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Carole was the beloved daughter of Richard and Inez (Waehler) Schwartz. She grew up on the family poultry farm, Schwartz Leghorn Farm, in Lomira, Wisconsin, where she attended the local schools. She started her post-secondary education at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, later transferring to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned her bachelor of arts degree. She then earned a master of arts degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; an early childhood certificate from New College, Oxford University; and a doctorate in early childhood education from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984. She was a member of Kappa Delta sorority; a life member of the Ex-Students Association of the University of Texas at Austin; and numerous professional fraternities and other associations.
She began her teaching career in the Milwaukee public schools. She also taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Campus Demonstration School; Inter-American University, San German, Puerto Rico; and as a college professor, ending a distinguished teaching career at the University of South Florida, Tampa.
Lee Bailey and Carole were married at Washington Prairie Lutheran Church, Decorah, Iowa, on September 2, 2011, her parents’ anniversary. On October 29, 2011, a special blessing ceremony was held at Holy Communion Lutheran Church in Racine, Wisconsin, presided over by their pastor and friend, the Rev. Walter Hermanns. Their first home together was in Caledonia, Wisconsin. They moved to Fountain City, Wisconsin in 2016.
Carole is survived by her cherished husband, Lee; her mother-in-law, Alma Bailey; her sister-in-law, Dallas Bailey (Gordon) Wellensiek; nephews, Brian (Sara) Wellensiek; Tyler (Chad) Wellensiek; and other Johnson/Bailey/ relatives. She is also survived by Schwartz and Waehler cousins and many friends, in particular: Marlene Schwartz Melrood, Patricia Meier, Jo Ann Long, Joy Harris, and Kappa Delta sisters, Jacqueline R. Wolff and Hazel Rue Maloney.
Carole was predeceased by her parents; her uncles and aunts: Raymond and Jeanette (Coulter) Waehler; Roy and Doris (Blake) Waehler; Leonard Waehler; Milton and Lillian (Waehler) Mellor; John and Jenny Schwartz; William Schwartz; Agnes (Schwartz) Pade; and Alvina Schwartz; cousins: Carleton R. Waehler; Elaine (Waehler) and Ivan Sampson; Donald and Joyce (Bloedow) Waehler; Sandra (Mellor) and Leo Meier, Paul Melrood, Shirley (Pade) MacIntosh; and Wesley and Marcella (Schultz) Pade.
Encouraged by her parents to seek her birth family, in 1997 Carole discovered she had six sisters and two brothers: Ruth Nelson Carpenter, Gladys (Ronnie) Hug, Margaret Nelson (John) Merwin, Irene Nelson (John) Muras, Helen Nelson (Ruben) Schaumberg, Dorothy Nelson (Gerald) Wiebelhaus, Arthur (Mary Ann) Nelson, and Walter (Charlotte) Nelson.
In the summer of 1998, a picnic took place to include Carole’s “First” family and her “Birth” family, attended by 81 people.
Carole is survived by Ruth, Helen, Dorothy, Walter and Charlotte Nelson, Gladys and Ronnie Hug, sister-in -law, Mary Ann, and numerous nieces and nephews, among them: Ben (Andrea) Nelson, Seth (Danielle) Nelson, Lucas (fiance: Jenny) Nelson, Greg (Karen) Hug, and Denise (Dan) Wilcox.
Carole and her family extend kudus to her medical team at Gundersen Health System, La Crosse, and in particular: Dr. Travis Schamber; Dr. Thomas C. Leece; Dr. Lori J. Rosenstein; and Dr. Balaji Srinivasan, for their compassionate concern, care, and treatment. The family also is grateful to the infusion nurses, whose positive spirit and extraordinary skill were so greatly appreciated.
A private memorial celebration will take place at Shrine of Rest Mausoleum in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
A small Tree of Life urn will be placed with Carole’s mother, beside her father, at Shrine of Rest Mausoleum in Fond du Lac. A large Tree of Life urn will be placed in the Bailey monument at Greenwood Cemetery, York, Nebraska, along with their four “boys”, their pets, Elvis, Rama, Smokey, and Travis.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (262 Danny Thomas Place; Memphis, TN 38105) or Kappa Delta Sorority Foundation (3205 Players Lane; Memphis, TN 38125).
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