On May 30, 2022, Carol Lee Haen, aunt, great aunt, sister, daughter, friend, world traveler, and nurse, passed away peacefully at Unity Hospice in De Pere after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer. Known to most people as “Carol,” to her family she was “Carol Lee.” Born on June 17, 1946 in Green Bay, Carol Lee spent her childhood living and working on the family farm with her parents, sisters and brother, graduating from Luxemburg High School in 1964.
Driven by her desire to help others, Carol Lee began her 35-year nursing career at St. Vincent’s Hospital in 1965, working as a CNA on weekends while she attended Mercy School of Nursing in Oshkosh. Following graduation in 1967, she stayed at St. Vincent’s to serve as a staff nurse for eight years, and then in various management positions for the next 27 years. For the last 17 years she was the Director of Surgical Care Nursing, responsible for around the clock care and supervision of a unit of 30 patients and 55 staff. Carol Lee was particular to see that the patients received the best care possible.
In 1980 she helped develop the “I Can Cope Program” at St. Vincent’s, an education and support program for people dealing with cancer. Carol Lee was facilitator of the program for 15 years and witnessed the courage, determination, and faith shown by patients and their families dealing with cancer. Over the past 10 years, Carol Lee was a perfect example of these traits as she fought her own battle with cancer.
In her role at St. Vincent Hospital, she was also responsible for hiring nursing staff. Even in the years after her employment at St. Vincent’s had concluded, Carol Lee often ran into nurses throughout the area that she hired, supervised, or otherwise mentored. Even in her final days at Unity Hospice, several nurses there recalled working for Carol Lee at St. Vincent’s years ago. Her impact on the nursing environment at St. Vincent’s and in the Green Bay area was far reaching and memorable.
Eventually, Carol Lee developed a desire to practice nursing utilizing a holistic approach, and in 1998 she completed the Parish Nurse Program at Marquette University. In 2001 she retired from St. Vincent’s to take on the role of Parish Nurse at St. Bernard’s Catholic Parish in Green Bay, her long-time home church. There, Carol Lee counseled parish members and their families about health concerns and helped them seek solutions to the challenges they faced.
In 2011 Carol Lee retired as a parish nurse, but continued to serve others, volunteering for various organizations in Green Bay, including the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), and in volunteer roles at St. Bernard’s Church. She was especially dedicated to serving on the St. Bernard’s Human Concerns Committee, leading it for many years. Carol Lee was also a key member of the People for People Organization in Green Bay, a group that works to enhance international understanding and friendship across diverse cultures.
Besides her love of serving others through nursing and ministry, Carol Lee also loved her extended family, and her many friends who were like family. She enjoyed spending holidays, momentous occasions, and just a regular day or evening with her siblings, nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and friends.
Carol Lee was a long-time member of the Wayside Morrison Community Band, playing saxophone in many summer parades and other events.
Another of Carol Lee’s loves was the Green Bay Packers. She was a season ticket holder and for many years attended nearly every home game. When not attending away games, Carol Lee was always dressed in her green and gold, cheering on the Pack from her home or a friend or relative’s home.
Last but certainly not least, Carol Lee had a passion for traveling. She lived by the quote, “The world is my playground,” exploring all corners of the world including Europe, Africa, Russia, Asia, Tahiti, Hawaii, Mexico, Alaska, and several Caribbean islands. For the past few years she enjoyed yearly trips to Mexico, where she owned a timeshare. Her favorite travel experience was an African Safari in 2013.
Carol Lee is survived by a sister-in-law, Mae Haen; 21 nieces and nephews; 50 great nieces and nephews; several close companions; and many other friends and relatives.
Carol Lee was preceded in death by her parents, Leo and Caroline Haen; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Anna Mae and Bill Stodola, Grace and Cletus Schott; and a brother, Leroy Haen.
Friends may call at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St., on Monday, June 6, 2022, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Parish wake service 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 2040 Hillside Lane, from 9:00 a.m. until the time of Mass. Funeral Mass 11:00 a.m. Tuesday at the church with Rev. David Pleier officiating. Burial will take place in the Allouez Catholic Cemetery. Online condolences may be expressed at www.prokowall.com.
“It is not enough to say we are Christians. We must live the faith, not only with our words, but with our actions.” -Pope Francis
Family and friends would like to send a special thank you to the staff at Rennes Health & Rehab Center in De Pere, as well as the staff of Unity Hospice and Unity Hospice Residence in De Pere, for their care and compassion assisting Carol Lee over the past several months. A special thank you also to Carol Lee’s niece, Cindy Parker, whose tender care over the past several years helped Carol Lee to live comfortably and happily.