Carol Laufenberg Wahlin, age 83, of Stoughton, passed away on Saturday, May 30, 2020 surrounded by her family.
Carol was born in Madison on June 12, 1936, the daughter of Peter and Leona (Ripp) Laufenberg. A Madison native, Carol grew up on Broom Street and was a 1954 graduate of Central High School. She described her childhood as one where neighbors helped neighbors and, while everyone was poor, nobody knew it.
She admired her parents’ devotion to their family and faith. They instilled a caring and generous spirit in their daughter and taught her; if you have something, you should share it. Family, faith, kindness and caring for people were the most important things to Carol.
Carol will be remembered as a wife, mother, sister, mother/sister-in-law, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother, godmother and friend to so many. She was also a business owner, employer, community volunteer, philanthropist, and always gave generously of herself to improve the lives of others.
Carol married Donald Wahlin in 1960. They attended Central High together, not knowing each other at the time. Shortly after high school a friend set them up on their first date. Carol wasn’t so sure she would agree to a second, but after some convincing, she decided to give it another try and ended up marrying the love of her life. They were married for 60 years. They shared a love for travel and were fortunate enough to visit many fascinating places.
They moved to Stoughton shortly after their marriage and founded Stoughton Trailers, Inc., a manufacturer of transportation equipment, now in its 59th year of business. They started a family at the same time. Carol juggled raising eight children while also supporting the business and its employees in many different roles. Carol was the heart of the business. She treated each and every employee like family. Anyone who has met Carol understands her incredible capacity for wisdom, empathy, and generosity. Her most cherished moments were spending time with her children and grandchildren. There were too-many-to-count hockey games and other sporting events, school plays, water ski shows, dance recitals and so much more. She loved her big family.
In addition to raising her kids and supporting the company, Carol managed to find time to serve her community on several community boards throughout Dane County, including; Edgewood College, Stoughton Area Community Foundation, United Way of Dane County, and Very Special Arts (VSA) Wisconsin, as well as countless committees and councils.
In 1999 Carol and Don established The Wahlin Foundation to give back to the community in perpetuity and continue her legacy of helping others. Carol was honored as Stoughton’s Citizen of the Year in 2000, she received Edgewood’s Distinguished Service Award, and she and Don were honored to be chosen as Stoughton’s 1995 Syttende Mai King and Queen.
Carol is survived by her husband of 60 years, Don; Eight children; Bill (Renee), Ken (Cathy), Dan (Kayla Libby), Kate (Andy) Schieldt, Mike (Jenny), Margaret (Mark) Blanchard, Betsy (Chris) McClimon, and Bob (Heather) Wahlin. Twenty-two Grandchildren; Benjamin (Sara), Corey, and Ali Wahlin; Reijo (Kaitlin), Hope (Tyler) Nordness, and Olivia Wahlin; Allison Libby; Sophie, Lizzi, and Anna Schieldt; Kelli, Rachel, and Sean Wahlin; Max, Sky, and Lexi Blanchard; Maddie, Erin, and Dan McClimon; Sam, Zach, and Joe Wahlin. Two Great Grandchildren; Peter and Lincoln Wahlin. Her beloved sister, Shirley (Louis) Cassini, and several nieces and nephews and their families. She was preceded in death by her parents.
A special thank you to the caregivers at Beehive Homes of Oregon and Agrace HospiceCare, Inc.
Due to COVID safety concerns a private family service will be held at St. Ann Catholic Church in Stoughton.
A public celebration of Carol’s life will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to St. Ann Catholic Church. Please share your memories of Carol at: www.cressfuneralservice.com.
Cress Funeral Service
206 W. Prospect Street, Stoughton