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Obituary for Carolyn Ruth Spolar

September 3, 1941 – August 15, 2023

Carolyn Ruth Spolar, 81, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Aug. 15, 2023. She courageously fought a short battle with cancer.

Carolyn Ruth Spolar
Carolyn Ruth Spolar

Carolyn was born in Des Moines, Ia., on Sept. 3, 1941, the daughter of the late Harold and Annie (née Lewis) Stuart.

She met Gene “Skin” Spolar while attending Drake University. They were married at Grace Lutheran Church in Des Moines on Sept. 2, 1961. Gene preceded her in death on Sept. 3, 2014.

Carolyn and Gene owned and operated a number of restaurants for over 45 years, including a McDonald’s franchise in Ohio, the Red Barn in Racine and Kenosha and The Farm in Racine. They were blessed with longtime friendships with so many employees and loyal customers over the years.

Carolyn returned to school later in life and graduated from the Gateway nursing program in December of 1991. There, she proudly obtained her RN degree and earned a Foundation Scholarship in her last semester of school. She worked at All Saints – St. Mary’s Hospital where she lovingly cared for all her patients, as well as trained many young nurses who are still practicing today; especially Kenetra, who cared for Carolyn in her last days before passing.

Although a dedicated nurse and business owner, she was first and foremost a wife, mother and grandmother. She loved traveling with her family to the beaches in Florida, collecting seashells, crafting and attending as many of her children and grandchildren’s activities and sporting events as she could.

Carolyn Ruth Spolar is survived by her children, Tony (Jeannie) Spolar, of Glendale, Tim (Korri) Spolar of Celebration, Fla., Tobin (Jenny) Spolar, of Racine; grandchildren, Makenzie, Bennett, Angelo, Jack and Hank; brother-in-law, Gene Samuelson; sisters-in-law, Marge (John) Curtis, Beverly Stuart; as well as many dear nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents and husband, Carolyn was preceded in death by her sisters and brother, Harriet (John) Grandquist, Beverly Samuelson, Roger Stuart; and niece, Linda Wermersen.


A private service will take place.

In lieu of flowers, a scholarship will be gifted in Carolyn’s name in support of Today’s Gateway Nursing Students.

Checks can be made to Gateway Technical College Foundation

The Spolar family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Diana Turner, nurses, Natalie and Kenetra, and the entire staff at Ascension All Saints for the professional and loving attention Carolyn received while under their care.

Obituary and photo of Carolyn Ruth Spolar courtesy of Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home.

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