Carolyn Graap passed away peacefully on November 17, 2020, with her family at her side under the loving care of the staff at Bell Tower. Carolyn was born in Merrill on December 1, 1937, to Edward H. and Sophia (Bartelt) Plautz. She met the love of her life, Kenneth Graap in high school and they were married on December 22, 1956. Carolyn worked at Hanson Glove and excelled as a Tupperware dealer and manager for over 20 years beginning in 1976. In 1996, she and Kenny co-founded GW, Inc. where both worked an active role in the company. Carolyn’s hobbies included gardening, deer and bear hunting, snowmobiling, camping, spending time at the family hunting shack, knitting, and crocheting baby hats for hospital newborns, and most recently, making cards. She was talented at everything she tried. Carolyn and Kenny traveled to many locations, most recently spending 17 years at their winter home in Arizona. Carolyn was a shy person who touched the lives of so many people–quietly, one at a time. After her dementia diagnosis and move to Bell Tower in August 2020, she reached out to other residents and became a kind and loving “mother hen” according to the staff that cared for her. Her family received blessing upon blessing to know her loving, funny and more outgoing self throughout the last year.
Carolyn is survived by her husband Kenny; sons Russel (Tammy), Rick (Sheila), and Brent, all of Merrill, WI and daughter Dawn (Dennis) Gourlie, River Falls, WI. She has eleven grandchildren Jesse Graap, Jason Graap, Jade (Matt) Zastrow; Peter Gourlie, Jennifer (Jordan) Klos; Ashley Romatoski, Alex Graap (Chelsea Grund), Brandon Graap (Leigha Janssen), Destinee Graap (Tyler Budreau); Nyssa (Josh) Winchell and Corey Graap. Great grandchildren include Ava, Easton, Emma, Easton, Bentley, Parker, Jack, Leo, Gavin, Connor and Mackenzie. She is further survived by her brother James Plautz; sisters-in-law Eunice Schubert, Virginia McElhaney, Barbara Golisch, and Cathy Graap; as well as many nieces and nephews. Carolyn was preceded in death by infant son Bruce; parents Edward and Sophia Plautz; parents-in-law Charles Sr and Dorothy Graap; sisters-in-law Audrey Heuser, Mary Plautz and Jean Graap; and brothers-in-law Charles Graap Jr., Vernon Heuser, Dennis Graap, Kenwood Schubert, Marvin McElhaney, and Kermit Golisch.
We trust in God’s great love and promises, and know that Carolyn has reached her heavenly home. The funeral service for Carolyn will be held at 11:00 A.M. Monday, November 23, 2020 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Merrill. Rev. Adam Rodriguez will officiate. Burial will take place in Snow Hill Cemetery, Town of Scott. Visitation will begin at 9:00 A.M. Monday at the church. Masks and Social Distancing will be required at the church. The Taylor-Stine Funeral Home, Merrill is assisting the family.
The family suggests memorials be made to:
Bell Tower Residence – 1500 O’Day St., Merrill, WI 54452 or
Trinity Lutheran Church – 107 N. State St., Merrill, WI 54452
Online condolences may be made at www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com