Obituary for Carolyn Keyes

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Carolyn Keyes

February 15, 1942 - August 13, 2017

Carolyn E. Keyes, 75, of Decatur passed away August 13, 2017 at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo. She was born February 15, 1942 in Decatur, the daughter of Ivan and Tina (King) Keyes.  Carolyn was a 1960 graduate of Decatur High School and remained close with her classmates through the years.  She was employed at Duo Tang (Ellingsworth) in Paw Paw for over 40 years, retiring in 2004.  In recent years, she became a member of the Decatur V.F.W. Auxiliary and was involved in making beef jerky for the troops.  Aunt Nin, as she was known to many, was a huge part of the lives of her family and especially her nieces and nephews. She always had time to stop by and visit, attend one of the kids’ events, go to lunch or go on a long ride in the country.  She enjoyed her “mindless therapy” working in the yard, feeding her hummingbirds, was an avid reader and crocheted countless afghans that her family has enjoyed for years.  She is probably best known for her terrific sense of humor and her laugh.

Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, Ivan Jr. “Elmer,” Carl and Philip, a sister Shirley, a nephew, John and brothers-in-law Jack and Gordy. She is survived by two sisters, Jean Graham and Joyce (Bill) Stover; nieces and nephews, Cynthia, Mike (Pam), David (Martha), Tim (Cookie), Steve, Sandy (Larry), Nancy (Darryl), Judy, Randy, Kari (Mike) and Chris; numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews, cousins and her close friend Josie.

Family and friends will be received from 5-8 p.m. Friday at Newell Funeral Home, Decatur, where services will be held Saturday at 11:00 a.m. with Jim Abshagen officiating. Burial will follow at Lakeside Cemetery, Decatur.  Memorial contributions may be directed to the Decatur High School Band Association. Those wishing to sign Carolyn’s guestbook or leave a condolence for the family may do so online at


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Service Schedule

Visitation Information

Date: Friday, August 18, 2017

Time: 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Newell Chapel


83313 M-51
Decatur, Michigan 49045

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Service Information

Date: Saturday, August 19, 2017

Time: 11:00 am

Newell Chapel


83313 M-51
Decatur, Michigan 49045

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Cemetery Information

Date: Saturday, August 19, 2017

Lakeside Cemetery


Decatur, Michigan 49045

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Memorial Information

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Decatur High School Band Association.


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Timeline for Carolyn Keyes

Born: February 15, 1942
Died: August 13, 2017

Condolences for Carolyn Keyes

Lori Hejduk Lawrence posted on 8/19/17

So sorry for your loss. Carolyn was an awesome person. I worked with her at Duo-tang. Lori Hejduk


Cheryl Dennis posted on 8/18/17

I'm so sorry for your loss. Carolyn was such a lively and out going person. When I worked with her at Duo Tang she was always willing to lend a hand or help is you had a problem. Her laugh was infectious. She will be greatly missed.


Dick and Babs Sandberg posted on 8/18/17

Will miss seeing Carolyn working out in the yard as we drove down what Dick called "Jack's road". We always had a good talk and good laughs. We are so sorry she had to leave us.


Carolyn Ickes posted on 8/18/17

I wish I could be with you Not driving is difficult' I appreciate the offer for a ride I'm still not recovered from the fire. I know you will miss here and want to talk to her every day, I hope to get a back on my feet soon. give my love to all


Josie Germaine posted on 8/17/17

Goodbye my friend. You will be missed everyday of my life. How lucky can any one person be for having you as a friend. A lot of times we shared smiles, and some sadness. And your family is the best, they were at your bedside, as many memories went around the room, so many stories. What fun just listening, what a nice way to say goodbye.


Sandi & Jim Rininger posted on 8/17/17

Carolyn was a classmate of mine; the joker of our class she will be dearly missed. Thoughts go out to the family.


Karen Bartlett posted on 8/17/17

I met Carolyn in the summer of 1960 at Ellingsworth and worked with her for 9 summers. We remained in contact through the years. She was simply a joy to be with. I have many fond memories of the times spent with Carolyn and Josie. That happy threesome has now come to an end. Heaven has gained a jewel! She will be missed by many here but her pain and worries are now gone. Our Lord must have needed her. I send prayers to the thoughts are with you in this time of sorrow. Carolyn, my friend, I will miss you greatly!!


Lance Shindeldecker posted on 8/17/17

Carolyn was a wonderful woman that I truly enjoyed working with at Duo Tang.


Barbara Stevens posted on 8/17/17

My prayers are with the family at this time. I worked with Caroline at Duo-Tang. She was such a pleasant person. RIP.


Andrea Vaughn posted on 8/16/17

Thoughts and Prayers to the Family. I remember always seeing her at Band concerts? & her humorous and positive outlook on life ?✌RIP


Jennie Green posted on 8/16/17

Thinking of you all Caroline was a great lady. We had fun at Duo Tang. She will always be in my heart.


Synthia Fitzgerald posted on 8/16/17

I have many fond memories of Carolyn! She always made me feel like part of the family when I stopped by! I am very sorry for your loss! Love and prayers to you all!!!


DLynn Smith posted on 8/16/17

Carolyn was a wonderful, kind, funny lady and embraced us outlaws as her own or at least made us feel as though we were hers too. :-) Nancy, Darryl, kids, Judy, Tammy and the rest of the family my heart aches right along with yours. She will be greatly missed and I sure am grateful she became a part of my family. Love and hugs to you all!


Jack Conklin posted on 8/15/17

I have known Carolyn since 5th grade, she was always the type of person everyone should have known, as were all the classmates of the 1960. She will be missed by great amount of those persons who knew her.