Updated: Nov 27, 2017
Please add your favorite memories of Carol and prayers for the Stevens & Chesser Families
Think of a word that is positive or good.
Got your word?
Whatever it is, the word you've just thought of describes Carol Stevens.
Whether it was kind, thoughtful, loving, caring, beautiful, loyal, giving, joyful, friend, devoted, or Wife, Sister, Mom, Grandma (Ba-Nana)...this list is never-ending. Carol embodied all that is positive and good.
Then there is the special love that she and Gary have for each other. They are who come to mind when I think of a loving Marriage. They are "that couple", the ones holding hands in church, or playfully needling each other while simultaneously wearing smiles that emanate a perfect love. When you refer to them, it is like it's one word, CarolandGary or GaryandCarol. That's how inseparable they are, and they will always be.
Carol lives on through Gary. The great man that I have come to know will always first think of how he can honor his "Lovie". That is how their relationship worked, they thought of the other person first. Though she will not be physically with us, she will be watching over us. We will feel her presence...either when we are with Gary, or for her family when they are at the Shore, when we are playing a board game, when we are laughing at the Store at Camp Koinonia, or for me and Sarah when we look at the beautiful Black-Eyed Susan's that Carol gave us from their house in Brockport before they left for Virginia.
I will never forget arriving home from our first week of Family Camp in 2001. It was an amazing week, and our kids couldn't wait to go back. I was thinking to myself, how do I bring home that feeling of community and acceptance that we just had experience? As I pulled into our driveway we were welcomed to a Carol Stevens hand chalked message, "Welcome Home Family Campers!". At the time, we didn't even know the Stevens, but that small gesture of words on our driveway was just the first of many ways Carol would touch our lives.
Personally, we owe so much to this humble and generous woman. Not just because it was her son Rob who introduced us to Family Camp at Camp Koinonia, and Gary and Carol to Marriage Encounter, those are just 2 of the many ways Carol had a profound impact on my family's lives. From the friendship and wonderful meals she prepared, to the countless lessons of kind-hearted gentleness she gave while being a role-model for all of us. Carol could teach a clinic on patience (especially during Giants games at the Stevens house). Then there are the lives of the children she helped in the Brockport Schools, she gave love with all her heart.
Even in passing, she was still giving of herself. Through organ donation she gave 3 people new hope for a long and healthy life, and a better quality of life for others.
That this this happened on Thanksgiving week could be seen as bad timing. There is no "good-timing" for someone so loved to be taken from us, and I am very thankful for my friend Carol and all that she gave to this world. So "Thanks-giving" will forever be a time for us to celebrate her life.
Have no fear, God has welcomed Carol to heaven with arms wide open. I don't believe it is a coincidence that the gospel reading from Mass the Sunday before Carol was to be taken from this earth was from the book of Matthew. In this reading Jesus tells the story of the Master giving his servants "talents". The servants who used these talents to help their Master prosper were rewarded and told, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Carol used her God given talents well to do His will.
Please make time to pray and ask God to let Gary draw strength from the blessings and talents that Carol shared with him, as she watches over him and she lives on in the hearts and minds of those who knew Carol.
Also, pray in thanks to God for allowing His good and faithful servant, Carol Mary (Chesser) Stevens, to be a part of our lives now and forever.
God Bless and Camp Hugs Carol. We love you and will miss you dearly!
John, Sarah, Morgan and J Cody Culhane