Dec. 8, 1950 - Jan. 24, 2013
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EDWARDSBURG -Carol Ann (Vales) Dennis was born December 8, 1950, in Sioux City, Iowa. She passed away after a brief battle with cancer on Jan. 24, 2013. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, educator and friend. Carol dedicated her life to the education of children. She helped them to see all the possibilities ahead of them and figure out paths around any obstacle put in their path. For 20 years she was an innovative leader for the SBCSC's Alternative Program, most recently called Bendix. The success of her students was a driving force in her life. She retired in 2010. Carol grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, with her parents, Hazel (Siemon) and Melvin Vales; brother, Roger (Vonda) Vales; and sisters, Joyce (John) Wagner and Nancy (Bruce) Paczosa. She attended the University of Iowa where she earned her degree in secondary education. She also earned a Master of Science in Education Administration from Indiana University. On December 9, 1972, she married Keith D. Dennis, and from that union came two children, Carrie (Mike) Meeks and Kevin (Kate) Dennis. There are two grandchildren, Sara Hazel and Solomon Gary Meeks, who were incredibly special to her, and also survive her. No one was a stranger to her at her house on Eagle Lake. She loved to entertain family and friends, and always made sure everyone had plenty to eat and always felt welcomed. Her passions were gardening, fishing, boating, anything cow, bird watching, golf, animals and family. She was a master 'roll maker,' a skill passed down through generations of Vales women. Carol was a brave, courageous, strong woman who always put everyone else first. She could make anyone laugh with her sense of humor. Those who met her will carry on her legacy. Her mother Hazel and her father Melvin Vales preceded Carol in death. Family and friends are invited to a celebration of Carol's life at the Paul E. Mayhew Funeral Home, 26863 West Main St. (US-12), in Edwardsburg, on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. The family will welcome friends from 12-4 PM with a memorial service at 4:00 PM. Officiating will be Pastor Paul Baldwin. Immediately after the service, a reception will follow at the Edwardsburg American Legion, Post 365. In Lieu of flowers, Carol and her family have asked that gifts be made to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), 1000 South Michigan Ave., South Bend, IN 46601. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.
Published in South Bend Tribune on Jan. 27, 2013