Caryl Minnetti, of Bloomington, MN, laid down her earthly burdens on September 25, 2020, at her home in Founder’s Ridge Assisted Living. Caryl was born to Richard and Annis Witters in Kalamazoo, MI on December 21, 1936. She was their first child, and she became an “older sister” to her only sibling, Susan Jane Witters, in 1940. Caryl was preceded in death by her parents, as well as her much loved brother-inlaw, Dave Keiffer, and her former husband, Carlo Minnetti. Her surviving family includes her sister, Susan Keiffer, her nephew, Todd Phillips (Janine) and his children, Megan Knight (James) and Noah Phillips, and her niece, Lisa Atkins and her children, Katherine Atkins, Sarah Idema (Michael), Erik Boussum, and one great-nephew, Elliot Idema. She also leaves behind her very special friend, John Thomson, who enriched her last years immensely.
Caryl was a graduate of Kalamazoo Central HS (1954) and received her BA from Western Michigan University (1958), and she completed her MA in Education from the University of Minnesota (1988). Upon graduation from WMU, she received a Fulbright Assistantship to teach English while furthering her studies in French, which allowed her to travel to Paris, France. While in Paris, she met Carlo Minnetti, originally from Virginia, MN; he was studying music at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique. They were married in Paris and returned to the United States in 1961, moving to Bloomington to pursue teaching careers. Caryl began teaching French at the High School level and eventually taught over 30 years in Minneapolis, Golden Valley and Hopkins school districts before her retirement. In addition to her teaching career, Caryl greatly enjoyed many activities such as playing tennis, sailing, gardening, traveling and music. She found many groups to participate in that touched on her interests. These included supporting Alliance Francaise, volunteering at Travelers Assistance at MSP airport, helping to program and broadcast a weekly radio show, “Bonjour Minnesota”, on KFAI with her dear friend, Georgette Pfannkuch for over 20 years, and becoming deeply involved with her church family at Transfiguration Lutheran Church (TLC). Caryl had several life-long loves; these were music, dogs and her family back in Michigan. She was a sweet person who was always interested in learning about anyone that she came in contact with, and she kept many long-term friends from all of her varied interests, both here and abroad.
While she rarely talked about her health challenges, she dealt with both pancreatic and liver cancer and managed to survive for over 23 years, in large part due to receiving her “gift of life” and undergoing a liver transplant at Mayo Clinic in 1999. The transplant allowed her to enjoy 21 years of an active life, so she was extremely thankful to her donor and her doctors.
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