Wednesday, August 28, 2019
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and refreshments will be served. The rosary will be recited at 7 PM.
Thursday, August 29, 2019
11:00 AM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service. A luncheon will follow in the Life Story Center. Burial will take place at Mt. Ever Rest Memorial Park South.
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.
200 SE 1st St, Suite 800
Miami, FL 33131
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Gentle, quiet, and kind, Carol Allen lived a life rich in family and friends. Carol was a heart-centered woman who unhesitatingly welcomed others into her life and her home. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, Carol embraced each day as a gift and each person as a treasure. She loved fully, and her grace inspired all who were blessed to know her. Cherished by many, Carol will long be remembered by those she loved.
Despite the obvious gloom of the Great Depression, 1930 beheld a power of hope that was unwavering in the hearts of many. With a natural drive to not just endure but thrive in the face of uncertainty, the nation continued to put one foot in front of the other to build a better future. Nowhere was there a greater sense of hope than in St. Ignace, as Aloysius and Irene (Massaway) Vallier welcomed their daughter Carol into their hearts and home on August 1.
The third oldest of the Valliers’ eight children, Carol grew up in a home that bustled with activity. While her father worked as a sailor on the car ferries in St. Ignace, her mother was a homemaker. From the beginning, Carol loved to dance and sing. A graduate of LaSalle High School in St. Ignace, Carol was also a proud member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
Carol met her husband, Robert, in St. Ignace. He was working on the car ferries at the time. Instantly smitten, he knew right away he wanted to marry Carol and even told her so after their first date. In response to his pronouncement, Carol bet him $10 that it would never happen. It was the best bet she ever lost!
Carol and Robert married on June 23, 1951, and in their first few years of marriage, they did everything they later told their kids not to do. The couple loved to dance together. He knew just where to place his hands. She knew just where to step. It was perfect, graceful, much like their life together.
After making their home in Kalamazoo, Carol quickly became known as the neighborhood mom. While raising her own children, she always maintained an open door for all the kids in the neighborhood. Her magnetic personality and mountain of love ensured a sense of welcome and care to all who were blessed to share time with her. While she was known to scrape soap on her kids’ teeth when they misbehaved, she was more well known for her unwavering love and generous hospitality. She enjoyed the neighborhood block parties where she could be found telling Bob how to cook even though he was the family cook. Carol didn’t hesitate to try and instruct her daughter on how to cook a turkey one Thanksgiving. A task she had never attempted. She was always ready to lend a hand. And, it should be mentioned that she could make a mean cake...out of a box! A memory the family will always hold dear, was a family reunion for her Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary. The celebration was marked by a neighbor throwing a rock at a skunk near the camper they were staying in and the pungent days that followed.
Carol always kept track of her children. She would wait at the window with her arms crossed, unable to go to bed until all the kids were safely home. Even when her kids grew into adulthood, Carol stayed in close touch, often reaching out to connect at the precise moment they needed to hear her voice and feel her unwavering faith in them. As her kids blessed her with grandchildren, her loving care continued to grow, enveloping each new family member with her signature grace and kindness. Infinitely patient, Carol never raised her voice – except at Robert now and then.
Carol tried driving once. She couldn’t back up and could only move forward. The event scared her son too much, and Carol never tried again. Despite never learning to drive, Carol loved to travel. She loved the Upper Peninsula, but hated driving on the metal grate on the Mackinac Bridge. She and Robert traveled all over the U.S. They took special trips to Missouri, Arizona, and many other states seeing the sights, and attending concerts and special events. Her favorite trip was to Europe. After producing fishing tackle for years at The Shakespeare Company in Kalamazoo, she proudly retired, and the very next day she and Robert boarded a plane to Germany. They planned to stay in Germany for three months but ended up staying for six months. Flying to Germany was her first time on a plane, and flying home was the last.
A woman who relished in the simple things in life, a perfect day for Carol was any day spent with family. She liked reading, going to movies, and working word search puzzles. She danced often even at Vicinia Gardens, where she lived her final days.
Clearly, the world feels significantly duller in the absence of Carol’s beautiful light. And while it is difficult to imagine life without her steadfast presence, may we find comfort in the many memories we are so privileged to share. May we find additional comfort in knowing that we carry Carol’s legacy of loving-kindness forward in our own lives. Each time we welcome a stranger as a friend, check in on a loved one, quietly listen from the heart, or take a turn on the dance floor with our beloved, we keep Carol’s spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired us.
Carol Jean Allen, of Plainwell, age 89, received her angel wings as the Lord took her hand and welcomed her home on August 24, 2019. Carol was preceded in death by her parents Aloysius and Irene Vallier; her sister, Norma Hudson; her brother, Henry Vallier; and her great-granddaughter, Emma. Surviving are her adoring husband of 68 years, Robert; children: Ronald (Jan) Allen, Kathleen (Darrell) Peek, Cynthia (Jerald) Rosecrans, Daniel Allen, Thomas (Irene) Allen, and special daughters: Mary Anne (Don) Hicks and Karen (George) Baldino; 14 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandson; siblings: Donald Vallier, Gail (Fred) Boden, Lyle Vallier, Gary Vallier, Brenda (Gary) Taylor; and a tribe of nieces and nephews.
Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments from 5-7 PM on Wednesday (August 28) at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, 269-375-2900 where the rosary will be recited at 7 PM. Services will be held at 11 AM on Thursday (August 29) with visitation 1 hour prior. A luncheon will follow in the Life Story Center with burial then taking place at Mount Ever Rest Memorial Park South. 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 Parkinson’s Foundation. Special thanks to her wonderful caregivers at Vicinia Gardens in Otsego.