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Friday, December 29, 2023
6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)
Saturday, December 30, 2023
10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)
Saturday, December 30, 2023
Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)
Carolyn Joyce Claassen arrived on November 6, 1931, in Newton, Kansas, the first of three children born to Paul and Helen (Regier) Claassen. Younger brothers Olin and Rodney completed the family. Tragedy came to her family when Rodney died when Carolyn was nearly seven years old. She also experienced the death of her mother when she was eleven years old.
Her early years were spent in the Plum Grove community where she attended a one-room schoolhouse. Most farmers settle down on a farmstead, but her family moved several times during those years, all in the same community.
She attended high school at Berean Academy in Elbing and graduated in 1950 in the first class that attended all four years. During those years, she and others in her car often drove past the farm where Arthur Busenitz was hauling manure. Her brother Olin would often tease her that Carolyn was going to marry him someday, to which she would retort, “No, I’m not!”
After high school, she attended Bethel College in Newton. Her roommate was her first cousin, Agnes Harder. After receiving her teaching certificate, she taught for two years in the Claypool community. This school was conveniently located a mile and a half from the Art Busenitz farmstead, and she boarded with an aunt just across the road. This led to Art and Carolyn’s marriage on June 10, 1954 and almost fifty years together on that farm. They moved to Whitewater in 2003. When Art died in February 2019, they had been married almost sixty five years.
Carolyn accepted Jesus as her Savior at a young age, and later came to understand that the Holy Spirit could be a presence and guide in her life. She enjoyed her time in God’s Word, and later Art and Carolyn joined Gideons International so that others could be saved through the reading of God’s Word. This ministry became an important part of their lives as they distributed Bibles both locally and overseas.
Our mother raised us children to follow Christ faithfully. She also taught us the importance of family and community and had a strong concern for the spiritual and physical well-being of our spouses and children to the end.
Carolyn avidly served, volunteered, prayed, and gave generously her whole life. She loved to go places, and her calendar was full of prayer meetings, Gideon events, church activities, and family gatherings.
Homemaking was her calling, and she loved to bake bread and sew clothes and baby blankets. She always had a garden and even this summer grew tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers.
Carolyn is survived by her brother, Olin Claassen and his wife Carol of Whitewater; children Jerome and Mary Anne Busenitz of Southaven, Mississippi, Steve and Julie Krahn of Derby, Cathy and Chuck DeForest of Florence, Dwight and Diane Busenitz of Whitewater, Susan and David Carp of Wichita, Jeanette and Todd Marcy of Kearney, Nebraska; and Tom Busenitz of Benton; and twenty two grandchildren and twenty nine great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Art, her daughter Marcia Krahn, and her brother Rodney.
As a family, we appreciate your presence today as we honor our mom, grandma, and great-grandma and her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. A memorial has been established with Gideons International.