Caroline A. Lewis, 96, Austin

Published 10:44 am Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Caroline A. Lewis, 96, of Austin, Minn., passed away in Colorado Springs, Colo., on July 22, 2012.

Caroline A. Lewis

Caroline Alvina Friedrich was born Jan. 10, 1916, in Rowley, Iowa, to Wilhelm and Olga (Klingfus) Friedrich. She lived as a child in North Dakota, moving to Moscow, Minn. in 1928. She spent 82 years of her life in Austin and shared her last few years living near family in Colorado Springs.

Caroline married Leonard “Doc” L. Lewis and had two children, Ronald and Jean. She also helped raise Deborah, who became like a second daughter. Her husband died in 1956 in a hunting accident. While she never remarried, Lauren Buck was her faithful companion for over 25 years until he passed in 1983.

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Caroline retired from the Austin Public School District as a cook in 1986 and continued volunteering at the Eagles Club and American Legion where she was known as the “Coffee Lady,” until the age of 93 when she moved to Colorado Springs.

Caroline enjoyed cribbage, bingo, a good cold MGD, the Minnesota Twins (win or lose), going to casinos, cruises including to Alaska and the Panama Canal, fishing at Mille Lacs Lake and having her family over every Thursday for coffee and donuts while in Austin. She never turned down a good game of cribbage and achieved a number of “perfect” games. It wasn’t very often that people could beat her in a game of cribbage so when they did, a victory lap was always in order.

She rang in her 90th birthday in Las Vegas with friends and family from all over the world where a close family friend taught her how to play craps for the first time.

Caroline lived a full life and will be dearly missed by so many people. Surviving are her brothers, Albert (Alice) Friedrich of Williamsburg, Va., and William Friedrich (Rosemary Kuether) of Austin; sister, Edna (Roger) Ludwig of Austin; sisters-in-law, Rosella Friedrich of Fort Collins, Colo., and Genevieve Friedrich of Austin; children, Ronald (Gail) Lewis of Casa Grande, Ariz., Jean (Duane) Gabardi of Manitou Springs, Colo., Deborah (Rick) Cornell of Arden Hills, Minn.; grandchildren, Cyndee (Tony) Blenkush of Gardner, Colo., Cathy (Scott) Nannemann of Denver, Colo., David (Megan) Cornell of St. Paul, Minn., Anne (Quinton) Ross of Glen Mills, Pa., and Connie Osborn of Denver; great-grandchildren, Max and Finn Cornell, Sophie and Nate Nannemann, and the newest addition to the family, Braxton Ross; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband; companion; parents; four brothers, Gus Friedrich, John Friedrich, Henry Friedrich and Fred Friedrich; and two sisters, Laurie Watson and Ida Norman.

A celebration of her incredible life will be held this Saturday, July 28 at Worlein Funeral Home in Austin, Minn. Visitation begins at 9:30 a.m. with a memorial service at 10:30 a.m. Following interment at Grandview Cemetery, a light lunch will be served at Worlein Funeral Home — with coffee, of course. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Mower County Senior Center, attention: Sarah, Director; 400 Third Ave. NE, Austin, MN 55912. Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at