Carol Ellen Reitz of Brevard, NC, went to be with Jesus on March 24, 2021. Born in Chicago, IL, Carol was the daughter of Lester and Helen Clark. After enjoying her early years in Michigan ice skating, swimming, and boating in St. Claire’s Shores, she and her brother Ray moved with their parents to Golden, CO, when she was 11. A couple of years later, her father had a series of strokes and was hospitalized for eight years until his death. During that period, Carol excelled in school and held part time jobs as a movie theater usher and waitress to help make ends meet. It was at the latter job that her future husband, John (“Jack”) Reitz, a Nebraskan, WWII vet and Colorado School of Mines student, met and fell in love with the dark haired beauty with hazel eyes. She graduated from high school early, got a secretarial job and married Jack months later.
Carol gave birth to their first son in Colorado. After Jack earned his engineering degree they briefly lived in New Jersey and Oklahoma, where Carol gave birth to their second son. Carol and Jack then embarked on a three decades long, five-country adventure starting in Costa Rica where Carol gave birth to their two daughters. After living there eight years, they were transferred to Lebanon. Four years later, they were evacuated during the 1967 Six-Day War with Israel. Afterwards, they lived in Brazil four years and then Chile, where the next six years they experienced life before, during and after the 1973 military takeover. Carol and Jack spent the last eight years before retirement in Venezuela.
During those years, Carol raised a family in sometimes harrowing circumstances and learned to speak several languages. She was actively involved in churches for Americans and British living abroad including teaching Sunday school, helping establish an orphanage, leading prayer groups, hosting missionaries, being a deaconess and teaching Bible studies. The family periodically came to the US to vacation at their cabin in Colorado and to visit Jack’s parents in California.
After Jack’s retirement, Carol and Jack chose to move to Brevard. Carol lived in Brevard for 35 years and was an active member of Christ Covenant Church and its prayer groups, as well as a local branch of Lydia, an international prayer group. She was a prayer warrior and gifted intercessor, not only praying fervently for her family and friends who saw the amazing results of her prayers, but also for others in the community and world that God led her to pray for.
Carol was a people person who made friends easily. She was a good listener, kind, calm, patient, ladylike and always photogenic. She had common sense, a dry wit, a voracious appetite for reading and watching mysteries, and an innate sense of style, both in home décor and dress. She loved her family, friends, neighbors, pets and helpers throughout the years and they loved her. She put Christ first in her life and devoted time each morning to her relationship with Him through prayer and Bible study.
She was preceded in death by her parents and husband. She is survived by her four children: Stephen Reitz (Betz) of Colorado Springs, CO, Michael Reitz of Vanleer, TN; Jennifer Groeneveld (Bill) of Santa Barbara, CA; and Tracy Stephenson (Jim) of Raleigh, NC. She also is survived by her grandchildren Amy, Jonathan, and Nathan Reitz and their spouses; Amber and Avery Reitz; Sarah Greenfield and Megan Groeneveld; Andrew, Kelly and Evan Stephenson; and 11 great grandchildren.
The family wishes to acknowledge the loving care given to her toward the end of her life by her caregivers Melissa Carson and Hannah Small and her longtime teenage helpers Sawyer and Spencer Pierson. We also wish to thank her College Walk neighbors for making these last years of her life without Jack so enjoyable and her good friends at church for their many years of friendship.
In honor of her life, memorial contributions may be sent to the Sharing House, PO Box 958, Brevard NC 28712 or online at www.sharinghouse.org.