Carol Jean Gaetke, 82, of 3930 48th Street South, Wisconsin Rapids, passed away Sunday morning, May 27, 2012 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 31st at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. Deacon James Johnston officiated. Entombment is in the Forest Hill Mausoleum. Visitation was from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday at Taylor, Vollert and Jennings Funeral Home and from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services on Thursday at the church. Carol was born April 28, 1930 in Waupaca to Glen and Elsie (Rogers) Dent. She was united in marriage to Edward Gaetke on May 19, 1951 in Blaine, Wisconsin. The couple was blessed with three children and nearly 60 years of marriage. Ed preceded her in death on April 28, 2011. Carol enjoyed a love of music all her life. She was an accomplished pianist and was church organist for many years at the Kellner Moravian church. She particularly enjoyed listening to gospel, big band and country music and she loved dancing to a good polka. Over the past several years, she sang with a senior Sing-A-Long group and particularly enjoyed singing duets with her good friend Marge. Carol enjoyed being with people which was reflected in many aspects of her life including her work. She began her work career at Ahdawagam in Wisconsin Rapids shortly after graduating from a one-year secretarial school. She took a 14-year break from working outside the home to raise her three children during which time she taught Sunday School and was very active in church activities. She returned to the workforce on a part-time basis in 1967 – a time when not many women worked outside the home – but she had found a job using her music skills and love of people by working at a music store in Wisconsin Rapids. In 1970 she went back to technical school to update her secretarial skills and after she graduated, took a job as a secretary at Woodside School where she enjoyed working with the students and teachers. She developed her business skills even more by participating in party plan sales with Artex fabric paints and Passporte jewelry. She also did bookkeeping for several small businesses including Wheels and Deals, Service Master, and Membrane Systems. Over the past 17 years she made and sold craft items with her daughter, thoroughly enjoying meeting and talking with customers and establishing friendships with fellow crafters. She became a devout Packer fan about 20 years ago, always watching the games when she wasn’t at a craft show. Friends and family soon learned not to call her during a Packer game unless the conversation could be completed during half-time. Family was important to her. She always made birthdays and Christmas special times for her children. She also organized several family reunions because she felt it was important for her three brothers’ families and her family to get to know each other as adults. Carol loved to travel and was a major force in planning family vacations to Yellowstone, Glacier National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. After Ed’s retirement, they took several driving vacations including Alaska, the northeast, the southeast and the southwest. She was thrilled to be able to travel to Hawaii – a trip she earned through her sales with Passporte. She had just returned from a trip to Estes Park in Colorado where she celebrated her grandson Stephen’s wedding. Carol brought a positive energy and enthusiasm to everything she did and will be missed by all who knew her. Carol is survived by three children: Gloria (Jim) Borchert of Madison; Gordon (Carol) Gaetke of Lake Jackson, Texas; and Arthur (Sherry) Gaetke of Wisconsin Rapids; four grandchildren: Lt. Stephen (Meagan) Gaetke of Naples, Italy; Derrick Gaetke of Chicago; Nicki Jo Gaetke of Wisconsin Rapids; and Talia (fiance Walter Turner) Gaetke of Dallas, Texas; one great-grandson, Maddox Gaetke of Wisconsin Rapids; and her beloved dog, April. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Ed, and three brothers: Phil, Harold, and Arlie. Memorials may be designated to the American Heart Association or St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. The family would like to thank the staff at the Riverview Hospital and Wausau Aspirus emergency rooms, the staff at the Wisconsin Rapids Care Center, and the staff at the Wausau Aspirus Neurological & Cardiac units for their compassionate and competent care.