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home : obituaries : obituaries   May 29, 2016

7/10/2014 11:00:00 AM
Carol Ann Dean Starovasnik
Carol Ann Dean Starovasnik
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Carol Ann Dean Starovasnik

Carol Ann Dean Starovasnik was born 80 years ago, Oct. 30, 1935, in small-town rural Illinois, the seventh of nine children in an Irish-Catholic family. Life was challenging, as her father, Clyde, had tuberculosis and was unable to work. So everyone pitched in, taking in cleaning, paper routes, farm work and the like to keep the family together.
Finishing high school, Carol came down with encephalitis, normally fatal at that time. She sought treatment in Chicago, where her married sister Clarice lived. Miraculously surviving, her unique result was documented in a medical journal. Upon recovery, she returned home and went to work at Westclox in Peru. She enjoyed bowling where she met another red head, Don, who had earned his spending money setting pins. They quickly bowled each other over and planned a life together which included, by necessity, Don converting to Catholicism so they could marry in the church. After that, they rarely missed Mass, a practice Carol continued even in her deepest illness.
Married in 1960 and following a brief honeymoon they moved to Minneapolis. Their first two children arrived soon; Dean, 1961, and LeeAnn, 1962. Shortly afterward, Don went to work in Lafayette, Ind.,where Maria was born in 1963. Another job change moved the young family to Madison, Wis., in 1965 shortly before the arrival of Melissa. The now complete family of six stayed in Madison until 1973 when another job change took them to Bellevue, Wash. Carol became involved in their church and the kids’ school, Sacred Heart of Clyde Hill. She was also quite active in PTA, the kids’ swim team and their other sports and musical pursuits.
As families do, they grew, kids finished high school, went off to college, Dean, MIT, LeeAnn, Eastern Washington, Maria, Western Washington and Melissa, UW. Unfortunately, just as the college years were beginning to wind down in 1988, Don passed away due to a heart attack. Carol lived, loved, laughed and cried in the 25 years since Don died. She enjoyed her kids and grandkids, her family, travel and her work at the University of Washington in the Mech Eng Department office with grad students and faculty, retiring in 2000. She hosted international professors and students and served as a Meals on Wheels delivery volunteer, all allowing her to continue as “mom.” However, Alzheimer’s slowly eroded her faculties. It never took her joy, her ready, big smile, her heart. It did, however, eventually take her physical life with her passing on July 2, 2014.
Carol is survived by her four children, Dean (Sherry), LeeAnn, Maria Hemmen (Jim) and Melissa (Bruce); four grandchildren, Daniel, Caleb, Sarah and Kathryn Hemmen; her brothers Pete (Kate) and Kenny (Arlene); and sisters, Mae Gall and Rita Gibson (Roger). There will be no interment as Carol has donated her body for research through the University of Wisconsin Willed Body program.
Gifts in her honor may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or Meals on Wheels. 

Related Links:
• Local Florists

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