Caroline Maravelas, 90, died Saturday morning April 5, 2014, after a long, but graceful four and a half year battle with stroke, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Her daughter, Pamela, was at her side to comfort her for the journey. During Caroline’s final four days and nights at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, WI she was never alone thanks to family, friends, hospice and staff.
A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 31, at Schumacher-Kish Funeral and Cremation Services, 907 Sand Lake Rd., in Onalaska, WI. Pastor Luanne Sorenson will officiate. Friends may call from 10 a.m. until time of service on Saturday at the funeral home. Online condolences may be submitted at www.schumacher-kish.com.
Kay was born Jan. 19, 1924, in Dresbach, Minn., to Morris and Anna (Hollowitsch) Kramer. She was at the Avalon Ballroom when she met the love of her life, William “Bill” Sarantos Maravelas Sr. of Brooklyn, N.Y., who was training at Camp McCoy for the U.S. Army Intelligence. Kay and Bill married Aug. 5, 1944, and lived in Minneapolis and New York, but spent most of their life in La Crosse. After Bill Sr. passed in 1987, Kay never remarried.
Caroline worked at Northern Engraving during “The War,” and afterwards helped Bill Sr. manage Maravel Manufacturing and Importing in La Crosse and Maravel Sales Agency in Minneapolis, all while raising their six children. She was a Scout Den Mother for years and “Block Mother” to many neighborhood kids. She valued the relationships developed with customers, other sales people and office staff at the Minneapolis Gift Mart (UMAGA), many of which lasted long past retirement.
Kay enjoyed traveling, dancing, playing cards, dice and cribbage with her many friends and family, and attended theater, jazz and big band concerts when she could.
Aunt Kay loved attending family events and reunions with the Kramer and “Minneapolis Maravelas” clans.
Grandma Kay especially cherished spending time with her beloved nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, and always enjoyed their personalities, parties and activities.
Mom loved her “grandpuppies;” most recently Coco, who brought love and joy to Grandma Kay and the other residents.
Kay is already missed. Survivors include children, Bill Jr. and Joanne (Zander) of Houlton, Wis., Pam and Steve Sheldon of Gettysburg, S.D., Greg of Waterford, Wis., Tom of Arizona, George and Mary (Dolle) of Holmen, Wis., and Andy of La Crosse; as well as 14 grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brother, Francis Hollowitsch of La Crosse; sister-in-law, Aphrodite Chellos of Boulder, Colo.; numerous nephews, nieces and friends.
Her final resting place is Oakland Cemetery in Dresbach, Minn. after a private family ceremony was held this week.
Caroline was preceded in death by her parents, Morris and Anna; her husband, Bill Sr.; infant daughter; sisters and brothers-in-law, Marjorie (Ed) Linhart and June (Harold) Kulcinski; and nephew, Darrel Kulcinski. She was embraced by and loved her “Greek in-laws,” Maravelas Patriarch, Sarantos (Papou) and Matriarch, Vasaliki, Angelica, Louis and Stella, George, James, Diana and Nick Baca, and Gus Chellos also have passed.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests any memorials in the name of Caroline Maravelas be sent to Olivet Lutheran Church, 2100 Bainbridge St., La Crosse, WI, 54603; the Onalaska American Legion, 731 Sand Lake Rd., Onalaska, Wis., 54650; or Gundersen Lutheran Hospice, 1836 South Ave., La Crosse, Wis., 54601-9980.