Carole Lee VanBrandt, 75, of Ottawa Lake, MI, passed away at 1:40 p.m. on Sunday, November 3, 2019 at Toledo Hospital. She had battled pulmonary fibrosis for four years before finally surrendering to the call of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, while surrounded by her loving family.
Born October 29, 1944 in Toledo, she was the fifth of seven children born to the late Leonard Wilkins and Doris (Ostrander) Wilkins (Moffat). While Carole was growing up, her family moved around frequently, living in nearly 20 different homes before settling in Ottawa Lake. She enrolled at Whiteford Agricultural Schools, where she met her high school sweetheart, James VanBrandt. They graduated together in 1962, were married on September 11, 1965 at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Temperance, and were inseparable for the next 54+ years. Carole was employed as a medical staff coordinator at St. Luke’s Hospital in Maumee, Ohio for 22 years, retiring in 2000.
Before the illness began to slow her down, Carole was a whirlwind of activity. She was an avid reader, enjoyed tending her flower beds, and loved to plan family parties and vacations, especially their annual trip to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. She served as parish council president at St. Anthony Catholic Church; was a cheerleading coach at St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School and later at Whiteford Agricultural Schools; was a member of the Red Hat Society/Circle of Friends, and Bedford Garden Club. Carole loved to travel as well; she and Jim visited such places as Alaska, Italy, France, Disney World (several times), New York, Washington D.C., South Dakota, Colorado, California, and Hawaii, among others. Carole was also a big University of Michigan football fan; she and Jim were season ticket holders for more than 30 years. Of course, that paled in comparison to the enjoyment she got in watching her kids and grandkids play sports. More than anything else, Carole loved her family, and especially adored her grandchildren.
Carole was preceded in death by her parents, Leonard and Doris Wilkins; stepfather, Lawrence Moffat; and brothers Leonard, Richard and Roland Wilkins. Left to cherish her memory and carry on her legacy are her devoted husband, James; sons, Timothy (Teresa) and Steven VanBrandt, both of Ottawa Lake; daughter, Jamie (Joseph) Butz of Riga; grandchildren, Trevor and Joshua Myers, Abigail, Victoria and Mason VanBrandt, Kaitlyn, Megan and Brady Butz; sisters, Sharon (Richard) Laurell, Barbara (Lloyd) Pant and Darlene Abbey; her Circle of Friends group; other close family members and friends too numerous to name; and lastly, her beloved shih tzu, Finnegan.
The family would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the doctors, nurses and staff at the Toledo Hospital Intensive Care Unit for their compassion and wonderful care during Carole’s final days and hours. Those wishing to make a memorial contribution in her memory are asked to consider St. Anthony Church’s Rosary Guild or Gleaners Community Food Bank.
Visitation will be held from 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 6, at Reeb Funeral Home, 5712 Main St, Sylvania, Ohio. Rosary service will begin at 7:00 p.m. and last approximately 20-30 minutes. A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 7, with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 4605 St. Anthony Rd., Temperance, Michigan. Online condolences to Reeb Funeral Home, www.reebfuneralhome.com.
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