Carolyn Mae (Bolt - Vander Haar) Van Dam was born on July 3, 1937 to John and Henrietta (De Groot) Bolt of rural Leota, MN. She was one of seven children and grew up on the farm and graduated from Southwest Christian High School in Edgerton, MN in 1954. During those high school years and as a youth in Ebenezer CRC Carolyn made her profession of faith declaring Jesus as her Lord and Savior. After high school, Carolyn taught primary grades for one year at Leota Christian school. In 1956, she married Evert (Ed) Vander Haar of Edgerton, MN and they farmed for two years near Edgerton.
In 1958 Ed and Carolyn moved to Los Angeles county, California. Eventually they started their own very successful Kiddie Ride business where Carolyn took care of all the book-keeping. They settled in Bellflower, CA where their lives were enriched by the adoption of two children: Jeffrey Scott in 1963 and Lynda Sue in 1967. In 1978 Ed and Carolyn moved to the Ripon area of northern CA and became involved in farming once again. Her daughter recalls her mom saying, “they felt on top of the world…” when they moved to the Ripon area. Carolyn was a very loving wife, mother and home-maker. In the mid 1980’s she set out into the workforce. The majority of her work outside the home was in medical transcription of local area hospitals. She was fortunate to be able to work from home for the last five years of her career.
Carolyn had many interests and hobbies throughout her lifetime. She was always very active and loved playing tennis and walking. She was an avid reader. In her younger years Carolyn loved gardening and plants, but eventually gave that up and decided to go with silk plants. They needed less water, she would say. She enjoyed playing cards and would never turn down a game of Scrabble. Carolyn was a (mostly) self-taught superb pianist and organist and played regularly for church services and for many weddings. She also loved to sing. She was especially fond of the old, traditional hymns. With her family and many friends, Carolyn also spent countless summers on the water, boating and water-skiing on lakes in California, Arizona and Nevada.
After the death of Ed in 2006, Carolyn decided to move back “home” to Edgerton, MN. While on a walk around her neighborhood one day, she met Harry Van Dam. Carolyn and Harry married in 2008 and spent almost ten happy years together before his death in 2018. In July, 2020 Carolyn moved into Edgebrook Assisted Living and in May, 2021 moved to the Hospice House in Pipestone, MN. Carolyn peacefully passed away with her daughter by her side on Friday, June 18, 2021 at the age of 83 years, 11 months and 15 days.
Carolyn is survived by two children from her first marriage; her son, Jeffrey Scott Vander Haar of Veneta, Oregon and her daughter, Lynda Sue Schneider of Gainesville, Florida. Four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. From her second marriage she is survived by six children, twenty grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Carolyn was a very kind and caring person to whoever she met and she always had time to listen. Her faith and family were so very important in her life on this earth. Carolyn was a beautiful example of God’s grace and she will be dearly missed.
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