Cover photo for Carolyn Mae Houdek's Obituary
Carolyn Mae Houdek Profile Photo
1934 Carolyn 2022

Carolyn Mae Houdek

April 26, 1934 — August 12, 2022


Carolyn M. Houdek passed away Friday, August 12th, 2022.

She was born in Kalamazoo at the new Borgess Hospital on April 26, 1934, the daughter of Carl and Doris (Goodrich) Freestone and stepdaughter of Arthur Sherrod.

She grew up in Bangor, Michigan and graduated from Bangor High School in 1952.

On September 7, 1952, she married high school classmate John Houdek, and they started their life together at Michigan State College. Carolyn took classes in elementary education, received a State Limited Certificate and started her teaching career in the Lansing Public Schools at Forest Road Elementary. She completed her education by attending summer school and taking evening classes and continued teaching in Lansing for eight years while John completed his PhD.

After John completed his studies, they moved to Portage when he took a position at Western Michigan University in the history department. Carolyn started teaching first grade at Ramona Lane in the Portage Public Schools and when Ramona Lane closed, she moved to Central Elementary and eventually retired from there after 26 years of teaching.

During her career she taught kindergarten, first and second grade and during her retirement she tutored at Angling Road Elementary and also in her home.

Carolyn leaves behind her husband John, with whom she shared almost 70 years of marriage.

She also leaves children Karen (Edward), Diane (John) and Steven; grandchildren Bryan, Matthew (Sonia) Kelly and Peter and great-grandchildren, Jack and Mila.

Carolyn also leaves behind her brother James Freestone (Joan), nephews David, Mark and their families.

In accordance with Carolyn’s wishes there will be no memorial service. Arrangements entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services 622 S. Burdick St. Kalamazoo, MI 49007.

She wished to express her deep and sincere thanks for the children, parents, friends and family who made her life so happy and fulfilling

Carolyn’s remains will be placed in the columbarium of the First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo.

Those wishing to make a gift in her memory may do so to SLD Reads, Specialized Language Development Center, 5250 Lovers Lane, Portage, MI  49002. To leave an online condolence, please visit

To order memorial trees in memory of Carolyn Mae Houdek, please visit our tree store.


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