Carole Jane Longnecker Brown passed away peacefully on Saturday October 5. Carole was born on January 6, 1933 in Kalamazoo, MI to F.A. (Art) Longnecker and Ina Hukill Longnecker. She attended Kalamazoo schools and graduated in 1954 with a B.A, from Western Michigan University (WMU). After graduation she taught in the Kalamazoo public schools. While a student at WMU, Carole met Paul D. Brown and they married in 1956. Carole taught school in Grand Rapids until the birth of her children. In 1977, she returned to teaching, a profession she loved, at Thornapple Elementary School in Forest Hills. Carole's interests included a passion for reading and she was a member of multiple book groups – usually at least two at any given time – throughout her life. She also belonged to several bridge groups and was a member of the Hodgen Guild at Blodgett Hospital. She was a strong supporter of public education and programs benefitting the underserved, and she was an active member of Fountain Street Church. Summers were spent at the family cottage in Macatawa where she made many long-lasting friendships. Carole was preceded in death by her husband, brother and niece. She is survived by her children, Karen (Garth) Claassen of Caldwell Idaho and Paul David Jr (Lisa) Brown of Grand Rapids and by her grandchildren, Henry Claassen, Alexander Brown and Natalie Brown. She is also survived by her beloved companion of 9 years, David Peterson of Adamstown, MD, and her nephew and several cousins. Her family is deeply appreciative of the care provided to her by Heather Hills and Kindred Hospice over the final months of her life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Fountain Street Church, or the Kent County Library System. A celebration of her life will take place this coming summer.
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