Dec. 30, 1933 - Jan. 15, 2013
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NORTH LIBERTY - Carol Jean (Bierly) Whitmer, 79, of Fort Myers, FL, died peacefully at 1:00 PM Tuesday at ThedaCare Hospital in Neenah, WI. Carol had suffered for more than a year from heart surgery complications and had recently come to Wisconsin to be with her son. Carol was born Dec. 30, 1933, in Walkerton, IN, to Amos and Carolyn (Ziegler) Bierly. She proudly attended Walkerton High School and then Indiana University, earning her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in education. She had a successful, rewarding career as an elementary school and music teacher, educating young students for many years in the South Bend and John Glenn School Districts. In 1956, she married the love of her life, Robert "Dwain" Whitmer. They lived happily in North Liberty, IN, where they raised their two sons, built a family business, Whitmer Vend-O-Mat Laundry Services, and later enjoyed spending time with their grandchildren. In 1991, Carol and Dwain retired in Fort Myers, FL, and spent many active years traveling and enjoying the Florida sun. She loved both reading and music, but her focus was always on her family, never failing to end every conversation with her children, grandchildren and brother with "I love you." Carol was preceded in death by her parents and husband of 43 years, Dwain. Surviving are two sons, Jeffrey of North Liberty, IN, & Thomas (Karen) of Neenah, WI; five grandchildren, Jeffrey (Nicole), Justen, Jenna, Matthew and Eva; one brother, William Bierly of LaPorte, IN; & her special friend and companion, Roger Perkins of Fort Myers, FL. Funeral services will be held at 12:00 PM Monday, January 21st, at the United Methodist Church in Walkerton, IN. Friends and family may call at the church prior to the services from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (EST). The family requests that all memorial contributions be made to the Make-a-Wish Foundation of America, PO Box 29119, Phoenix, AZ 85038-9119. The HANLEY & Sons "Walkerton Chapel" Funeral Home, located at 1216 Roosevelt Rd., Walkerton, handled arrangements and extends its deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers to the Whitmer family.
Published in South Bend Tribune from Jan. 19 to Jan. 20, 2013