Carolyn Wanner

Carolyn M Wanner

July 14, 1970 - January 3, 2021
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Carolyn Marie Wanner
July 14, 1970-January 3,2021

A bright sparkly personality left us grieving when, despite her best efforts, Carolyn Marie Wanner, 50, lost her battle with alcoholism on January 3, 2021 at the Greeley Hospital. Her close family was present to say good bye and must now learn to live without her happy presence.
Carolyn was born in Eugene, Oregon, on July 14, 1970 and moved to Greeley when she was just 6 weeks old. Even as a little girl, she loved people and said hello to anyone who would catch her eye. She could also be counted on to defend her little friends from bullying or harm, a friend you could trust.
A capable student, she became an excellent writer and loved reading and all things having to do with performance and theater. After attending Cameron School, Maplewood Middle School and Heath Junior High, she graduated from Greeley Central in 1988, where she continued to participate in activities, especially theatre, choir, forensics with her group of friends who felt right at home at her house, doing their homework and just hanging around.
She never hesitated to help anyone, even if it meant giving away her last cigarette or $5 when she saw someone in need. Those who knew her were grateful to have had her friendship and those she briefly encountered were always graced with her welcoming smile.
She attended The University of Northern Colorado for one semester, taking a class from her dad and then went off to UC Boulder to earn a degree and had way too much fun socializing, gathering more friends into her life. When she earned her BA in English and Theatre, she was so proud.
In her own words, she said “The energy and allure of the hospitality industry and the people it attracts suit my personality perfectly. I love it!” and that is where she spent her career, working at a number of venues in various capacities, including the first Rock Bottom in Denver. She gave exceptional service at all times and earned a lot of tips with her huge smile and ability to put customers at ease, chatting to everyone, just like when she was a little girl. But, with Carolyn, it wasn’t just about the tips. She was a performer at heart. Her dreams of being an actress were played out doing improv with her customers.
On August 8, 1998, she married Dante Dunlap in Denver and they had two exceptional sons, Max, age 21 and Ethan, age 19, of Denver. She loved being a mom and was often called the “cool mom” by Max and Ethan’s friends. Her sons meant everything to her. Following her divorce, she had a variety of relationships, but never remarried.
In addition Ethan and Max, she is survived by her saddened mother, Susan Malmstadt, and father, James Wanner, his wife Rene Oya, her loving brother, Christopher Wanner, sister-in-law Sonya PauKune, nephews Blake and Sabin Wanner along with her aunts, Patricia Malmstadt and Carol Haluska, an uncle Dick Wanner, cousins Tere and Steve Schultz, Andy May, Laurie Malone, Carissa Russell, Leslie Andrews, Jennifer and Kristin Wanner as well as extended family and a slew of friends across the state and the country.
The family would like to thank the medical staff at the Greeley Hospital 3rd Floor Acute Care Unit for the exceptional care they provided Carolyn and the family.

Arrangements are pending.

Contributions in Carolyn's memory can be made by check to Greeley Central High School GCHS Thespian Troop 657, 1515 14th Avenue, Greeley, CO 80631 Attention: Brian Humphrey or to the Colorado Restaurant Association Angel Relief Fund for restaurant workers affected by COVID. Donate online at
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Posted at 11:49pm
My sympathy to you Susan and the rest of your family. I can't imagine your grief, I'm so sorry. The memories of Carolyn shared here are so wonderful. Hold them close to your heart. Marsha Heineke

Dulcie Camp

Posted at 07:25pm
Night falls, but day dawns to replace it... Grief comes, but Time will ease the pain... Life ends, but death cannot erase it... In memory, love will always remain. Our deepest sympathy, Ron and Dulcie Camp

Jennifer Wanner and Kristen Couch

Posted at 01:16pm
Thinking of Carolyn's smile will always give comfort to her family and friends.
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Jennifer Wanner

Posted at 12:38pm
When my sister, Kristen, and I were young we always looked forward to seeing our cousins Carolyn and Christopher at our grandparents' home for family reunions in Wisconsin. We were always guaranteed to have lots of FUN together at the neighbour's swimming pool and going to the Edelweiss restaurant with the whole family. Carolyn is a big part of Kristen and I's happiest memories as children. In every photo I have of Carolyn she has the most luminous smile. That is how Kristen and I will always remember her.

Kate Edgerton-Tarpley

Posted at 09:28pm
 I have so many memories of Carolyn, my best childhood friend without whom growing up in Greeley would have been far less magical. She was one of the kindest-hearted people I have ever known. When I tell my own kids stories from my childhood, Carolyn looms large in all of them. I already miss her. Here are just a few favorite memories:
-- When my family got back from spending my first grade year in the Philippines, I didn’t remember anybody from Kindergarten, and was scared to start second grade at Cameron Elementary school. My first day of second grade was lonely and miserable. The second day started out the same -- I remember standing alone by the fence at recess, staring at our grey house that I could see but not get to. Then a little girl with brown hair came up to me and said, “Hey, don’t be so sad – do you want to come play?” It was Carolyn, of course, seeing another kid in misery and reaching out to help. I followed her, and we sat together and lunch and by the end of the day we were best friends. I remember rushing home from school that day and shouting, “Mom, I made a friend!” And a lifelong friend she was.
 I remember Carolyn sticking up for me at school. I was extremely shy in Elementary school, and I was terrified of getting up in front of the class to read an assignment I had written aloud. I had awful handwriting, so nobody but Carolyn could read my writing to help. One day when the teacher called on me to read a story I had written aloud to the class, I sat there, petrified, and Carolyn came to the rescue. She picked up my story, marched to the front of the room, and read it for me, with a big smile. And when a much bigger girl tried to push me away from the Tetherball pole at recess one day, Carolyn pushed right back, and the big girl gave up and walked away. From the time she was only 7, Carolyn was fiercely protective of those she loved.
 I remember Carolyn’s wedding to Dante. She looked SO beautiful and so happy.
 I remember visiting Carolyn in her Denver apartment when Max was a toddler. We took him to a nearby mall and talked and talked while he played in a little indoor play area there. We hadn't seen each other for a few years, but it felt like only days. She was SO proud of Max, and clearly loved being a mom to Max, and then to Ethan and Max.
 I have a vivid memory of Carolyn at my own wedding, too. After my father and I had our father daughter dance, I glanced over at the table where Carolyn and other Greeley Central High School friends were sitting, and she was crying for joy. I went over to her and she gave me a big hug and said, “I’m just so happy for you, Katy.” That was Carolyn, always happiest when sharing happiness with others.

Carolyn, you are much missed!

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