Twila Catherine Bardwell of Caro, age 95, passed away on Sunday, March 5, 2017 at Northwood Meadows in Cass City. Twila was born February 15, 1922 in Kingston, the daughter of the late John W. and Alta (Barden) Kenney. She graduated from Kingston High School and continued to reside in Kingston until her marriage to Frederick J. Bardwell on December 24, 1941, in Caro. The couple then moved to Fred’s father’s (Frank Bardwell) farm where he continued as a self-employed dairy farmer until he preceded her in death on August 3, 1988. While in Kingston, Twila attended County Normal and started her teaching career when she was 18 years old at the Miller Rural School, and later taught at the George Rural School on Sheridan Road. In 1946, Twila left the rural school system to raise a family of three children, Fred and Randy, who preceded her in death, and Thom, who remains on the family farm with his wife, Karla, and daughter, Hallie. Sixteen years later, Twila returned to teaching at the Riley Rural School and after one year, Riley consolidated with the Caro Community School system. After nine years of classes at Central Michigan University, Twila graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Elementary Education in 1969, and then continued to take classes to keep abreast of the latest teaching methods. Twila taught 48 years with 40 of those years in Caro Community Schools. It is estimated that Twila taught over 1,316 children, which comprised three generations of many families. In June at the end of the 2003-2004 school year, Twila retired at the age of 82. Twila loved to teach and devoted her career to assuring that her students were able to read and write. She always commented, “I never met a student that I couldn’t teach.”
Twila is also survived by her grandchildren, Aaron and Jessica Bardwell of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, Shannon and Kurt Reif of Spring Arbor, Hallie Bardwell, Tom Bardwell of Trabuco, California, Eric and Darcy Bardwell and great-granddaughter, Layla of Foothill Ranch, California, Mitch Bardwell and great-grandchildren, Ashley and Samantha Bardwell of Ypsilanti; Randi Beth and Gary Skinner and great-grandchildren, Audreyona, T.J. and Alexis Skinner, Rebekah, and Koriin Skinner of Caro; and Crickett, Twila’s poodle. Twila’s sister, Pauline, and her husband, Don, preceded her in death as well as her two sons and daughters-in-law, Randy and Linda and Fred Jr. and Elaine Bardwell.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at the Caro United Methodist Church with Pastor David G. Hill officiating. Burial will follow at a later time at the Ellington Township Cemetery in Caro. The family will be present to receive friends at the Ransford Collon Funeral Home in Caro on Wednesday from 3-8 p.m. and at the church on Thursday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at 11 a.m. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorial contributions to Northwood Meadows in Cass City. The family was assisted with these arrangements by the Ransford Collon Funeral Home of Caro. Friends may share memories, thoughts and prayers online at www.RansfordCollon.com.