Sunday, October 17, 2021
2:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
Rosary at 6 PM
Monday, October 18, 2021
11:00 AM EDT
St. John XXIII Parish
12100 Beech Daly
Redford Township, MI 48239
Instate at 10:30 am
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Carol Munson would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She lived to love and care for others, and she always put the needs of others ahead of her own. Although she treasured her role as a mother, Carol just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother later in life. A caregiver through and through, there were so many whose lives were enriched because of her touch. Deeply loved, Carol will be forever missed.
The 1930s were primarily cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression in America and much of the world throughout the entire decade. Jobs were scarce, the unemployment rate soared, and a drought covered our nation’s heartland for nearly two years during this time. Despite the trials around them, George and Gladys LaBerge were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their own lives as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Carol Rita on December 24, 1930, in Detroit, Michigan. She joined her older sisters, Yvonne, Jeanne, Albertha, and Deloris, and in 1933 their family was completed with the birth of Carol’s brother, George “Phillip.”
In many ways Carol was a young girl of her generation. She grew up on Birwood Street in Northwest Detroit after her parents had left the Tawas, Michigan, area to gain work in the growing auto industry. Carol’s father worked as a tool maker, primarily for Ford Motor Company. Their family home was only a few blocks from St. Frances De La Salle School and Parish.
After graduating from high school in 1949, Carol was eager for all that life had in store. She took her first job at Sears, which proved to be quite fateful as it was there that she met her future husband. His name was Dick Munson, and in time they found themselves deeply in love. During this time, she took some business school training and took a job in Cadillac. Shortly thereafter, she married Dick, who was working as an air traffic controller in the Air Force. Stationed at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, the newlyweds started their new life there together and soon started their family. John came first, and the following year Tom came along. After Carol’s husband was finished in Dayton, they moved to Detroit so Dick could complete his teaching degree at Wayne State University. Their young family settled into a duplex on what is now the Southfield Freeway. In 1957 the Munson’s moved into the house in Redford Township, which is the place they would call home until 2004. To support their family, Dick was teaching high school science at Redford Thurston High School, and their family officially put down their roots. In 1958 they welcomed their son Bob into their hearts and home, and he was followed by Rick in 1963.
With such a bustling brood of boys, Carol loved being able to focus on caring for her family. She devoted her time and her heart to making sure that her boys had everything they needed. Carol made it seem effortless to keep the house running and still manage to wash countless uniforms with all of the sports that her boys were part of over the years. She was also a Den Mother and made sure her door was always open for any of her boys’ friends. Among the times she loved most were the times that Carol’s family and her siblings and their families would all vacation together in cottages in Tawas. Their kids were all around the same age and watching everyone having fun together was a highlight of Carol’s year.
One of the things Carol was most known for was her tender and caring spirit. In 1970 her father passed away from cancer, and a short time later her mother suffered a stroke. Carol thought nothing of having her mother move into the Redford house so she could care for her. Her mother remained there until she needed more care than Carol could give, and she passed away in 1979.
The 1980s were time of both great joy and struggle for Carol. She was thrilled to see her boys all marry and begin their own families. There was no greater joy in her life than her grandchildren, and they began arriving in a familiar way - as boys! First there were Garret, Brad, Joe and Daniel, they were followed by five granddaughters, Nicole, Katie, Gina, Jessica, and Leah. Whether they were boys or girls, Carol had the ability to make each of her grandchildren feel uniquely loved. Over the years she became known as a great listener as it was commonplace for even her nieces and nephews to come to her to discuss their problems as she was so approachable and genuine. Unfortunately, it was also during the 1980s that she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which would be a load Carol would carry for the rest of her life. The disease attacked her joints and made her daily life increasingly painful and challenging. Although it was easy to see her struggle at times, she never complained about the hand she was dealt. About the only thing Carol ever complained about were the nuns that were too mean in high school and the awful food in her assisted living facility. One of the things that always lightened the mood for Carol was when she had one of her favorite treats - a banana split from the ice cream store at the corner.
Someone who never wanted to be still, Carol faced her health challenges head on and re-entered the workforce after a 35-year absence when she took a job at the Hallmark Store. Carol kept the job for several years until the job just became too physically demanding for her to feel confident in her ability to do the job well.
With unending love for the ones she cherished, Carol Munson was the rock of the family she adored. She treated others with kindness and respect, and she always believed in giving people the benefit of the doubt. Carol’s children and grandchildren were her greatest source of pride and joy, and she was happiest when surrounded by their love. Humble, empathetic, and intuitive, she was a true treasure. Carol will never be forgotten.
Carol Munson passed away October 12, 2021, at the age of 90. Beloved mother of John, Thomas (JoAnn), Robert (Karen), and Richard “Rick” (Julie). Loving grandmother of Joseph (Christina), Katie, Nicole, Garrett (Emily), Brad (Rachel), Daniel (Colleen), Gina, Jessica, and Leah. Dearest great-grandmother of Harper, Elsie, Finn, Avalene, and Owen. Carol was preceded in death by her siblings Yvonne (Russell) Wearn, Albertha (Donald) Lilley, Mary Deloris (John) Nolan, Jeanne (James) Hewson, George LaBerge (Loretta) and infant brother, Eugene. Visitation Sunday, October 17, 2021, from 2-7 pm with a Rosary at 6pm at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Rd., Livonia, MI. Instate Monday, October 18, 2021, 10:30 am until time of Mass at 11 am at St. John XXIII Parish, 12100 Beech Daly, Redford Charter Twp., MI. Interment at Parkview Memorial Cemetery, Livonia, Michigan. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation, www.helpfightra.com.