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Carol ColtrainNovember 24, 1942 ~ January 2, 2018 (age 75)
Middleburgh- Carol Coltrain, 75, of State Route 145 was welcomed home to Heaven on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 from Highland Hospital in Rochester.
Carol was born to Virginia (George) and Robert Carl Van Keuren on November 24, 1942 in Margaretville, where she grew up until the age of 12, befriending a beautiful senior citizen down the street, called simply, “Mate.” Mate’s friendship and kindness planted a seed of love for seniors in Carol’s heart that would grow beyond anyone’s knowing.
When work and better prospects brought her father to Middleburgh, the family would follow a year later, eventually settling on Route 145 between two elderly couples, the Engles and the Bohringers. Carol spent many happy hours between them, listening and learning, as she had with Mate, that age simply tells how long a person has been around, it does not define us or what we are capable of doing, leading her to believe that to remain enthusiastic is to remain forever young.
Carol graduated from Middleburgh Central School in 1961 and eventually enrolled in the Gorham School of Beauty in Schenectady. In 1964, she opened Carol’s Trim N’ Tress on Main Street in Middleburgh. Carol worked tirelessly to beautify the community she loved, not only in hairdressing but in time and talent. She gave everything of herself, physically and artistically, involved with many organizations and activities through the years.
Carol’s passion for seniors rivaled her passion for the community and in 1969 she formed the Middleburgh Golden Age Club. Monthly club meetings, dinners, volunteer activities, yearly Vintage Vaudeville shows and bus tours would follow for decades. The greatest bus tour of all was the one that Wade Tours driver Joseph Coltrain drove.
A spark was lit between Carol and Joe and after just 6 months they were married on March 10, 1979, spending 36 beautiful years together until his death in 2015.
It was also in 1979 that Carol, after several years of lay-preaching and study at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, was assigned to the Huntersland United Methodist Church. With Heaven sent love, devotion and compassion, it became “The Little Church Of Love.” Huntersland United Methodist Church has become synonymous with Carol’s name, her quiet style of sharing God’s love, ministry and touching people’s hearts far beyond the walls of the church. As Pastor, Carol touched lives and left her print on countless hearts, marrying, baptizing and sharing love and peace with grieving families. Her gift of love to others shone brightest through her efforts, organizing UMCOR volunteer teams, following Hurricane Irene in 2011, rebuilding lives, homes and the community she cherished.
She continued beautifying the ladies of the community until 1991 when she closed her shop and went to work at the Schoharie County Office for the Aging. Working with her friend and former hairdressing customer, Ethel Benninger, Carol ambitiously rose through the ranks and eventually served as Director of the office, until retiring.
Carol was active with the Middleburgh Rotary Club, was bestowed with many accolades including being honored as a T.J. Star, she sat on a multitude of boards through the years, shared her beautiful gifts of painting, drawing, penning poetry, song lyrics, playing piano, organ, accordion and still found time to be a Pastor, wife and a mom.
Her final gift was working beside her son, encouraging and supporting his purchase of the former Palmer & Shaylor Funeral Home in Middleburgh, proudly watching the next generation continue her lifelong dream of service and ministry to her community.
The multitude of family and friends waiting to welcome her into Heaven will be lead by her beloved Joe, her angels and soulmates, Jean Kossmann and “Sudie” Schaeffer, who helped strengthen her faith and shape her life into one of compassionate service and a multitude of family and friends to whom she’s said “goodbye for now.”
Holding Carol’s love the closest are her son: Matthew Coltrain of Middleburgh and her brother: Robert (Sally) Van Keuren of Maryville TN, her niece Tammy and her family, many cousins, her church family, her dearest friends of 65 years since 3rd Grade: Rose Yung, Betty Curnow and Marjory Rivenburg and an extended family beyond counting.
Please join us in celebration of Carol’s life at 1PM on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the Middleburgh United Methodist Church, Main Street, Middleburgh. All are invited to a visitation with her family from 10am-1pm and 5pm-8pm on Friday, January 12, 2018 at Coltrain Funeral Home, LLC, 134 River St., Middleburgh.
Memorial contributions in Carol’s honor are asked to be sent to any organization or church in Schoharie County that embodies Carol’s love, service and ministry to others.
Carol’s family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude for the love, compassion, support and care that Carol has received from her community and her care team on West 5 at Highland Hospital.