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.
To the family for local Food Banks
In lieu of Flowers, the family is asking to bring cash to the visitation to put in Carols cooking pot to be distributed to local food banks.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Carol A. Greenwood, it is easy to see her unwavering strength and unconditional love for her family as a cornerstone. She worked tirelessly to serve others, and she lived to cook for family and friends. Carol never took a single moment for granted, rather, she made the most of each and every moment she was given. In her book, time spent with loved ones was time well spent. Dearly loved, Carol will be deeply missed by all who were blessed to know and love her.
The year 1941 is often remembered as the year of the vicious attach on our naval base in Pearl Harbor as that marked our official involvement in WWII. It was just prior to this historic day that LeRoy and Alta (Hambright) Cushing were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Carol A. On June 7, 1941, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Carol being the first born of the four Cushing girls, she took her role as Sandy, Margie and Debbie’s eldest sister very seriously. Carol adored her sisters.
Growing up, Carol was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised in the family home by her mother, who was a stay-at-home mom, and her father, who worked as a truck driver. Carol’s parents enjoyed throwing parties, something she also grew to enjoy as an adult. She often spent Saturday nights at a store in Texas Corners that had free movies shown on the side of the building. At a young age, Carol began babysitting locally and loved caring for children.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Carol as she met the love of her life. His name was Leo Greenwood, and the two originally met through Carol’s parents and Leo’s father and stepmother, who lived next to each other on 12th Street in Kalamazoo. Carol had been friends with Leo’s sister, Emma Jean, for many years, but she had never met Leo. That all changed when in the late 50s, Leo’s brother, Jim, bought the 12th Street home from his father, and he and Leo moved in. A friendship slowly developed between Leo and the Cushing family. As a favor to her mother, Carol agreed to go to a party with Leo as her date, beginning a courtship that would include roller skating, hanging out to listen to music, and many movies at the Texas Corners Drive-In Theater. In time, their relationship blossomed into something much deeper. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Carol and Leo were happily married. They later built their first home together in the same neighborhood that much of her family lived in, so there were always relatives around.
Of all the things Carol loved in life, she treasured her family above all else. Over the years, her family grew to include four children: Wendie, Lee, Roy, and Rob.
It was easy to see that Carol thrived in her role as a mother. She often took her children to drive in movies, which she had always loved. Even when money was tight, Carol managed to buy them Christmas presents every year and make each birthday special. She shared her love of fishing with her children, but the rule was, you had to be on the lake before sun up or you didn’t go. Carol was overjoyed to become a grandmother and even a great-grandmother in life, and she took every opportunity to dote on these younger generations.
Never one to sit still for long, Carol pursued many hobbies in her free time. She loved to spend time in the kitchen, cooking full meals for her family, or preparing special treats. Carol could learn to create any food. 30 years ago Carol once handed down her own beloved silver canning pot to daughter-in-law Jody to continue the tradition of making large batches of food to feed anyone who entered the house. Christmas was a favorite holiday for Carol’s family. She and Leo decorated every tree in the house and yard, and several people would drive by each year just to see their displays. Carol enjoyed making sure that there was always plenty of gift boxes of chocolates and trays of cheese and crackers to be given out at Christmas time. One of her favorite things to prepare was wild game. Once, while playing cards, Carol heard that someone had several pheasants and rabbits available. She quickly left the game to prepare the food, then returned to the card game! Carol loved going to the race track with family and friends. She was always happiest when spending time with loved ones. Carol enjoyed going to the casino, and she was usually very lucky. She also liked playing poker, with Pitch as a close second, and she could spend hours playing Yahtzee and drinking pots and pots of coffee with Tom, whom she said was her honorary brother. Carol loved listening to music, especially Elvis. She was able to see Elvis in Kalamazoo at Wing Stadium shortly before his death. Carol’s all time favorite song was Turn Me Loose by Fabian, and she played it at every opportunity, including her wedding. She liked all 50s music, as well as anything country. Carol’s all time favorite music events (even topping her love of Elvis) was the many times where she could hear the many members of her family members sing and play in bands. She said many times that her sister Debbie has a voice like an Angel and that she could listen to her sing all day. Carol enjoyed family cookouts in the summer, with her famous potato salad being a most requested passing dish. She was also known for never missing a garage sale.
As family and friends can attest, Carol A. Greenwood truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She valued others’ happiness over her own, and though she wasn’t afraid to share her mind, she did so with kindness and compassion. Carol worked hard in all things, but she still took time to enjoy the everyday beauty in life. She was proud to watch her family grow to include so many beloved members, and she cherished each and every memory. Though Carol will be dearly missed, she leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
Carol A. Greenwood, Age 79, of Kalamazoo, died peacefully on March 26, 2021. Carol was preceded in death by her parents Alta and Leroy Cushing, her sister Margie Evink, her son-in-law Jon Steenholdt and her husband Leo in 2013.
Surviving are her four children: Wendie Steenholdt of Kalamazoo, Lee Greenwood of Kalamazoo, Roy (Jody) Greenwood of Jackson, Rob (Janet) Greenwood of St. Johns; grandchildren: Amanda, Anna, Jordan, Justin, Victoria, Merideth, Temperance and 9 great-grandchildren.
Visit with family and friends Friday (April 2) from 10 - 11 a.m. at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, 269-375-2900 where services will be held at 11a.m. following visitation. Burial will be taking place at Alamo Center Cemetery.
Visit Carol’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may read her Life Story, archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign her online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to the family during visitation in Carol’s cooking pot, to go towards local food banks.