Caroline “Carol” Zaczkowski passed away peacefully in her home on January 20, 2023. She was born to John and Helena (Meyer) Spanier in Paynesville, MN, on March 24, 1942. Carol was the youngest of 10 children who grew up on the family farm in Lake Henry, MN. She attended the local one room schoolhouse until she was in 8th grade, when she transferred to St Gabriel’s in Little Falls. She completed high school and nursing school there. Carol was married to Mark Zaczkowski on November 9, 1963, he was the love of her life. Mark passed away September 14, 2022, Carol never recovered from her broken heart. They had 4 Children: John, Lori (Mike) McGuire, Carla, and Joe (Angie); 12 grandchildren; and 15 great grandchildren. Carol is survived by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as her brother-in-law, Mel Hagen, of San Antonio, TX. She was preceded in death by her parents and her 9 siblings and their 8 spouses.
Carol was an exceptional RN and always expressed that serving others is the best way to live. She started her career in surgery at Bethesda Hospital in St Paul. She and Mark moved to a hog farm in Pine River, MN, in 1978 where she then worked for the State of MN at the Brainerd State Hospital for over 20 years, until she retired. Carol was passionate about the care of those suffering with mental illness, and always hoped to see improvements to the accessibility and treatment of mental illness.
Much to the chagrin of her husband, Carol loved politics. She was also an avid reader. Carol loved big family meals and gatherings and was an exceptional cook. Both Mark and Carol taught their children to work hard, be honest and love others. They raised their children with a faith in God and Christ and exemplified their love for each other by praying together daily and proving that commitment is key to a “perfect” marriage.
Carol will be missed greatly by her family. Her steadfastness and commitment to family was inspirational.
A small private family service will be held at the graveside in the spring, where Mark and Carol will be buried together. There are no requests for memorials, however both Mark and Carol would love for those remembering them to give to their local food shelf to help serve those less fortunate or those who have fallen on hard times. Thank you for all the kindness that has been shown to her children.