Joining an older sister and brother, Carolyn Kay Wittmeier was born on March 21, 1940 to August and Ella Handel-Wittmeier. As a farm child in South Dakota, Carolyn enjoyed riding horses, swimming in farm ponds, and helping her Mother in the kitchen. She loved music, and learned to play the piano, flute, and piccolo. Anyone who was around Carolyn, knew she loved to play the piano and sing. She attended school in Tyndall, South Dakota, and graduated from The Southern State Teachers College in Springfield, South Dakota where she studied education and music.
On October 4, 1959 Carolyn was wed to Gary Robert Bohnet. Early in their 58 years of marriage, they were blessed with 5 children, and she focused her life on being an amazing at-home Mom. She sewed, she cooked, she baked, and she cleaned. She could open the refrigerator, assemble the left-overs, and make an incredible casserole. Carolyn valued thrift, and nothing was ever wasted. She taught piano lessons out of her home for years, sang in the church choir, and supported her children. The Sanborn High School booster club could always count on quickly selling out of Carolyn's baked goods, especially her meringue pies (her coconut cream meringue pie was the best)! As Carolyn’s kids grew up, she started teaching in a preschool program and eventually Middle School English at St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Sheldon, Iowa. In her retirement years, she continued to substitute with the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn school district and played the piano regularly for the United Methodist Church. Carolyn’s life was always about serving others. She served God, her husband, her children, and her community. Her faith in God and her prayer life was unwavering. Carolyn loved praying for (and bragging about) her 5 children, 10 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren.
Carolyn loved the outdoors, whether it was riding her bicycle, gardening, or mowing her yard. She could be recognized a block away as she pedaled up the street to ride the trail, get the mail, or head to the grocery store. In the winter, she focused on creating her patch-quilts and designing memory books. Carolyn also loved watching sports! On Sunday afternoons, you could find her in front of the television watching the Minnesota Vikings, and many evenings were spent cheering on the Minnesota Twins.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Gary; brother, Lornell Wittmeier; sister-in-law, Gail Genzlinger; two brothers-in-law, Richard and Ronald Bohnet; and great-granddaughter, Olivia Stark.
Carolyn is survived by her children: David (Luann) of Jefferson, IA, Mark (Denise) of Sanborn, IA, Steven (Robin) of Midland Park, NJ, Jeffery of Palmer, MA and Anne Stuart (Michael) of Sandston, VA; grandchildren: Neal, Jacob, Bethann, Justin, Rebecca, Ashley, Eric, Evan, Zackery, and Michael; great-grandchildren: Sophie, Brody, Cole, Cadence, Henry, Benedict, Harrison, Theodore, and Madelynn; sister, Renee Wittmeier of San Lorenzo, CA; brothers-in-law: Thomas (Mary Lou) of Burke, SD, Donald (Syndi) of Yankton, SD, Lowell of Pierre, SD; sister-in-law, Barbara (Greg) Drees of Gregory, SD; sisters-in-law: Mary Lou Bohnet of Winner, SD, and brother-in-law, Vern Genzlinger of Minneapolis, MN.