On June 17, 1930 the world was blessed with the addition of Carol Janet Lambrecht Stiver, who was born as the newest daughter of Harold and Sadie Lambrecht.
The new proud parents on Sales Street were also blessed over the years with Vernette, Ruthie, Lois, Dorothy, Ellen, Janny, Diane, Bunny, Dennis, and Bill, Buddy, and David. The Lambrecht family was based on a well balanced life of hard work, loyal family love, and a great Lambrecht sense of humor. These traits were alive and well in Carol throughout her terrific life.
In the 1940s she met a handsome young ex-Navy man, Berm Stiver, who swept her off her feet, and the two married on Nov. 15, 1947, with Vic and Corrine Orcelletto as their attendants. They were among the many lifelong family and friends Mom and Dad shared their lives with. Although the wedding day was met with a blistery cold that only Wisconsin can offer, the next six and a half decades would produce a deep, loving warmth that was passed on through Joanne, Deb, Mary, Mike, and Dan to their spouses, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Unfortunately, Carol and Berm’s kids also passed on some of the same weird humor that we learned at home – it is sort of a unique blend of Lambrecht -Stiver family humor, and it is alive in each of us. The important message Mom was giving us was not to take ourselves too seriously, and to instead think of how we can positively influence others.
Eventually the couple settled at 303 Cottage Street in Merrill where they raised their family. While Mom and Dad passed on their strong roots and courage, the family setting always maintained an atmosphere of that pleasant humor that keeps the soul healthy. From organizing and donating time to running the largest money making booth at the St. Francis Church carnival every year, to watching and contributing to entire Jerry Lewis weekend telethons, to knitting beer can hats, to the simple kindness passed on to family, friends, and strangers alike, Carol was the role model of how a sharing person truly can make the world around her a better place for all she touched.
One group that must receive a special mention is the Merrill Keg Klub. This group of youngsters bonded together over the years to shape and improve each of the members of the gang and their families. The Keg Klub brought out the very best. Although there didn’t seem to be any written rules, it went without saying that the core principles were sharing laughter, support if needed, and genuine friendship. Of course this also meant one had to be a dedicated Green Bay Packer and Merrill Bluejay fan, or run the risk of being tarred and feathered on their way out of town. The Keg Klub members were and are always there for each other. Mom and Dad both shared and received from this incredible gathering of people.
Early in the 1980’s Gramma and Grampa became residents of Medford. They both worked there, but in reality their jobs were just a means to allow them to run their true money makers – the annual 569 East Taylor Street Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day Garage sales. Their reputation preceded them. They didn’t have to advertise. Happy customers simply returned year after year, for quality pieces at more than fair prices. It was definitely a profitable business, and it was Mike who coined the phrase, “Nothing is sacred around here when it comes to garage sales,” after he saw a price tag on the thermometer/humidity gauge that was the focal point of the family living room for many years.
After both Gramma and Grampa retired in Medford, they returned to Merrill to be close to family and friends. As you can imagine, they also found time to adopt a bunch of additional grandchildren on South State Street. The Milwaukee Brewers, Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Merrill Bluejays contributed greatly to her happiness. There were 64 terrific years that Mom and Dad enjoyed together.
In addition to being back in Merrill with family and friends, the peaceful memories of watching Mom and Dad relaxing at Council Grounds allow us to arrive at a rested peace, knowing Mom was truly happy.
Carol Janet Lambrecht Stiver did what each us would be like to be remembered for. She made the world around her a better place. She will be missed, but she would not want us to dwell on the past. As always, she will want us to focus on a positive future, where we can pass on her kindness, work ethic, and humor to those we meet and affect. Let us celebrate her life as the great friend, wife, mother, gramma, and great gramma that she was and is. She will always be in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. We love you Mom, and we hope to continue to share the great things you passed to us. We are thankful that we can reach to your strength now.
Carol is survived by her husband, Bernard M. Stiver; her five children, daughters, Joanne (Mark) Bronsteatter, Merrill, Deb (Nick) Mattson, Black Creek, and Mary (Carl) Moscherosch, Merrill, and sons Mike (Amy) Stiver, Merrill, and Dan (Martina) Stiver, Orlando, FL; 15 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; three sisters, Lois (Darroll) Wendorf, Janice Bloomfield, and Diane (DuWayne) Kleinschmidt; three brothers, Dale Lambrecht, Dennis (Denise) Lambrecht, and Bill (Mary) Lambrecht; and many nieces and nephews. Carol is preceded in death by her parents; sisters Vernette Gruett, Ruth McNeil, Dorothy Jankowsky, and Ellen Holt; brothers Harold Lambrecht, Jr. and David Lambrecht; and one great granddaughter.
A celebration of Carol’s life will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, at the Taylor-Stine Funeral Home, Merrill. Carol’s son in law, Lay Minister Nick Mattson, will lead the celebration. The Stiver’s will visit with family and friends beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. The Taylor-Stine Funeral Home, Merrill, is assisting the family.
Online condolences may be made at www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, Carol’s family wished that memorials be directed to Aspirus Comfort Care & Hospice Services.