Carolyn Mae Cirks Lesmeister, 80, Ada, MN, passed away peacefully on Monday, June 13, 2022 at her residence in Ada.  

Carolyn was born on April 11, 1942, in Ada, Minnesota. She was the first-born child of Harold Leo and Gertrude Elizabeth (Kneip) Cirks. Carolyn spent her first years of life on the Scherf/Cirks family homestead in Winchester township where she attended Borup school, which were some of her fondest memories filled with family history.

Carolyn experienced many moves and new schools with her siblings, in her early years; some she would recall with fond memories. In 1956, Carolyn moved to Lockhart with her parents and 7 siblings, where she attended the last few weeks of school in a classroom that held both 7th and 8th grade. Although she only attended Lockhart School for a few short weeks, she developed lifelong friendships during that time. In the fall of 1956, she attended Ada High School, where she became involved in the Drum and Bugle Corp, and Declam/Dramatic reading. She was always thankful for one of her early friendships that she made, after moving to Lockhart, because of that friendship she joined 4-H. With the help of that friend and her mother, Carolyn learned to become a very talented seamstress. Her accomplishments in sewing led her to many 4-H revues at the Norman County Fair, even a Grand Championship award, for a suit and pill box hat she also modeled. That suit and pill box hat brought her to the Minnesota State Fair that year. Carolyn graduated in 1960 from the Ada High School. She went on to Moorhead State University where she majored in Education; after pursuing her studies, she worked for a period of time at the Fargo Forum.

Carolyn was married in September of 1965, to Gary J. Lesmeister. In 1967, while living in Rockway, New Jersey, her daughter Lori was born. Carolyn, her husband, and infant daughter, where transferred to the Kwajalein, in the Marshall Islands for 2 years. They returned state-side to Fargo, North Dakota living there for a short time. Then the family moved to multiple locations in the following years; Newport News, Virginia, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and finally settling in San Jose, California. In 1972, Brad was born in San Jose there by completing the family. It wasn’t too long after that Carolyn, husband, and children found themselves back in the Minneapolis, MN area. While there, Carolyn became involved with 4-H again, this time through her kids. She taught them how to be the confident, strong, and articulate champion demonstrators at county fairs and state fairs. Her dedication to her children was shown by her sewing Halloween costumes, driving them to activities and encouraging them to try different things in their formative years.

In 1984, the family moved back to San Jose where Carolyn returned to the work force. She worked for a variety of businesses including as a sale clerk at Montgomery Wards, a real estate agent for Century 21, and finally accountant at a chiropractor’s office. In the late 90’s she moved back to the Fargo area and by the early 2000’s she found herself back in Ada, re-establishing roots in the community she where she grew up.

Carolyn became a grandmother in 2001, when she was blessed with twin grandsons, Aidyn and Blaise. Even though she struggled through heartbreak at times, Carolyn treasured this period of her life. She was so happy to be a part of her grandchildren’s lives. To watch them grow up in the community that held so much history and so many happy memories for her. She even became a Foster Grandmother, for many years, which allowed her to watch her grandchildren strive and succeed in school and to be a part of other children’s lives in the community. She was so proud of her grandchildren, how far they came, how well they did, and to watch them graduate from Ada High School was a very satisfying moment for her. She was so proud of her children, their spouses, her grandchildren and new additions Sienna, Oliver and Edgar and how they welcomed her, as their Grandma.

Her life came full circle, returning to Ada, spending time with her mother, reuniting with aging aunts, meeting and enjoying nieces, nephews and cousins, rekindling friendships, enjoying the Lockhart family, being a grandparent at school, and being a member of a Zion Church, which was a part of her grandparent’s legacy. Carolyn lived a full and interesting life. She will be deeply missed, by those who knew her unconditional love, her strength, and courage.

Carolyn is survived by her children, Lori (Adam) NY, and Brad (Sarah) Ada, MN; her beloved grandchildren, Aidyn, Blaise, Sienna, Oliver, and Edgar; 7 siblings and spouses; nieces; nephews; numerous cousins; her dear friend Pat; and friends that became family.

She is preceded in death by her parents; one brother, John Cirks; and one nephew, Jonathan Austinson.

A Memorial Service will take place at a later date.

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Carolyn Mae Lesmeister, #