Carolyn Denise Cage was born on January 30, 1964, to Lillie Mae Cage and Earnest Stewart (deceased). She later married Randy Van Cole, who survives her. Carolyn was the youngest girl of thirteen siblings and the second youngest child. With such a large family, Carolyn was naturally imbued with a strong attachment to the family unit in addition to a focus on love and togetherness. Carolyn accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior early in life. Religion played a major role in her upbringing, regularly attending church under the tutelage of Reverend Edward Harris at Mount Moriah Baptist Church and later Mount Justice Missionary Baptist Church. Over the years, she held several roles in the church and regularly lent her velvety smooth vocals to the church choir.
She began her education in the Saint Louis Public Schools district. She later earned an associate degree in paralegal studies. Following graduation from high school, she joined the United States Army. Her time in the Army was brief, as she became pregnant with her first child, Gregory. Also from her first marriage, she birthed two daughters, Devin and Renae.
Carolyn had a heart full of generosity, compassion, and a passion for fashion. She was full of words of encouragement, pushing those around her to pursue their dreams. Her generosity was evidenced by her willingness to open her door to those in need. Her compassion extended beyond her family, often helping work associates, friends, and her children’s friends. Her passion for fashion was exemplified by an extensive, stylish wardrobe and strong ability to coordinate outfits. She had a knack for pairing the perfect outfit with the right hairstyle.
Carolyn passed peacefully in the home shared with her husband and son on June 11, 2022. Carolyn is survived by her mother, Lillie Mae Cage; husband, Randy Van Cole; and children, Gregory, Devin, and Renae. In addition, she is survived by her five grandchildren, Mannie, London, Amir, Zuriana and ZyNiyah and eight living siblings, Doris (Evangaville, deceased), Rosemary (Jerome), Julia (Lindser), Janet (Michael), Amy (PJ), Anthony (Janice), Angela, Mark, and Craig (Ramona). She also leaves behind two Aunts, Ora Lee Barnes and Genevie (Bob), and a host of friends and family.
She will join the following dearly departed family members in heaven: father, Earnest Stewart and siblings, Barbara, Rena, Lloyd, and Don.
Carolyn leaves behind a legacy of love, generosity, and kindness. Most importantly, she would want to be remembered as an excellent mother and even better grandmother. Her children will use her examples of love, generosity, and kindness to raise their children to understand the importance of compassion and kindness.
Carolyn Denise Van Cole had a heart of gold. She will be sorely missed.