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Carol A. Dolshun

5/30/2023

Carol A. Dolshun of Warwick, NY (formerly of Oradell, NJ) passed away peacefully on May 30, 2023, after a long battle with Multiple Myeloma. She was 64 years old.

  

 

Born December 10, 1958, in Hackensack, NJ, she was the daughter of Andrew G. and Emily Anderson.

 

 

Carol was an audiologist at Hackensack University Medical Center for over 30 years. She was dedicated to her profession. Her commitment was reflected in her compassionate care for her patients, especially young children.  Carol was a former All American Collegiate Volleyball player and her passion for athletics was reflected in her constant presence at her two sons sporting events over the years.  A family statement reads, “Carol was a caring and kind person; she was always happiest being with her family and friends but always welcomed new people with open arms. Carol was known for her beautiful smile and infectious laughter.”

 

 

Carol is survived by her beloved husband Edward; two sons, Hunter Dolshun of Florida, NY and Grant Dolshun of Warwick, NY; sister Ellen Stein of Maywood, NJ; brother Ron Anderson of Cary, NC; and sister Andy Ferrone of Cary, NC.

 

 

Memorial visitation will be on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a funeral service at 7:00 p.m. at Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home, 17 Oakland Avenue, Warwick, NY.

 

  

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Carol’s memory to the Disabled American Veterans Organization at DAV.org 

  

 

A letter for my Wife 

 

 

2023 marks the 50th year since I first met Carol. In retrospect it has been quite a love story.      

 

I will never forget the moment that I first met Carol. It was the beginning of the school year, and I was a new kid River Dell Jr. High having just graduated 8th grade from St. Peters in River Edge.  

  

I was fortunate to have a good friend, John Kampmann who already attended River Dell that I had known for years trough the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.  It was a beautiful September day and one of the first of days in the new school. John and I were outside walking around the corner of the building when we came face to face with Carol and her childhood friend Marlissa.  They were trying to do cartwheels or something like that and we practically piled up on each other.  I’ll never forget her energy and beaming smile the moment that we met and in hindsight I think that I was experiencing love at first sight.  Carol had that effect on many people. 

 

I was a very shy new kid at the time I met Carol and would never have had the nerve to call her. As luck would have it my friend was also charmed by Carol. I agreed to call her on his behalf to see if she was interested.  Little did he know that the many long hours on the phone with Carol under the guise of trying to get those two together were forging the foundations of a bond between her and myself that would go on to last a lifetime.    

 

We entered high school and over the next four years moved on our own parallel paths.  Fortunately for me we shared a mutual growing network of friends.  Many of whom we are still close with today.  I think that we both watched each other grow and explore feelings for others with a mutual outside envy but it was those other relationships that ultimately helped us both realize that we were connected in a deeper way then we could understand at the time.   

 

It was not until the end of our junior year in high school that we finally got our acts together and became a couple.  I will never forget or cease to be thankful for another mutual friend who set it all in motion for me.  

 

There was a Senior Fair going on at the high school but I would not be able to attend because of a trip that I was taking with the Boy Scouts that weekend.  As my unfortunate luck would have it, Carol and some of her other playful girlfriends were to be manning a kissing booth to raise money for the senior class at the fair.  Since I could not be there, I devised a plan with Joe Connoly to secretly take up most of her time thereby minimizing her exposure to other potential suitors.  I scraped up all of the money that I could find at the time.  I think that it was only five or ten dollars.  Not much but at $0.25 per kiss I figured that it would at least keep her occupied for a while.  She got a kick out of it and I guess that it worked out for Joe as well.  

 

Our relationship really bloomed that year in high school, and we became very close. Carol was up for any adventure, and we would always find ways to spend time together between classes, our sporting events and after school.  From time to time we would skip school and sneak up to Ramapo River to catch a few trout and to chill out by the stream.   

 

I have beautiful memories of that.  

 

Carol, as it turned out shared my love of the outdoors.  This love was fostered by her family.  Carol came from a great blended family made up of the Andersons and the Molash’s.  They are all a bunch of warm outgoing characters who grew up together living life to its fullest.  Brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles all made me feel welcome and part of the family.  It wasn’t me so much it was just the way they are, but I did feel honored to be included in it.   

