Obituary: Carolyn Christine (Jorgenson) Koyen

Carolyn Christine (Jorgenson) Koyen, 88, lifelong resident of Washington Island, went home to be with the Lord in Heaven and was reunited with her love in life, Alex, Wednesday morning, December 20, 2017 at Sturgeon Bay Health Services.

She was born on Washington Island on May 23, 1929, the daughter of William “Wally” Jorgenson and Carrie (Ottosen) Jorgenson. In her early years, Carolyn was a Girl Scout and worked as a maid. At the age of 15, she worked at the telephone office as an operator. Carolyn graduated from Washington Island High School as the valedictorian of her class.

On July 7, 1947 she was united in marriage to Alex Harvey Koyen. They were blessed with four sons and one daughter, Edward (Sharon) Koyen of New Berlin, Thomas (friend, Amber) Koyen, Harvey Koyen, Kenneth (friend, Charmaine) Koyen, all of Washington Island, and Karen (Steve) Charnetski of Sturgeon Bay; nine grandchildren and four step-grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.

When Alex and Carolyn were first married, they were in partnership with Jack and Marcella Hagen. In 1948, they purchased the home (still owned today) which was on 75 acres for $7,750. Alex and Carolyn farmed there for 25 years. In 1972, they started a new adventure when Alex fulfilled his lifelong dream of buying a fishing tug, “The Welcome,” which he fished until his death in 1984. Carolyn continued as “Captain” for both, The Welcome and Sea Diver until her passing. She spent many a morning rising up at 5 am to make sandwiches and serve coffee to “her men.” This tradition continued many years even after Alex’s passing.

Carolyn was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and Bethel Builders, and the Detroit Harbor Ladies Aid. She was actively involved with the annual elections and was the first person to get the blood mobile to come to the Island. Carolyn loved to help others. She collected and wrapped more than 16,000 items for Scandia Village in Sister Bay. One of Carolyn’s favorite card games was Canasta, and she enjoyed playing in a club she started during the winter months. She also enjoyed reading and writing poetry throughout her life. Carolyn’s greatest passion was cooking; she was always trying something new, and when times were tough, she could always produce a meal fit for a king out of wild game. She made the best gravy around! When times were extra difficult, she cooked and cleaned for others to help make ends meet. Carolyn gave her all being a wife, mother, cook, housekeeper, bookkeeper, nurse, friend, advisor, and in all other roles she was to those in her life. She is truly one of the last of her kind who dedicated her life to her family and friends. She will be remembered for so many things, her sense of humor, great cooking, loving friendship, for being a wonderful mother, and for always having the coffee pot on.

Carolyn is also survived by her sister-in-law, Mary Jorgenson; other relatives; and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; baby brother, brother, Walter Jorgenson; parents-in-law, Volney and Kate Koyen; and eight siblings-in-law.

“While there are no words to express the loss we feel, we take comfort in knowing that Mom’s love will live on in our hearts until we’re reunited with her and Dad and our other relatives again.”

Carolyn’s life will be honored with a memorial service held at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church on Washington Island in May of 2018. Service information will be announced at a future date. Burial will be in the Washington Island Cemetery.

“Our family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the staff of AseraCare Hospice for their help with caring for Mom. Thank you also to the people who called, wrote, and visited Mom. We would like to especially thank the nurses and CNA’s at Sturgeon Bay Health Services who gave Mom that EXTRA care. Our family will be forever grateful.”

Huehns Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Sturgeon Bay is assisting the Koyen family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Carolyn may be shared with her family through her tribute page at

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