Carol Craig Schaap, a radiant beacon of love, laughter, and generosity, passed away peacefully August 4, 2023 at her home in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, leaving a legacy that will continue to inspire and uplift all those who had the privilege of knowing her. Born on October 7, 1937, in Detroit, Carol’s journey was one marked by adventure, generosity, and love.
Carol was the esteemed wife of Dr. A. Paul Schaap, her rock and her confidante. She was a beloved sister to Gwen Glass and Elaine Geshel, who predeceased her, and a cherished aunt to Greg (Darcy) Geshel, Jessica (Ben) Glick, Jamie Geshel, Darrin Schaap, Danielle (Broc) Andress, Darcy (Dalen)Baker, and Sena (Lewis) Brown, lovingly guiding them through life with her wisdom, her witty humor, and her boundless love. To her family, Carol was an anchor, and her relationships were built on a bedrock of unwavering love and kindness that echoed her vibrant spirit.
Carol graduated from St. Mary’s Commercial High School in 1955. It was there she developed her love for learning and demonstrated her innate ability to organize and motivate others.
Her career was a testament to her unwavering commitment and unparalleled work ethic. Her career took flight as a secretary for the FBI, where her keen attention to detail and unmatched efficiency were deeply valued, and then Parke Davis before she found her true home as part of Wayne State University. There, she served first as the secretary to the Chairman of the Chemistry Department and finally as secretary to the President of the University. It was during this time at Wayne State that she met the love of her life, Professor Paul Schaap. They were married on March 16, 1976 in Vail, CO and embarked on a beautiful journey of love and companionship that spanned 47 years.
Carol’s passions extended beyond her work and family. She loved to tell stories and would make anyone laugh with her witty remarks. Some of her favorite stories revolved around their beloved cabin on Clearwater Lake in northern Minnesota on the edge of the Boundary Waters. Carol was especially fond of reminding everyone that her bass is the biggest on the wall. Carol was also the first female member of the Detroit Yacht Club, a fact that she was very proud of.
Carol was an avid traveler, often embarking on memorable adventures with her sisters and husband. Carol lived a year in London, England where Paul was a visiting scientist with the U. S. Office of Naval Research. A fervent sports fan, Carol followed Detroit teams religiously and had a special affinity for professional tennis. Always keen on staying informed, she kept abreast with current events, sparking conversations that were as enlightening as they were engaging.
Carol was a philanthropist at heart, and with her husband, she dedicated significant efforts towards scholarships, community centers and a performing arts center now under construction in Grosse Pointe Park, making a lasting impact on countless lives. Together with her husband, she created the A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap Foundation. This Foundation has touched countless lives, transforming their dreams into reality by awarding scholarships to deserving students. Carol’s dedication was unwavering, evident with the Foundation’s generous pledge of 5 million dollars to The Foundation for Detroit’s Future (The Grand Bargain). This contribution played a significant role in supporting the Detroit Institute of Art.
Carol Craig Schaap was more than a name. She was a force, a pillar of strength, a beacon of resilience, and a source of unending warmth and love. As we remember Carol, let us strive to embrace her values and her spirit, to carry forward her legacy of love, laughter, and generosity.