April 10, 1938 - June 25, 2020 Carole (Merryman) Bekkenhuis-Johnson, 82, was called to her heavenly home Thursday, June 25, 2020. Born April 10, 1938, Carole was raised in Michigan, attended school in Florida, raised her family in Long Island, N.Y., lived for 20 years in Oregon, and spent her last five years in North Carolina. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Dick Johnson; her nephew, Sean Goluban; her brother-in-law, Chuck Giddings; and son-in-law, Mike Leonti. She often spoke of fun memories growing up with her many cousins, aunts and uncles in Dearborn, Mich., and she graduated from Key West High School in Florida. She attained her master's degree in Mental Health Nursing and established her own practice in the state of Oregon. Education was her passion and in her later years, she dreamed of going back to school for seminary. She was a member of Advent Lutheran Church and the Adventurers Group. Mom had an adventurous and ambitious spirit which led her to being part of the Altair Ski Club and traveling in the RV with Dick. She travelled with her sisters and/or Dick to many exciting places including Hawaii, Alaska and Australia. Years ago, she was a Girl Scout leader, Sunday school teacher and nursing school instructor. Besides spending time with family, she enjoyed quilting and sewing, making heart-felt gifts for her family. She was survived by her daughters, Bonnie Leonti, Brenda Cicenia (Eric) and Barbara Gaffney (Bill); grandchildren, Carolynn Turner (Jon), Karynn Coleman, Kyle, Brett and Mark Cicenia, Kelly and Johanna Gaffney; several great-grandchildren; sisters, Sharon Goluban Giddings and Marcia Merryman (Rick); niece, Tracy Dillon Timmins (Bryce); and brother-in-law, Bill Bekkenhuis. A celebration of life will be held Friday, Sept. 4, at Advent Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Advent Lutheran Church, 8840 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28213.
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