist at the Curt G. Joa Co. in Sheboygan Falls.
Carolyn met her future husband, Gerald Smits, on a blind date that was set up by a mutual friend. They dated for two years before they were married on August 24, 1956 in Ootsburg, WI. They were blessed with nearly 64 years of marriage and five children (Sandra, Lori, Mary, Dale and Dan).
Carolyn enjoyed being a homemaker and staying at home raising the children. She also enjoyed sewing clothes for the family. When the youngest went off to school, she did a few cleaning jobs with a friend and later enjoyed doing food demos at a local grocery store until they discontinued their demo program.
Carolyn looked forward to family camping trips, enjoyed riding bicycle, and couples bowling with her beloved Gerald.
Carolyn’s faith in her Lord Jesus Christ was central to her life. She was very involved in her church, New Hope Community Church, in Wisconsin Rapids. She was active in their Sunday School program, Story Hour, Vacation Bible School, serving funeral luncheons, or just about anywhere she could serve. When New Hope closed, she found a new church home and became part of the family of believers at Faith Reformed Church in Wisconsin Rapids.
Carolyn is survived by her loving husband, Gerald Smits; three daughters: Sandra (Paul) Jeltema of Wisconsin Rapids, WI, Lori (Leslie) Robinson of Nekoosa, WI, and Mary (Eric) Ylvisaker of Blaine, MN; two sons: Dale (Kim) Smits of Bloomington, MN and Dan (Gwen) Smits of Andover, MN; 14 grandchildren: Amy (Jon) Friesema, Eric (Erin) Jeltema, Kara Marker, Sara (Kevin) Coder, Brian (Sarah) Robinson, Luke (Amy) Ylvisaker, Tyler (Stephanie) Ylvisaker, Tanner (Emily) Ylvisaker, Don Erdall, Jack Smits, Joe Smits, Isabella Smits, Abigail Smits, and Ava Smits; 14 great-grandchildren; one sister, Ruth Mentink of Ootsburg, WI; and sister-in-law, Betty DePagter of Sheboygan Falls, WI. She is preceded in death by her parents; brother, Don DePagter; and sister, Marsha Loomans.
A private family service will be held at Herman-Taylor Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids. A public memorial service will also take place at Faith Reformed Church in Wisconsin Rapids when the ban on public gatherings has been lifted. Burial will be at Christian Reformed Cemetery in the Town of Sigel, Wood County, WI.
Herman-Taylor Funeral Home, Wisconsin Rapids, is honored to be assisting the Smits family. Condolences for the family may be expressed at www.taylorfuneralhome.net. There you may also view Carolyn’s tribute video and funeral webcast when it becomes available.
Memorial gifts may be directed to Faith Reformed Church, 1321 32nd Street North, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494 or to LOVE Inc of South Wood County (Love in the Name of Christ),710 20th Ave. So., Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495 or http://loveincswc.org/donate/.
Carolyn’s family would like to thank River Run Assisted Living and Heartland Hospice for the excellent care they provided.
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