Carol Jane Beu, 72, passed away peacefully on August 4, 2022, at Lakeland Health Care Center in Elkhorn, Wisconsin where she has been in residence since 2018 due to challenges from early onset dementia and the consequences of a stroke.
Carol was born on February 8, 1950, to Carl and Jane Menning in Youngstown, Ohio. After graduating from Fitch High School in 1968, Carol went on to study and obtain a degree in elementary education at Valparaiso University in Indiana. During her senior year in 1972 Carol secured an interview for a teaching position in Elgin, IL School District U-46. Through mutual friends Carol was introduced to Elgin native, Gary Beu, who offered to save her the cost of a rental car by driving her to Elgin for the interview. Since Carol didn’t have teaching experience she didn’t get the job, but the trip wasn’t a complete bust as it did spark a relationship with her chauffeur.
While Gary was completing his degree at Valpo, Carol taught a year in a pre-school program in Mishawaka, IN. With this experience she successfully re-applied with District U-46 and after their marriage in August 1973, Carol began a 28-year teaching career in Elgin. She started at Ridge Circle Elementary School in Streamwood but spent most of her career at Washington Elementary School until retirement in 2001.
Family and close friends will fondly remember Carol’s flair for holiday decorations…most enthusiastically at Christmas…her ‘slushies’…her devotion to Westies, Murdoch and Charlie…her numerous acts of kindness, generosity and love…and her unwillingness to allow a lifetime of arthritis and the cruelty of Alzheimer’s sour her spirit, sap her sense of humor, or weaken her selfless care and concern for others.
Carol is survived by her husband, Gary, her sons, Nathan (Suzi) and Matt (Sarah), her beloved grandchildren, Stella, Jonah, Isabelle, Collin and Owen, her brother Richard (Nancy) Menning, brother-in-law Bruce Beu, sisters-in-law, Jolene Menning and Rose Beu, nieces, nephews, neighbors and great friends who were like her ‘Sisters’. Carol was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Robert Menning, her sister-in-law Bonnie Beu, brother-in-law Richard Beu, and sister-in-law Lauri Beu.
The family expresses appreciation to the staff at Lakeland Health Care Center, the many physicians who participated in Carol’s care, and most especially caregiver, Kris Saucerman, for the companionship, attention and support she provided so devotedly.
A memorial service for Carol will be held Thursday, August 18, 2022, at Laird Funeral Home, 310 S State St, Elgin, IL. Visitation will be from 4-7pm with remembrances immediately following. Carol will be cremated with her remains entrusted to the family.
Those so inclined are encouraged to direct donations in Carol’s name to either the Arthritis Foundation at PO Box 96280, Washington, DC 20077, or the Alzheimer’s Foundation at 225 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal”
“Lives are like rivers; Eventually they go where they must. Not where we want them to.”
Richard Russo, author and screenwriter
PO Box 96280, Washington DC 20077
225 North Michigan Ave, Chicago IL 60601