Obituary for Carolyn Bollom (Crombie)
It is with great sadness that the family of Carolyn Sue “Cookie”
Bollom announces her passing, on Monday, October 30, 2017, at the age
of 77. Carol lived life on her own terms and she died peacefully on
her own terms: Being held in the loving arms of her children and
grandchildren in the comfort of her own home. She will be missed more
than words could possibly describe and no amount of Kleenex will ever
completely dry our tears. She wasn’t just a mom, a grandma, a
great-grandma, a wife, an incredible friend, or a great cook: She was
an extraordinary woman who left a powerful impression on every person
she met. She was a rare blend of strength, perseverance,
determination, humor, beauty, kindness, and most importantly, love.
Carol Bollom loved fully and completely, especially when it came to
her family, and that gift of love was returned to her a thousand-fold
especially in the last year of her life. She passed away knowing that
she was loved. And she left behind a family who knew they were loved
“Love is the greatest gift that one generation can leave to another
Carolyn Sue Bollom (Crombie) was born on August 27th, 1940, at 8:35pm
in Oshkosh, Wisconsin to Emma Marie (Bethke) and Lloyd William Crombie.
The oldest of three siblings, Carol took on many responsibilities from
an early age which would ultimately define her throughout her very
admirable life: Hard-working, reliable, strong, compassionate, and
A graduate from Oshkosh High School in 1958, Carol would go on to work
at the Marshfield Clinic in the cranial department for many years
before working for, and then retiring from, the Winnebago Mental
Health Institute as a Ward Clerk.
Carol’s talents and interests were many. She was an avid boater and
could regularly be seen cruising around Lake Winnebago with her young
grandchildren, who were always thoroughly impressed by grandma’s
ability to steer the boat with her feet while she sipped on an
ice-cold Pepsi. “How does she do it?” They would often huddle together
and wonder. Carol enjoyed hunting with her 44 and often took her
grandchildren on her many hunting excursions where she taught her
granddaughters “women can hunt, too.”
Carol could cook anything delicious from scratch; an art form she
learned under the loving directions of her mother and grandmother. It
was a well-known fact that stopping by Carol’s house would result in
eating a tantalizing homemade snack or meal. No one ever left her
house hungry. She kept us all well fed.
Carol loved making people feel special and she did this in so many
different ways, but one of her specialties was always providing the
birthday cake for every one of her children, grandchildren, and
great-grandchildren’s birthday. Her specialty was angel food cake with
whipped cream and a Barbie doll or toy placed strategically in the
middle, but she was truly renowned for her pretzel cream torte and her
cheesy potatoes which she brought out to much fan-fare and applause.
Every holiday was very important to Carol, and she made sure that her
large family were always together on these special occasions. Of all
the holidays, Christmas was her absolute favorite and the one she
looked forward to every year. Carol always had the most beautifully
decorated Christmas tree overflowing with handmade ornaments and
sentimental trinkets that she accumulated over the many years of her
life. It was always a special day when Carol would call us to tell us
“it’s time to decorate the Christmas tree”.
Carol was consistent in her social activities and loved socializing.
She cherished all of her friendships and she was particularly grateful
for the friendships formed in early grade school with people who would
come to be such an important part of her life for her entire life. She
was regularly seen dining at the Elks Club or the Roxy, and she could
often be heard laughing with one of her many friends. She also enjoyed
playing cribbage, solitaire, sudoku, and scrabble among many other
types of card games with friends and family. It was a rare occasion
when someone beat Carol at cards.
More than anything, Carol Bollom loved being a grandmother. In fact,
it was one of her greatest points of pride and she was actively
involved with all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren lives. She
knew all of the reasons behind their joys, their sorrows, their tears,
and their happiness, and she had an innate ability to know how to
instantly turn one of their little frowns into an ear-to-ear length
In her later years, she enjoyed traveling extensively all over the
United States with her husband Ralph whom she married in Hawaii. In
the winter, the two would migrate down to Florida where their second
family of friends would dine together, laugh together, and enjoy
Carol Bollom wanted to give a special thanks to her caregiving team in
her final months which included (in no particular order of favorites):
Stephanie, Bodell, Deanna, Amy, and Tammi. She also wanted to thank
Heidi, her hospice nurse, for the exceptional care and attention Heidi
provided. Or as Carol would say, “you got an A+, Heidi”.
Some of Carol’s fondest last memories included watching multiple
reruns of Hallmark murder mystery movies with her caregiving girls,
where a “feigned” confusion about whether she had seen the movie or
not resulted in Carol somehow always accurately “guessing” the end of
every “new” Hallmark movie she watched.
Some of her other favorite last memories included gambling at Oneida
Casino with her sister Mary and Friday night dinners with her many
Carol loved listening to the sound of laughter and would sit back in
her recliner and bask in delight as she listened to her children,
grandchildren, and great-grandchildren prattling about their
adventures and more often than not, their misadventures.
She was wittier than her own good and even in her declining health,
she could outwit anyone especially her daughters and granddaughters.
We often admitted to her, “You are a sharp little cookie,” and her
reply would be a quick (and with a sly little grin), “I know.”
Though her last days were bittersweet because she would be leaving us
soon, her personality and wit shone through the ravages of her
illness: She was herself till the very end.
Though our hearts ache at her passing, her family and her friends find
comfort knowing that she is no longer suffering and that she is in
heaven with loved ones. Thank you, Carol, for everything. You are
already deeply missed. Until we see you again.
Carol was preceded in death by her parents, Lloyd and Emma Crombie,
one sister, Barbara Williams, and her beloved husband, Roy Bullock,
who passed away in 1992. She was also preceded in death by her
cherished husband, Ralph Bollom, who passed away in 2016.
Carol will be lovingly remembered by her children, Tammi Reimer, Lori
Lane (Bullock), Cory Bullock, and Amy (Cary) Bullock-McMahon; her
grandchildren, Deanna (Preston) Freeman, Casey (Jill) Reimer, David
Reimer, Stephanie Reimer, Michael Reimer, Aaron Bullock, Bodell
Ostertag, Brian (Ruthche) Ostertag, James Ostertag, Alexander
(McKayla) Bullock, Cody Clark, Kiana Jo Rodriguez, and Hannah McMahon;
her great-grandchildren, Dalton Freeman, Piper Freeman, Preslie
Freeman, Tucker Reimer, Truitt Reimer, Trishia Ostertag, Valerie
Ostertag, Brianna Ostertag, Grant Ostertag, and Lilee Ostertag; her
sister Mary (Jim) Wrage; her many special friends (especially her card
club gals), and her many cousins, nephews, great-nieces and
Celebration of Life Services will be held at Seefeld Funeral Home,
1025 Oregon Street in Oshkosh, WI. Visitation will be Friday,
November 3, 2017 from 5:00 to 8:00pm. There will also be visitation
from 10:00 to 11:00am on Saturday, November 4th, 2017 before memorial
services with a luncheon to follow.
The family would like to express our thanks for the wonderful help and
care given by Compassus Hospice, Dr. Virani and his staff, and to all
the people who helped make her last days as comfortable as possible.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Carol’s memory to:
St. Judes Hospital
Donate by phone: 800-805-5856