Carole Jean Widtmann Meilicke, 84, of Niceville, Florida passed away on Sunday, March 6, 2022 at Grand Boulevard Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Miramar Beach, Florida. She was surrounded by the love she so freely gave and enjoyed visits, FaceTime conversations and numerous phone calls from her adult children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and friends, near and far, almost up until her passing.
Carole was born on May 14, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois. She was born to Max and Esther (Evans) Widtmann, the middle child of three. Raised in Chicago, she attended Queen of All Saints Elementary School and graduated from Saint Scholastica High School.
On September 8, 1956 Carole married Ronald C. Meilicke, and they raised three of their four children, one dying at birth. While raising their children, Carole volunteered at hospitals, as a room mother at her children’s schools, and eagerly provided support to elderly family members, friends and neighbors.
Carole enjoyed homemaking and the domestic life. She engaged in decorating, painting, wall-papering, and even purchasing furniture to paint and antique. She was a divine cook and collaborated with her friends to try new recipes and even attempted such challenges as making egg rolls complete from scratch.
From a young age, Carole loved the outdoors. She spent her youth in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin each summer. Throughout her marriage, she spent hours caring for the yard, landscaping and vegetable gardening. She and Ron moved from the Chicago area to Minong, Wisconsin to enjoy retirement. Carole treasured the North Woods, Lake Pokegama, fishing, boating, and spotting deer and bears on their property.
Wherever Carole lived, she enjoyed socializing and having fun with her friends and family. She honored her friendships, some of them spanning a full 78 years. She loved to travel, dance, sing Karoake, and take trips to the Casino and often win only to share her winnings. A treasured mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Carole’s children and grandchildren remember her complete dedication to family, her interest in their lives—the challenges and successes, and her welcoming and loving spirit. She was generous and freely gave of her time, resources and hard-earned wisdom.
Carole’s family celebrates that in her later years, she experienced new love and companionship. She met and spent several years with Lester Yagle (1928-2013) who treated her with the love and respect she so deserved. In this relationship, she found her voice, joy and new adventures, and she was looking forward to reuniting with him upon her own passing. Carole Meilicke was a resilient, noble and selfless woman. Throughout the years, when asked “How are you,” she most often answered by sharing how everyone else was doing – family and friends and their children. While Carole and all people are more than the challenges that occur to them, it was Carole’s hope and dying wish that women experiencing domestic violence be given the resources and support to enable them to leave such situations so that all children can grow up in a safe and nurturing household.
Carole is survived by Edward (brother) and Eva Widtmann; Kimberly (daughter) and David Douglas of Wyoming, Michigan; Michael (son) and Perpetua Meilicke of Wonder Lake, Illinois; Charles (son) and Jamie Meilicke of Wonder Lake, Illinois; and Rebecca Meilicke and the late Angela Meilicke. Her grandchildren include Brian Meilicke, Bonnie and Steve Michaels, Shawn Meilicke, Nicole Meilicke, Kain Meilicke, Aleah and Vafa Khavari, Anisa and John Everett, Jenai and Sean Jennings, and Jenny Baird Rico. Her great grandchildren include Aliana and Layla Michaels; Louis and Paul Khavari; Elijah, Kamren and Bianca Jennings; and Jasmine Rico.
Carole was met in the Divine Realms of Heavenly Light by her parents, Max and Esther; sister, Joyce and brother-in-law Jim; daughter, Karen; love of her life, Les; and many other relatives and friends.
A Celebration of Life was held through Zoom on Saturday, March 12.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Partnership Against Domestic Violence (padv.org).
Condolences may be shared at heritagegardensfuneralhome.com.
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