Carolyn L. Meinhardt, age 72, died on Monday, April 11, 2022, at her home in Darwin, Minnesota from ALS complications. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at Cornerstone Church in Litchfield, MN. Visitation with the family will be held at 10:00 AM at Cornerstone Church prior to the memorial service. Interment will follow at Groveland Cemetery in Minnetonka, MN. The memorial service will be live-streamed at www.johnsonhagglund.com.
Carolyn was born in Yankton, SD to Ben & Myrna Meinhardt, the firstborn of six children. She was raised in Minnetonka Mills, MN where the family actively attended Mtka Community Church and she graduated from Hopkins High School. She attended Tabor College in Hillsboro, KS and graduated from Mankato State with Math and Art majors and later she earned her Masters degree.
In 1970, Carolyn married Richard Heding. After living in Montrose, MN, they moved to Pine City where she taught high school classes and assisted the District Superintendent. After divorcing Dick she moved to San Diego, CA for two years, then returned to MN where she rented farmhouses as she liked to have animals around and wide open spaces. In 1982, Carolyn married Jerome Foecke. They initially lived on Jerry’s farm in Howard Lake, then moved to her farm in Dassel which they named Black Pearl Farm. Her last move took her to her lakeside home in Darwin.
Carolyn was incredibly intelligent and logical and was a member of MENSA. Early on she worked for her dad as the bookkeeper in his electrical contracting business. In the 90’s, Carolyn started her own software business, Wordware, designing, writing the computer program and selling the Lunch Cashier System software. She employed many (including her sister Mary) and traveled the USA in her RV motorhome demonstrating and training schools how to implement the software. Carolyn seemed to be most comfortable making to-do lists, often 30 pages long, and sitting in front of her computer planning and getting projects done.
Carolyn was also artistic and combined technology with her creativity. She enjoyed the science of baking, making candy and anything that included chocolate. Her paintings and artwork were geometric. She enjoyed giving homemade gifts crafted on her computerized sewing machine. Even in volunteering at Cornerstone Church at the soundboard, she enjoyed combining music and sound technology as she sang along in harmony. She enjoyed traveling, watching movies and reading mysteries.
After work, Carolyn spent the majority of her time caring for and loving animals. She always had many, many cats. At one point Carolyn and Jerry had 24 black Arabian horses, 2 llamas, 15 peacocks, many types of exotic chickens, a dog, and 10 cats. She even had a bird aviary in their living room. Carolyn never had a human baby of her own but she enjoyed mothering, especially the animals.
In 2016 our brother-in-law Thom Clark passed away from ALS. It was devastating to see how his body deteriorated from the awful disease. When Carolyn was diagnosed with the same illness that same year it was heartbreaking. Since she was living alone in her Darwin lake house, she was strongly encouraged to move into facilities that would bring her extra help and care. The disease took over her body, but Carolyn was a strong, tough, very independent woman who wanted to stay in her house with her animals to the very end. Thanks to the help of nearby friends and family, she was able to get her wish. We will miss you, dear sister. XOXO