Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Carol Leipzig

June 5, 1942 - March 15, 2024
Kalamazoo, MI


Life Story Visitation

Wednesday, March 20, 2024
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.

Driving Directions


Thursday, March 21, 2024
11:00 AM EDT
St. Michael Lutheran Church
7211 Oakland Dr
Portage, MI 49024
(269) 327-7832

A reception will follow at church.



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Kalamazoo Community Chorale
67333 Crooked Creek Rd
White Pigeon, MI 49099
Web Site

St. Michael Lutheran Church
7211 Oakland Dr
Portage, MI 49024
(269) 327-7832
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


When reflecting on the life of Carol Leipzig, it is easy to see both her unwavering strength and her unconditional love for her family. She was always willing to go above and beyond to serve others, and she welcomed anyone and everyone with open arms and a loving, accepting spirit. Nothing brought Carol greater joy than spending time with her family, no matter how simple the moments. She was a shining example of kindness and patience, and she always made sure those around her knew just how much they were loved. Dearly missed, Carol will be forever held in the hearts of those who knew her best.

The early 1940s are remembered as a time of great tension for the United States and the rest of the world. WWII raged around the globe, and countless brave servicemen were called to serve away from home. Those who remained stateside faced rationing, clung to their radios for news, and supported the war effort in any way they could. It was during this tumultuous time that Gus Chumas and Naomi Pollock of Kalamazoo, Michigan, were eagerly anticipating the arrival of their youngest child. On June 5, 1942, their wait was over, and they welcomed their daughter, Carol, into the world.

Growing up, Carol was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised in the family home alongside her two older brothers, John and Paul. Throughout her childhood, Carol enjoyed roller skating and visiting her grandparents’ house, where she would collect eggs from the chickens and play in the barn’s hayloft. She once jumped from the hayloft and straight into a pile of snakes! Carol attended local schools and was involved in cheerleading, musicals, and singing. She was a social butterfly and was voted homecoming queen her junior year of high school, much to the chagrin of the senior class nominees hoping for the title. Carol graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School, then went on to pursue further education at Michigan State University. She remained in touch with many of her friends from high school all throughout her life as they shared a special bond.

All who knew Carol can certainly agree that she treasured her family above all else. During her high school years, she met a young man named Roger Kooi. The two sang folk songs together, and they even spent three months singing in Europe. Carol and Roger produced a record in Kalamazoo and shared a magical evening when invited to sing for Walt Disney. The couple welcomed three beloved children, Roger, Chris, and David, into their hearts and home. Carol truly thrived in her role as a mother, and though her marriage to Roger didn’t last, she learned how to support her children as a single mom. Her encouragement and devotion to her children shone through as she expertly balanced the challenging schedule of working, mothering, sporting events, and special days. Later in life, Carol was thrilled to become a grandmother. She adored and doted on them whenever she could. She never missed a grandchild’s game, sporting event, concert, or activity, and she attended every graduation. Carol always considered herself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.

Carol found true happiness with a man named John “Jack” Leipzig. The two first met when Jack interviewed Carol for a job at National Water Lift, which is now known as Parker Hannifin. They began dating a couple of years later. Over time, Carol’s relationship with Jack blossomed and flourished. Jack’s patience and persistence paid off. After asking Carol to marry him for the third time, she finally said yes! Carol and Jack were married in 1982, ready to begin their future as husband and wife.

Never one to sit still for long, Carol pursued many hobbies to stay busy in her free time. She nurtured her lifelong passion for music as a member of the Kalamazoo Community Chorale. Carol sang in a women’s group and a quartet as well. She loved playing the piano while her son, Chris, played the snare drum. Carol was an avid reader and a member of a book club. She served her community by reading to children at Barnes and Noble and at juvenile homes, spreading light and joy wherever she went. She enjoyed traveling to California as often as she could to visit family. In their retirement years, Carol and Jack visited warm locations such as Arizona and Florida, and they eventually settled down outside of Orlando. She always had a great time making friends with other snowbirds. Christmas was always hosted at Carol’s house, and she treasured that time with her family. Her ability to sincerely listen drew people close to her. The kindness, and sometimes tough love, in her responses only endeared people to her even more.

As family and friends can surely attest, Carol Leipzig truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times, and she faced challenges head-on with a spirit of determination. A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Carol was a friend to many and beloved by all. She exemplified what it meant to live selflessly, and her primary focus in life was forming deep and personal relationships with those around her. Though she will be deeply missed, Carol leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will be proud to carry on in her footsteps.

Carol Leipzig of Kalamazoo, age 81, died on March 15, 2024. Carol was born June 5, 1942 in Kalamazoo to Gus Chumas and Naomi Pollock who precede her in death, along with her husband, John “Jack” Leipzig; and brothers: Paul Chumas and John Chumas. Surviving are her children: Roger (Kim) Kooi, Christopher (Tammie) Kooi, David (Kellie) Kooi; grandchildren: Kaitlyn (Chris) Perini, Maggie Kooi, Emma Kooi, Chloe Kooi, Jeremy Kooi, Alyssa (Ryan) Krill, Molly Kooi; step-grandchildren: Gunnar Valk, and Karsyn Valk; and nieces and nephews.

Please join us at a Life Story Celebration where food, drinks, and stories will be shared on Wednesday, March 20th from 5-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900. A service will be held on Thursday, March 21st at 11 AM at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Portage with a reception to follow. Visit Carol’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael Lutheran Church or Kalamazoo Community Chorale.