Carol Kirchoff Rakowski Becker, 79, passed away peacefully at her home in Palm Harbor, Florida, on October 30th with her husband William Gilbert Becker at her side. She was a beloved and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother and will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and all who knew her.
Carol was born on December 1, 1943, in Weehawken, New Jersey to William Albert and Margaret Maria Kirchoff (nee Davis), the 14th of 15 children. Her sisters Natalie “Sissy” Niebergal and Mary Hartwig survive her. Carol’s childhood exploits delighted her siblings and provided an endless supply of humorous stories for her family.
She lived in multiple locations in Hudson County, NJ, before settling in Ramsey, NJ, to raise her three sons with her former husband Theodore Lawrence Rakowski. A bookkeeper for most of her adult life, Carol was loved and appreciated by her Ramsey Board of Education and Ramsey High School colleagues for her work ethic, energy, humor and honesty. You always knew where you stood with Carol.
The consummate “Jersey Girl,” Carol has been described as a “firecracker,” a “towering figure,” and one of “the cool moms.” Several of her high school yearbook well-wishers tagged her as “Crazy Carol,” with tales of shenanigans to prove it.
In addition to her husband Bill, Carol is survived by her sons, Lawrence Jason Rakowski, (Kelly) of Oconomowoc, WI and Flower Mound, TX, Ronald Thomas Rakowski, MD (Lisa) of Frederick, MD, Andrew William Rakowski (Eileen) of Ramsey, NJ, and her step-daughter Suzanne Becker (Lawrence Kuizema) of Norwalk, CT, and seven grandchildren: Jess, Christopher, Alexis, Meghan, Jason, Elizabeth and Mary, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents, 13 siblings and former husband.
The family extends their gratitude to all those who have shown support and sympathy during this difficult time, and to those who provided care during her long and courageous battle over the last 18 months against cancer, especially her personal health aide Ashleigh Engel.
A Celebration of Life to honor and celebrate Carol’s life will be held in the Spring of 2024. Details to follow. All who knew her are welcome to attend and pay their respects and share their favorite Carol stories.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society in honor of Carol Kirchoff Rakowski Becker.