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Carol Mary Sazama passed away on the evening of October 18th, 2023 at Heritage Court Memory Care in Eau Claire.
Carol was a Christmas gift from God to her parents, Dr. John and Janese Sazama. She arrived at St Joseph's Hospital in Chippewa Falls, WI in December, 1942. Her joyous parents soon took her home to Bloomer, WI to meet her big sister Jane and the family's Jack Russell Terrier.
This "Christmas Carol" was a healthy, happy and peaceful baby. It wasn't long before she was following Jane’s every step. Carol and Jane were inseparable for all those wonderful childhood years and beyond. As time passed, there would be five more gifts from God; four brothers and another sister.
After moving to Grand Ave in Chippewa Falls, Carol was enrolled in the city's Catholic schools. She enjoyed cheerleading at St. Charles School Primary School and McDonell High School. Here she began her relationship with music. Piano lessons at Mrs. Meslow's were her solace; a means of escaping all the ‘little kids’ that joined the family after her.
Carol pursued her love of music; playing the organ at St. Charles Church for many services. A prolific keyboardist, her surviving sister reminisces "the many hours of hearing her play our family piano are still bright in my mind. There was “On Wisconsin'', "If You Want To Be A Badger", "The Wiffenpoofs Assembly", loads of Rogers and Hammerstein musicals, the Notre Dame "Fight Song" and "The Bells of St Mary's"."
Indiana was her next stop; St. Mary's College at Notre Dame where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Music. Then traveling west to U. Cal - Santa Barbara, Carol earned her Masters in Music History. Carol went on to work in administration at the then newly formed School of Music at U. Cal - San Diego.
Carol would later transition into a role in medical research administration - a field in which she stayed until her retirement. Starting at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, CA, she would go on to work for the head of Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in NYC, later finishing out her career at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as Director of the Institutional Review Board.
During the NYC and Philly years, Carol was a substantial part of her eldest sister Jane's life, and those of Jane's children. The New Jersey Turnpike was well traveled. After Jane's passing, Carol was an anchor of love for them. These were the years beyond Carol and Jane's childhood; a special time for all of them. This legacy continues today with the love of Jane's children and grandchildren, in their devotion to Carol and her memory.
While living in New York, Carol thought it was time she acquired a pet. By chance, her four-legged companion would be an Australian Terrier she adopted from a local Chippewa Falls breeder, and would return with her to NYC.
While in California, Carol met Bea Goodman - with whom she shared an interest in music and soon began to share Bea's interest in dog shows. During a stroll around a show in Westchester County, NY, Carol was introduced to her friend Alexa Samarotto. In her friendships with Bea and Alexa, Carol learned everything there was to know about dogs, shows, clubs, and the sport of showing purebreds.
In 1992 at an Australian Terrier club of America (ATCA) dinner, Carol met Kerrie Bryan. Kerrie purchased one of Carol's Aussie puppies and their friendship and dog collaboration began. Carol's breeding program - WissMiss Australian Terriers - had produced several champions. In her collaboration with Kerrie, the program expanded with breeders from New Zealand and Australia. Kerrie had a special gift of grooming, and Carol took to the ring; the dogs they showed were always stunning.
Carol was a member of the ATCA since 1974, serving as President, Club Secretary, and Historian. She worked closely with the committee that revised the Breed Standard in 1988, from which a book was compiled and published in 1994. Carol is quoted; "to my good friends, my WissMiss Australian Terriers and breeder/owners: I thank them all for the most fun and creative times of my life." Carol's legacy is her untiring work for Aussies, and that work survives today in the descendants of her breeding program.
Carol was intelligent, witty, and certainly had her mother's Irish humor; one never spent time in her presence without laughing continuously. We will miss her wisdom, her puns, and so much more. "Our Christmas Carol" has left to join her parents, grandparents, and her big sister Jane. She leaves behind her the "little kids", many nieces and nephews, and her Aussies; Bradman, Nelly, Cazaly and Sharkee. She has returned to the Lord who had given her to us as His gift.
The last few years of Carol's life were plagued by Alzheimer's disease. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Alzheimer's Research in Carol's name to:
https://www.adrc.wisc.edu/give U.W. Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health: Alzheimer's Disease Research Center or https://www.alz.org/
The memorial service for Carol will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 2, 2023 at Hulke Family Funeral Home in Eau Claire. A visitation will be held on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. with a time for sharing of memories from 9:15 a.m. until the time of service. Inurnment will be held at New Hope Cemetery in Chippewa Falls at a later date. To view the service virtually please use the link provided. https://dashboard.boxcast.com/broadcasts/gvnpse49lqr8qps9qqjm
Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com.
Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.