Carolyn Rose Nycum, of Kalamazoo passed away on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at the age of 91. Carolyn was born November 6, 1928 in Wichita, Kansas, daughter of Chester Orville and Blanche Bell (Wick) Mitchell. She had been a resident of the Kalamazoo and Richland areas since 1933. She graduated from State High School and received both B.S. and M.A. degrees from Western Michigan University. She retired in 1985 from Delton Kellogg Schools where she was involved with children for 18 years in education as a teacher and administrator. Carolyn was very fond of playing music, her first instruments were the violin and viola. She played with the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony, and later with the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek Symphonies. She also played the piano with the Carman Trio for many years. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo since 1947. She married James Webster Nycum on September 2, 1947. He preceded her in death in 2005. She was also preceded by her parents and her only sibling, Patricia Oitker of Texas.
Carolyn was one of the kindest people you could ever meet. She was adored, respected, and admired by her family and friends. She was truly an amazing woman who brought joy to those around her. Carolyn was always positive, non-judgmental and accepting of other people’s beliefs and values. She was way ahead of her time! She was generous, compassionate, and always a great listener. Carolyn was a voracious reader and kept a meticulous list of all the books she read. When not reading, she loved the challenge of completing crossword puzzles. Carolyn, and her husband Jim, enjoyed traveling all over the world and loved spending the winter months in warm climates. She always sent postcards to her grandchildren during these getaways. Her kids always looked forward to hearing about their winter travels upon their return. She and Jim treasured the time spent in activities with their children and grandchildren. Attending the annual Nycum reunions were always a highlight of the year. In her later years, she loved singing in her church choir.
Carolyn belonged to many organizations and contributed services to Meals on Wheels, Loaves & Fishes, American Red Cross, Friends of the Library, Literacy Council, Flowerfest, Gilmore Piano Festival, WMU Alumni, Circuit Court Advocacy program, the Kalamazoo Association of Retired School Personnel, and was very active in church activities.
Surviving are three children, spouses, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Tim Nycum of Marshall, Jim (Jane) Nycum of Portage, and Beth (Mark) Principe of Kalamazoo. Her precious grandchildren: Adam (Emily) Kane, Tim (Jennifer) Harris, Mitch (Jena) Nycum, Mollie (Lejla) Nycum-Duvnjak, Bryan (Jenn) Principe, Tricia Principe, Marie Farnworth, Katy Farnworth, Amy Allen, Kim (Adam) Eidson. Her 15 beloved great grandchildren: Blake, Brynlee, Leanna, Micah, Jonas, Gavyn, Harper, Neeley, Marcus, Ari, Natalie, Alyssa, Lucas, Emily, Lilly, and many nieces, nephews, and their children.
Carolyn requested that her life be remembered with joy and that, rather than flowers, contributions be made to the First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo. Cremation has taken place. There will be a private family interment to follow in Fort Custer National Cemetery where she will rest with her beloved Jim. A celebration of her life will take place on Saturday, September 5th, 2020 at 2:00pm at the First Baptist Church (315 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007).
Because of the COVID-19 virus, masks are required. Social distancing measures will be taken during seating. We understand if anyone is unable to attend due to a pre-existing health condition or is simply not comfortable at this time. We respect and honor all decisions.
Please take time to sign Carolyn's guestbook by lighting a candle and/or sharing a memory with the family. The family is being assisted by the Avink Funeral Home & Cremation Society, 5975 Lovers Lane, Portage, MI 49002 (269)344-5600.