 

Senior year went by quickly and we were all excited to culminate our experiences and years together as friends in high school with our Senior Prom.  It was a bittersweet event because it represented both an ending as well as a beginning.  Carol looked stunning of course in her beautiful prom dress and the night blew by in a flash.  Our core group of friends all decided to end the evening up at the Proiettos lake house at Beaver Dam Lake in upstate New York.  It seemed like a long trip up there.  Little did Carol or I know at the time that we would someday start our own family and our lives together not to terribly far from there and settle in Warwick NYCarol and I spent the evening in each other’s arms talking about the future, what it would hold for us and wondering where our paths would lead.  We had no idea what fate had instore for us or that the universe had already aligned to cement us with an unbreakable bond that would withstand all the tests thrown our way in the years to come.   

 

Everyone was excited to start new lives as graduates and I think that all in our group of friends had chosen to attend college.  Carol of course being the honor student that she was had gotten accepted into all the schools that she applied for.   The front runner was the University of Tennessee and I secretly worried that she would see through my act and find someone more deserving of her attention there.   

 

In sharp contrast to Carol, I was not an honor student.  It was all that I could do to get into a decent school but because of some great salesmanship by one of my coaches I was accepted into Kutztown State College to be part of the football program that season.  I was also conditionally accepted into one of the newest colleges in New Jersey, Stockton State.  Part of my conditional acceptance required that I take a trip down to Pomona NJ to meet with a counselor there and fill out some final paperwork.  Always up for an adventure, Carol decided to make the trip with me and take the two-and-a-half-hour ride down to visit Stockton in South Jersey.  We toured the campus, walked around the lakes, Lake Fred and Lake Pam (we were surprised to see what Lake Pam was about!) From there we headed over to “the apartments” which were the detached quasi dormitories that students attending Stockton lived in.  On that walk Carol became enamored by the beauty of the Pine Barrens and on our way back to meet with the counselor she decided to apply there.  After a very brief conversation with the counselor Carol was accepted on the spot (of course).   

I was elated.   

 

Carol would only be 4 hrs away, much closer than Tennessee and we knew others that planned to attend there, including one of Carols prime partners in crime, her cousin Kathi.   

 

Here our paths diverged a bit again.  I had decided to attend Kutztown and Carol had chosen Stockton.   We each developed new friendships and relationships in our respective schools and while we tried to move through our new lives independently, I was miserable without her and could not stand to be apart.  Freshman were not allowed to have cars at Kutztown so on most Fridays I would hitchhike from Kutztown down to Stockton, visit for the weekend and head back the same way on Sunday afternoons.  It was a real journey but my desire to be near Carol made it a non-issue.   

 

Over that first semester in college, I realized that I wanted to be closer, so I transferred to Stockton.  I had come to know all of Carols roommates (cousin Kathi was one) and many of her new friends.  We had a few old friends from River Dell there also. John Szabo, Doug Weising and Ken Malone attended so the decision seemed to make sense.  I was really looking forward to attending there especially since I had been getting wind of various other suitors who were trying to get Carols attention, most notably the dastardly Kevin Keane.  Kevin is a whole story in itself but he turned out to be a brother to me and I miss him terribly.  Hopefully Kevin and Carol are together now and will have a hand in guiding me and my sons through these tough times.  Like everywhere she went, Carol made deep connections with people in Stockton, many of which remains close friends today.  She cherished those relationships and was always thrilled when some of her old friends reconnected with her.   

 

Our paths meandered separately again for a bit, but they always ended up converging at some point.  Carol graduated Stockton with honors and began her career as an Audiologist while I stayed in South Jersey and worked on various fishing boats as a captain.  We always kept in touch and always maintained a relationship of some sortAfter 14 years or so of this together and through some tough times that included the passing of her grandmother, “Nanny” as she was known and both of our fathers she gave in and honored me by changing her name from Carol Jane Anderson to Carol A. Dolshun and becoming my wife on September 6, 1991. 

 

We began our married lives together living in Bergen County in a little house we rented in Waldwick, NJ.  Carol had started working in Hackensack Hospital while I worked at whatever job I could find until I finished my degree at Ramapo College.  After a couple of years of life together we were blessed with our first son Hunter and we made a new home in Warwick, NY. 

