Carol Ann (Wrage) Olmsted was born on June 12,1942 to Grace E. (McAssey) and Nicholas H. Wrage; along with her twin brother Gerald “Jerry”. They grew up in the Town of Algoma, Oshkosh, WI., where their Dad built a Montgomery Ward kit house on the Wrage family farm. She attended Boyd Elementary, South Park, and graduated in 1960 from Oshkosh High School (now West).
She began her 43 year career in banking right out of high school, at First National Bank of Oshkosh (now Chase Bank). Carol was very proud of her work there, the changes that were implemented on her behalf that benefited all the tellers, and her very strong work ethic. Carol married Daryl I. Olmsted on June 8,1963; raised 2 girls Lorilee (1964) & Michelle (1972). They bought their home in 1968; it was a 2 year old ranch style house, and it was painted hot pink! (By the previous owners) Nevertheless, it was a source of great pride & joy for Carol. Carol was always able to stretch her menu last minute, and put another plate on the table, when Daryl invited a friend to join us for dinner. Everyone enjoyed Carol’s cooking; from her Swedish Meatballs, to a Friday Fish fry, to a delicious holiday baked Salmon that Dad had caught fishing on Lake Michigan. Yummy! Michelle made her a Gram twice with girls; Kyra Ziarnik, and Carly Manning. She was a very actively involved gram from day one. Then Kyra lit up her life again making her a great grandmother, with her daughter Samara Sanchez. Early on Samara tagged her “my GG”, and it stuck. Mom thought it was so cute, and wore the moniker with great pride. She was a very intricate part of Samara’s life as well. Every child deserves be as fortunate to have a Gram, and a GG like Carol was! In their 50’s Carol & Daryl traveled the country, visiting friends and many of our National Parks, but they fell in love with Arizona. At 64 she retired, and they bought a second home in Apache Junction, AZ. They were officially snowbirds! At 68 she was deemed in remission from RA, which Carol had fought valiantly for years. She & Daryl became avid desert hikers with a group of other retirees, and Carol was in her best physical shape ever. She was enjoying her poolside time with the lady friends she met in their park, who came from all over the U.S. and Canada. If Carol became your friend, she was a friend for life, albeit by phone, letter, or email, she always stayed in touch at least every few months. (And your secrets? They died with Carol!!) Carol was living her dream life as a retiree, and loving every single moment of it. It was truly the happiest time of her life; none of the daily grinds anymore! Simply put, the Church was Carol’s foundation. It provided her with great faith in everything she needed to believe in. She was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Oshkosh her entire life, where she & Daryl made many great friends through the years. While in Arizona she attended the United Methodist Church in Apache Junction.
Recently, October 23, 2021, they lost their daughter Michelle unexpectedly. This shook Carol’s foundation, as they were very close, sapping her of her vitality. No parent expects to go before their children. They sold their home in Arizona, and moved back to Wisconsin permanently in late March 2022. She said “those girls need Gram there now.” Unfortunately as the first anniversary of Michelle’s passing came, Carol’s health took a turn. With her usual grit and determination, she kept believing that she could win this battle too, but it became one set back after another, then heart surgery in mid April didn’t leave her feeling much better, as she’d been expecting. A bad fall on Mother’s Day morning resulted in a couple fractures that gave her pain like she’d never experienced before, and CHF on top of that. She said “I am really sick and tired of being sick and tired, and now this pain!” Two days later, on May 20, 2023 Carol’s body defied her otherwise grit and determination to take back her health, so that she could take care of her family.
Carol is now on her spiritual journey guided by her Lord, reunited with her daughter Michelle, and her parents Grace & Nick. She will be deeply missed by her beloved husband Daryl, they would have been married 60 years in June! He is lost without his partner at his side in this life, and her dog Little Ricky ll misses her hugs, squeezes & cuddles. She Also at home, her granddaughter Kyra Ziarnik & great granddaughter Samara Sanchez, both missing Gram. Her granddaughter Carly Manning, in Oshkosh, misses her Gram immensely. Her daughter Lorilee, in Arizona, missing talking or emailing every day with her Mom. Her twin brother Gerald “Jerry”(Jean) in Michigan, has lost his birth partner; it’s hard for him to fathom. Carol also leaves behind her 5 nieces: Sheri and Carrie (Jerry’s girls) in Oshkosh, and “the Roth girls” Wanda, Sue, and Teri; who was Carol’s Flower Girl in her wedding.
Carol was a beautiful woman, with a beautiful soul, and if you were fortunate enough to have met her, let alone have her touch your life with love or friendship; you have only good memories to carry on with, until your own journey meets up with her again.
The family wishes to thank Monica RN, Dr. Negatu and the ICU team at Aurora Medical Center, for their fastidious treatment and compassionate care, for Carol on May 20,2023; Mom would have agreed!
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 27, 2023, at 9:30am at Wesley United Methodist Church, 761 Florida Ave, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 54902. Fellowship to follow.
Mumma, I love you. Time flies, so before you realize it, our paths will cross again! Lorilee