Obituary of Carol Ann Heydorn
Carol Ann (nee Niemiec) Heydorn, 74, of Frankfort, IL, passed away on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. Carol was born in Chicago, IL, on December 26, 1943. She was a former resident of Chicago, McHenry, and Roselle.
Carol is survived by her two children, Jason (Sunny) and Leslie (Efrain); three grandchildren, Cash (10), Ben (6) and Angela (5); and her sister, Alice.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Alexander and Lillian (nee Kolakowski) Niemiec, and her brother, Bill.
Carol proudly worked as a secretary, accounts payable clerk, and banquet hall server to support her two children. Jason and Leslie have fond memories of their mom taking them to the drive-in movie theater, on weekend camping trips, and annual trips to Great America. Jason is particularly grateful that his mom let him skip school to attend the Cubs’ opening day every year in high school.
Carol’s biggest joy in life was her grandchildren. She always wanted to be a grandmother, and while there was probably some doubt for a while that this would ever come to fruition, she was thrilled when, in 2008, she finally became a grandmother to Cash. For a while it looked like she would only have one grandchild and she was perfectly ok with that. Then Angela was born and her heart was overfilled with happiness. Two grandchildren to enjoy… it couldn’t get any better! Or could it? Ben unexpectedly entered her life in 2013 and the trifecta of grandchildren was hers. She was definitely a proud grandmother and was always happy to share updates on each of them with whoever would listen. Over the years, Carol made sure to create special memories and traditions, including making caramels and kolacky cookies with Cash and Ben at Christmas time and having a traditional Polish Easter breakfast with Angela. And every summer, Angela and Carol would make several fairy gardens together.
When she wasn’t busy spoiling her grandchildren, Carol pursued her other passion, volunteering. Her volunteer work included planting flowers, pulling weeds and helping with special events at Cantigny Park, and assisting with the DuPage County Fair. She loved to volunteer with Therapy Dogs International, with her beloved Afghan dog, Skyyler. Carol and Skyyler visited people in nursing homes, where they brought comfort to the elderly residents, and the library, where they helped children learn to read by having them read to Skyyler.
Carol also volunteered with 4-H for many years while her kids were actively involved in showing animals.
Carol had many hobbies throughout her life. She had a fondness for gardening, and her backyard and balcony were always filled with a variety of plants, vegetables and “garden art”. She enjoyed entering her flowers and vegetables in the DuPage County Fair, and was an annual visitor at the Hausermann Orchid show (although that was partly because of the free hot dogs, donuts and coffee). Carol loved animals and over the years she had numerous cats, dogs, rabbits and birds. She was also actively involved with several social groups, Walk and Talk, Senior Bingo Group, and a Cantigny Book Club. She loved playing BINGO, BUNCO, Scrabble and Bananagrams with her friends.
Carol had an incredibly optimistic, positive outlook on life, even for the 6 years she lived with cancer. Indeed, this optimism is undoubtedly why she lived far longer than predicted after her diagnosis. She was so active and full of life that people were surprised when she mentioned she had cancer.
The family would like to thank the wonderful nurses and doctors at Northwest Oncology and Joliet Area Community Hospice for providing outstanding support and care. At Carol’s request, cremation rites were honored with a private interment at Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery in Joliet, IL. A casual “open house” Celebration of Carol’s Life will be held at Cantigny in Wheaton, 1 S 151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL, on Saturday, September 15, 2018, from 3:00 until 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name to Therapy Dogs International or Cantigny Park would be greatly appreciated.
Fred C. Dames entrusted with arrangements. For more information, please call 815-741-5500 or visit her Memorial Tribute at www.fredcdames.com