 

As one would expect, Hunter was the apple of Carols eye and she loved him with every cell in her body.  Hunter grew to be an outstanding athlete and excelled in every sport that he enrolled in, especially baseball.  He has grown into a wonderful, caring man and Carol beamed with pride any time that he was around her.  She always had a soft spot for a man in uniform and she gushed when I showed her photos of him in his police uniform.   I would get tired of her telling perfect strangers how proud that she was of her son being a “star baseball player at a division 1 school”.  When Hunter graduated, I thought that she was going to burst from happiness when reciting his accomplishments.  When he was as young as 2 or 3 Carol would be out in the yard with him having a catch and teaching him how to swing the bat.  Carol had been an excellent softball player in high school and college, and it was readily apparent that the apple did not fall far from the tree.   She was always quick to point out that her children had inherited their sports genes from her side of the family.  When you look at the Andersons and the Molashes you quickly realize that she may be on to something.  Carol's sister and cousins were all outstanding athletes who competed at the top of their games.  Her theory about the gene pool was hard to argue with.     

 

When you have a child time seems to accelerate as you watch them grow and they become yardsticks with which we use to measure the progress of our own lives.  When we moved to our home in Warwick things seemed to take off like a flash.  As luck would have it our new neighbors, Frank and Karen had also recently moved in and that they had a new daughter Ashley who was born a few months before Hunter.  Carol was thrilled because now she also had the daughter that she always wanted.  I quietly listened for years as Karen and Carol discussed the possibilities of the kids building a life together one day.  A little bit less than a year later Karen gave birth to their son Frankie.  Life went on and Frankie and Hunter had become inseparable brothers. Carol considered and referred to Ashley and Frankie as her own children.  Her capacity to love was endless, especially for children. Nothing made her happier than for her to hear from her nieces and nephews or better yet to see them.  This included the sons and daughters of her cousins.  She would talk for hours afterwards about all they had been up to, what they had told her and what they were planning.   

 

We were blessed with our second son Grant who came into the picture about 5 years after we moved in, she felt that her life was finally whole.  Hunter's delivery had been difficult. His life had hung in a precarious balance for a few moments before the doctors at Hackensack had gotten things back under control.  As difficult as Hunters delivery was Grant's was peaceful and uneventful. Carol had delivered him easily and she glowed with love the second that she held him. During the same time Carol's sister Ellen had married and given birth to her beautiful daughter Emily. Our family was complete, and life could not get better. 

 

Fast forward a few years and again life took a turn as it always does.  Carol's mother Emily had been diagnosed with a rare cancer that affected her GI system and she had slowly begun to deteriorate.  In the years since their father had passed Carol and Ellen had done everything possible to include Mrs. Anderson in the day-to-day events of our families lives and to make sure that she was rarely alone. As soon as she was given the diagnosis both Carol and Ellen shifted into ultra-maternal care giver mode and from that moment on, they both toiled tirelessly to make sure that every need was met, that every appointment was made and that every treatment option was explored.  It was as if they were doing battle in the trenches together and the result was a bond between those two that almost forged them into the same person.  They had been born a couple of years apart but after this they may as well have been identical twins.   

 

After a lengthy battle and years of fighting, Mrs. Anderson eventually succumbed to the insidious disease, and she passed peacefully in her own bed.  She passed with peace and dignity on her own terms.  With the help of her indominable two daughters she had outlived the doctors’ predictions had been given the gift of squeezing every ounce out of her long and fruitful life. Carol and Ellen had been blessed with the honor of shepherding their mother into the next life….  It was a sad and beautiful moment.  

  

This journey with their mother had confirmed my suspicions that both Carol and Ellen were verified women of steel separately and that together there was almost nothing that they could not do. 

   

Little did we know at this time that this trial by fire was a glimpse of things to come.  Not long after Mrs. Anderson lost her battle to cancer Carol began to feel physically uncomfortable.  She wrote it off to the stressful situation that she had recently gone through.  It started with small, random pains and ailments that could not be explained.  Numerous doctor visits did little to isolate and identify the source of her discomfort.  It reached the point where Caro's discomfort became unbearable, and she asked me to take her to the emergency room.   

 

That was the beginning of the last chapter of her story. 

 

About seven years ago Carol was diagnosed with her own unusual form of cancer, a virulent form of cancer that effects the bone marrow called Multiple Myeloma.  The doctors had given Carol less than five years to live. 

 

Ellen met us in the emergency room that day and had been at Carol's side for every step.  There was no cure for the type of cancer that Carol had.  There was a very slight chance that with a high percentage match from a bone marrow donor that Carol's cancer could go into remission.   

 

 No high percentage match was found, and things looked bleak.  The closest match identified was only about 50% and that came from none other than the other woman of steel, Ellen.   

