Carole's life is a story of what one person can accomplish with a big heart, and a determination to help others.
Here is her story:
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In 1964, 18-year-old Carole married her high school sweetheart, 20-year-old Sam Kirkwood. Two years later they had their son Rick and three years after that, their daughter Kim.
Sam became a fireman, and Carole supported his career, while as a mom, she was always there when the kids got sick and she drove them all the places kids need to go.
If you're a homemaker, you can easily guess what came next: an unpaid but rewarding time as a soccer mom.
But Carole loved coaching so much, she became an AYSO coach for 35 years, coaching her children, grandchildren and everybody else's children.
Picture a big bag of soccer balls forever bounding around in her car.
However, for Carole, this was not enough. For 25 years, she also volunteered at an elementary school, and served as a docent in Adventures in Art, sharing her love of art and encouraging the artistic talents in others.
In later years, Carole helped Sisters of Charity, donating everything she could to help the poor, even persuading others to part with their things to give to those who needed them more.
She added Blankets for Soldiers to her charity work, getting and shipping blankets to the troops overseas, in essence helping their mothers to care for their sons and daughters.
For her family, Carole organized family gatherings, and served as mistress of ceremonies with funny and personal stories and family updates.
For her grandchildren, (her "bubbies") she hosted a movie night in her bedroom, and always had the time to be a mentor for them, and for others who needed a compassionate ear.
This is but a sampling of Carole's activities, and what they all have in common is her love and her abundant generosity.
Carole's life is a testament to what one compassionate person can do to make life so much better for others and in the process, find meaning and happiness in one's own life.