Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Carol Vander Molen

March 2, 1939 - October 1, 2020
Grand Rapids, MI



Monday, October 5, 2020
10:00 AM EDT
Westview Christian Reformed Church
2929 Leonard St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site


Monday, October 5, 2020
11:00 AM EDT
Westview Christian Reformed Church
2929 Leonard Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Kids Food Basket
1300 Plymouth Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Humble, generous, and kind, Carol Marie Vander Molen lived a life rich in faith and family. With a servant's heart, Carol quietly gave of herself to ensure other's good care. She never hesitated to give of her time and talents and was a longtime member of Orchard Hill Reformed Church. Carol embodied the principles of her faith, and in so doing, proved a powerful role model for others. A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Carol's legacy of love and generosity will long live in the hearts of those she loved.

Despite the obvious gloom of the growing conflict in Europe, 1939 held much to celebrate, including the end of the Great Depression, the premieres of the classic film Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, regular television begin to broadcast nationwide, and The World's Fair in New York. As the US actively armed up for war, families continued to center their lives in love and hope for a brighter future. Nowhere was that hope more evident than in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Adolph and Kathlin (Lastoczy) Danielson welcomed their daughter Carol into their family on March 2.

Growing up on Roger Street, Carol enjoyed a childhood rich in family traditions. While her father worked in a factory, her mother was a homemaker. Many wonderful memories were made during family get-togethers with her mother's Hungarian side of the family. The family also enjoyed camping at Grand Haven. Carol enjoyed spending time with friends, sewing, and participating in the Library Club during her high school years. She attended Fairview School and proudly graduated from Union High School with the class of 1956. HS

Carol first worked at a local dairy and later at Michigan Bell as a telephone operator. While working at the dairy, Carol had the good fortune of first meeting David Vander Molen. Their romance began with David's requests for her hot fudge sundaes. After dating for two years, Carol and David were married on July 18, 1959, at Fairview Reformed Church. It was a hot day, and the couple drove around town and to the reception at the Ranch House in David's aunt's red Cadillac convertible.

After honeymooning in the Upper Peninsula, the newlyweds made their first home in a rental house on 7th Street near Alpine, which came about because of Carol's Hungarian background. Over the next eight years, the couple was blessed to welcome four children to their family. Carol was a GREAT mom. With tremendous love and care, she was completely devoted to her family and relished in assuring every need was met. With a gift for extremely efficient organization, Carol relished in being totally involved in various activities, including serving as a Campfire counselor, PTA member, band booster, and any other committee that needed help. Never one to demand the limelight, Carol was content to work in the background. Carol was so involved in helping others that she and David were one of very few families to own two cars!

Talented and resourceful, Carol was a wonderful seamstress. She lovingly made clothes for all the girls and their dolls! She was a great cook and baker who infused every morsel with love and affection. Every year she made each of her children, and later her grandchildren, a personalized, themed cake for their birthday. When her family was young, they did lots of tent camping at Silver Lake or in the UP, where she enjoyed water skiing and sharing time in the good company of those she loved. Carol and David eventually bought a year-round cottage at Crawford Lake near Kalkaska that became a favorite place for them and their family. Many treasured memories were made taking pontoon boat rides and sitting around campfires. In their retirement, Carol and David were able to vacation in Hawaii several times. While there, Carol was able to fulfill her lifelong dream of swimming with the dolphins.

A consummate caregiver, Carol tended to all in need. She was a wonderful daughter to her parents, who ensured extraordinary care and comfort as they aged. She also enthusiastically provided care for her grandchildren. She loved to play with them, attend all of their special events, and learning each of their likes and dislikes, which she always tried to honor. Carol steadfastly supported each of their endeavors and proudly reflected their beauty and worth.

Without a doubt, it is difficult to imagine life in the absence of Carol's love and light. May we find much comfort in carrying the gifts of her life forward. With each meal we carefully make for our loved ones, organizations we volunteer our efforts, and moments we generously care for others, we celebrate the best of Carol's legacy. In this way, we keep her spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired us.

Carol M. Vander Molen of Grand Rapids, MI, Age 81, went to be with her Lord and Savior on October 1, 2020. On July 18, 1959, Carol married David Vander Molen, who survives as do her children, Joan (David) Parks, Kathy (Rick) Uzarski, Linda (Russ) DeVries, David (Jeannie) Vander Molen; grandchildren, Casey (Chris) Olson, Ricky Uzarski, Ryan Uzarski, Lauren DeVries, Alexandra Vander Molen, Mekenzie Vander Molen, Karrington Vander Molen; and great-grandchildren, Corbin and Carsyn. Also surviving are her sister, Doris (John) Armstrong of CA; and her aunt, Doris Lastoczy of Grand Rapids.

The family extends a special thank you to the staff of Heather Hills and Elders Helpers for their compassionate and loving care. A memorial service will be held Monday, October 5, 2020, at 11 AM at Westview Christian Reformed Church, 2929 Leonard St. NW. Friends may visit with family beginning at 10 AM. Memorials may be made to Kids Food Basket. To read more of Carol's life story, to leave a memory or condolence, please visit www.heritagelifestory.com.