 

Most hospitals would not do a bone marrow transplant with a 50% match at the time due to the inherent issues and questionable efficacy.  There was a glimmer of hope though and the miracle workers at Hackensack University Medical Center utilized some cutting-edge technology that would allow Carol to receive the bone marrow from her sister Ellen.  If there was any doubt before hand about the two sisters there was none now.  Carol underwent multiple rounds of chemo in preparation to receive the transplant and eventually underwent the procedure.  She had taken Ellen’s bone marrow into her own body, and it quickly began to take.  Carol and Ellen now had the same blood flowing through their veins.  They were officially twins and were now a singular woman of steel.   

 

The operation was a success.  This extraordinary gift from Ellen had extended her twins life by many years.  

 

 It was truly the gift of life.   

 

As God would have it this was not to last forever and the outcomes that were predicted to take place years before began to express themselves.  Carols indicator numbers began to change and slowly crept back in the direction that they had been at when she started the journey. She battled it out without a single complaint like the true woman of steel that she was.  Since the beginning of her last decline, she had undergone two alternative forms of chemotherapy to exhaust every and all chances.  The last one almost ended her life last summer when she developed an infection that ravaged her system.

 

Like a phoenix she emerged once again but this time her illness had taken more of a toll and she had been on a slow decline since we left the hospital last summer. 

 

In the months since her return home God delivered our last angel of the journey.  Her name is Tracy and she was a shining light in Carol's life towards the end. I have never met a more compassionate and caring person and we were all truly blessed to have Tracy in our lives. It was difficult to communicate with Carol as time grew short, but I knew without a doubt that Carol and Tracy genuinely loved each other.   

 

Like her mother, Carol squeezed every last drop out of life.  She took what God dished out to her without ever a single complaint.  Even in her last days Carol managed to flash her beautiful smile at anyone willing to receive it.  It was her trademark and I hope to see it in my next life. 

 

Ellen is the hero in this love story and Hunter, Grant, and I owe her a debt of gratitude that we will never be able to repay.  She was almost single handedly responsible for all the limited moments of joy that Carol experienced in the end.  She was always organizing crazy hat parties, visits with the girls and family members and anything to increase Carol's quality of life.   

 

Carol passed peacefully at home last Tuesday sitting in the comfortable chair in her room gazing at the beautiful day through the window.  She was surrounded by fresh flowers; her Mother’s Day balloons and pictures of her children. Her angel Tracy was with her and just like her mother, Carol was gently guided to her next life.   

 

I am heartbroken.    

 

I am forever grateful to Tracy for being there.  

 

There is something that we can do to keep Carol's memory alive. The boys will tell you that one thing she was adamant about was for her children to “be good human beings.” She hammered that concept into them from the moment that they came into this world. 

   

They do a pretty good job living up to her standards.   

 

I am a work in progress, but I try to keep it in the front of my mind every day. 

 

If we all live our lives this way, by treating people the way that we want to be treated, the world will be a better place. 

 

Thank you, Carol, for our two beautiful children and for the best years of my life. 

 

I love you. 

 

Eddie.  

   

Carol Anderson Dolshun 

12/10/58 – 5/30/23 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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At the time of funeral service we commemorate and reflect on the life of Carol A. Dolshun. In the days, weeks and months ahead it will be a comfort to family of Carol A. Dolshun to continue to remember a life well lived. Please select a date on the Calendar of Care to be reminded via email to reach out and continue the caring for family of Carol A..
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Messages

Ed, that is the most beautiful, heartfelt, moving, tribute I have ever read. R.I.P, Carol.
Nordo
6/26/2023
Ed, that is the most beautiful, heartfelt, moving, tribute I have ever read. R.I.P, Carol.
Nordo
6/26/2023
I’m heartbroken to learn of my youth classmate and friend. It may have been years since I’ve seen Carol, but memories of her laughter and shared silliness are strong. My warm condolences go out to her family and friends.
Bobby Bortnick
6/25/2023
Eddie and family, I read your story and am so sorry for your loss. I remember taking a typing class at River Dell and Carol and I competing to see who was the fastest typing. She was truly a wonderful person.
Gail Marshall Brunner
6/24/2023
Eddie and family, I read your story and am so sorry for your loss. I remember taking a typing class at River Dell and Carol and I competing to see who was the fastest typing. She was truly a wonderful person.
Gail Marshall Brunner
6/24/2023
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