MountaintopRest_web.jpeg
Mom-the-active-hiker_web.jpeg
PinkShirtCreekPic_web.jpeg
MountaintopRest_web.jpeg

Remembering Carolaine


 


July 19, 1941  —  March 11, 2015

Beautiful Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Friend

Child of God, Follower of Jesus Christ, Compassionate Lover of Others

SCROLL DOWN

Remembering Carolaine


 


July 19, 1941  —  March 11, 2015

Beautiful Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Friend

Child of God, Follower of Jesus Christ, Compassionate Lover of Others

 

You are invited to a memorial service to
celebrate Carolaine's life

Sunday March 29 at 2:00 pm

Bremerton Seventh-day Adventist Christian Church
4949 NW Taylor Road NW
Bremerton, WA 98312

Mom-the-active-hiker_web.jpeg

remembering Her Life


remembering Her Life


Carolaine Schonschack Erickson Steffen was born July 19, 1941 and passed away peacefully on March 11, 2015 after a short battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her family.

Carolaine at 6 mo. in Mt. Clemens, MI.

Carolaine (Age 4) with brother Paul (Age 2)

Carolaine was born at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan to Wallace Allen Schonschack and Virginia Elaine Schonshack (née Poe).

The family lived in a few areas in the greater Detroit metropolitan area during her youth, including the Mt. Clemens community where Carolaine spent her grade school years.

She attended Wayne Memorial High School in Wayne, MI for her freshman and sophomore years, then switched to Ann Arbor High School for her  junior and senior years, graduating in 1959.

Carolaine (nickname "Elvis"), Girls Intramural Basketball, Freshman, Wayne Memorial High School, 1956

Carolaine, Senior, Ann Arbor High School, 1959

She went on to study Russian and German and received her B.A. in German language and literature from the University of Michigan.

College Era Portrait, University of Michigan, 1960-1963

Carolaine with boyfriend, University of Michigan, 1962

After graduation from U of M in 1963, she studied overseas at Philips University in Marburg, West Germany for a little over a year. While there, she accepted an invitation to visit the L'Abri Fellowship community in Switzerland. L'Abri Fellowship (French for "the shelter") began in Switzerland in 1955 when Dr. Francis Schaeffer and his wife Edith decided in faith to open their home to be a place where people might find satisfying answers to their questions and experience practical demonstration of Christian care. While there, Carolaine placed her faith in Jesus Christ as her personal savior.

University of Michigan grad

She returned from Germany with a passion for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ coupled with her love of languages. She began preparing for ministry by studying linguistics at Emmaus Bible College in Chicago. While there she met and married Glenn Erickson. She and Glenn had four children: Edward, Elaine, Gregg, and Grace.

Further education included completing the Summer Institute of Linguistics Program at the University of Oklahoma in 1966 and the requirements for her Secondary Teachers Certificate from the University of Michigan in 1968

Moody Church Choir

During the late 1970's, the family attended Moody Church in Chicago. It was Carolaine's joy during those years to sing as part of the Moody Choir. She was privileged to have been a part of the choir when they produced a few professionally recorded albums.

Carolaine's Bangor Base Retirement

Carolaine and her family also spent four years in the early 1980's in Southern California as part of Gospel Recordings, a leading provider of Christian evangelistic and discipleship audio visual materials to the least reached language groups of the world. She made many meaningful relationships during those years.

In 1987, Carolaine relocated to Bremerton, Washington where she married Melvin (Mel) Steffen. In 1990, she began a 13-year career as a federal employee working for the Personnel Support Detachment at Naval Submarine Base Bangor near Silverdale, Washington. She and Mel both happily retired together in 2003.

Carolaine and Mel retire together

In retirement, Carolaine enjoyed a very full life. She was involved in many activities where she made many friends. These included but were not limited to: the Monday Hikers club (including cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing in the winter months), the Writer's Workshop (prose and poetry), the Wednesday Rovers dinner club, the Dahlia Club, and Line Dancing (and other activities through the Senior Center in East Bremerton).

She also volunteered for a time with Habitat for Humanity and was a volunteer for the Bremerton Symphony and the Olympic Music Festival (so she could see more concerts and take her grandkids). 

 

As a member of the Bremerton Seventh-day Adventist Christian Church, Carolaine loved to lead others in singing during worship services. She also really enjoyed participating in community outreach efforts through the church. This included serving as part of a prison ministry team, ministering to women at a local correctional institution, and handing out care packs to the homeless. She was also a longtime participant in a local Women's Bible Study Fellowship and a few other bible study groups.

Carolaine made many friends in many walks and stages of life. She loved making friends and getting to know people, especially people from other cultural backgrounds. She loved to share her testimony about what God was doing in her life, and sought to bring the comfort, peace, and joy of Jesus Christ to others — to help them discover "the peace that passes understanding" themselves.

Carolaine was preceded in death by her brother Paul in 1962, father Wallace in 1988, and mother Virginia in 2006. She is survived by her husband Mel; her children Edward, Elaine, Gregg, and Grace; her nine grandchildren Matthew, Heidi, Annika, Wesley, Evan, Laura, Gloria, Nehemiah, and Lilygrace; and her sister Linda (who lives with her husband Gene in Lansing, Michigan).

Carolaine loved any flower garden with an explosion of color.

PinkShirtCreekPic_web.jpeg

Please Share Your Memories


Please Share Your Memories


Please take the time to share your own memory of what you remember or appreciated about Carolaine and/or read what others have posted about her.

Carolaine's family have organized these shared memories (or tributes) into three categories: Family, Church friends, and "Friends from all over." If you fall more into one of these categories more than the others based on what you have to share, please post into the category that seems most appropriate. Feel free to post as many times as you would like and in more than one category (i.e., family and church friend). 

The goal is make it easy to read the tributes that you looking for (i.e., friends wondering what other friends may have shared about Carolaine).

To share, click on the appropriate "Comment" link below.  Thank you!