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Posted on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Family mourns loss of 11-week-old Lillian Caulk, niece of recent crash victim Jamie Caulk

By Julie Baker

Eleven-week-old Lillian Elizabeth Caulk was a bright light in the lives of members of the Caulk family during the past month.

Still mourning the loss of beloved Jamie Caulk after a car crash Oct. 14 near Nashville, the Ann Arbor family was devastated when baby Lillian, the daughter of Allyssa Caulk and Ryan McLean, died unexpectedly Saturday in her home.


Lillian Elizabeth Caulk

Courtesy of Allyssa Caulk

Missy Caulk, a local real estate agent and grandmother of Lillian, said the family still isn't sure of the cause of death. After she stopped breathing Saturday, Lillian died at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, the same place she was born. An autopsy is planned, although results may take up to eight to 10 weeks, the family was told.

"Losing a baby like that was the most heartbreaking thing," said Christa Caulk Stewart, Lillian's aunt.

Lillian — Lillie Bear, or just Bear, to friends and family — was starting to giggle and smile. She was starting to discover her voice, and she used it, Caulk Stewart said.

"She never whined, but she was very particular about her diapers," she said. "When you changed her, she'd start giggling."

Lillian was born with "the prettiest eyelashes, a button nose and a head full of dark hair. She looks just like her mother," Caulk Stewart said. Lillian always wanted to be around the family, and she always wanted to be held outward, so that she was facing the world, Caulk Stewart said.

"The hardest part of it is the death of our brother," she said. "(Lillian was) the one thing that was light in our lives. When you would look at her you would forget about the pain, because she brought so much joy."


Jamie Caulk holds Lillian Elizabeth Caulk.

Courtesy of Allyssa Caulk

The family refuses to let the tragedies they've suffered shake and rattle their faith in God, although, "it's so hard not to ask why," Caulk Stewart said. "We do know that God's not mean, not cruel. There's a divine plan." She said the families keep praying, asking for comfort in this difficult time.

Jamie Caulk, 27, died Oct. 22 following a massive trauma-induced stroke that affected his brain stem. He was a graduate of Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor and a student at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn.

Lillian is survived by parents Allyssa Caulk and Ryan McLean; grandparents Elizabeth Amaru, Missy and Michael Caulk and Tim and Darlene McLean; aunts and uncles Andrew Caulk, Christa Caulk Stewart and Bob Stewart, Matthew Caulk, Brandon Konschuh, Alex McLean, and Sammy McLean.

Visitation for Lillian will be held at noon Friday at First United Methodist Church in Saline, with a celebration of life service to follow at 1 p.m.

Caulk Stewart said the family plans to bury Lillian in Saline with her uncle Jamie, as though he were holding her in his arms.

"She was just an angel," Caulk Stewart said. "She probably was from the beginning and we just didn't realize it."

Contact Julie Baker at


Angela Henry

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

I can't imagine the pain this family must be feeling to lose two people in such a short time, my heart goes out to the Caulk family....


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

Caulk Family Fundraiser Tuesday December 6th at Benito's Pizza in Saline. We will be donating 20% of our daily sales to the Caulk Family. Donation Jars will also be available for cash donations. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.


Thu, Nov 24, 2011 : 4:02 a.m.

I am so very sorry to hear about this. May God Bless you and your family.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 8:48 p.m.

For those that have not lost a child it is hard to fathom how you go on. For those of us that have suffered that loss it was hard to go on but you do. Hold tightly to those memories you have. I found it helpful to write down things that came to mind. I found a year later I could not stand to hear songs on the radio that were popular at the time of our grandsons death.The sun will get brighter but it takes time.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 8:10 p.m.

At least she is in heaven being taken care of by her uncle. Wow. Double whammy. Prayers out during the holiday season. This is a toughie as I always say it. But the days do get easier.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

Sad, sad story.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

I am so sorry for your loss. Such a beautiful baby, such a tragedy. I can't imagine the pain this family is feeling.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

To the Caulk Family: please know that your tragedy is seen and felt by many others in this community. Your loss is in our hearts and on our minds this day. May you be comforted by this and by the memories you carry forward.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 3:48 p.m.

This is very sad. God has a wonderful plan for everyone. It's a nice thought that maybe Lillian is now Jamies child that he hadn't yet had.

Berda Green

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

she will be just fine she went baby heaven so so sorry for your loss


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

I am so sorry for the family. I can't imagine the strength it takes to deal with these losses. God bless them all.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:56 p.m.

I know a lot of people in Saline that aren't acquainted with the Caulk family but are deeply saddened by their losses. It's truly heart-wrenching. I pray your faith will hold you together and give you hope.

say it plain

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

How awful... and the pictures show how loved and lovely she was. I'm so sorry for the Caulk family's losses. As painful as they doubtlessly are, I hope they can serve to remind us of what's truly important in life.

Linda Peck

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

To the Caulk Family, please accept my humblest sympathy and prayers for your healing. With love and blessings, Linda Peck

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 2:13 p.m.

My deepest condolences to this family. How deeply unfair to have this much heartbreak in one family and so close to the holidays too!


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

What an awful thing. Love & prayers to the family.

Jen Eyer

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:23 p.m.

Two comments that could be construed as insensitive were removed. Please be aware that we are moderating this thread very carefully.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

Such a tragic month for the Caulk family. I cannot imagine the heartache , our thoughts and prayers are with you.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 1:17 p.m.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family -- hoping warm memories that reside in your heart, forever, will help ease the loss of your loved ones.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Caulk family... I'm so very sorry.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

I am so sorry for your loss. May you be comforted by the fact that God has made a way for you to be together again in eternity. Even though you must go on here once in heaven the time in between will be but "a blink of the eye". God bless you all.

Momma G

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

My heartfelt prayers go out to this family. As stated, I believe Lillian was an angel before she was born and now she is there with her Uncle Jamie. May God be with this family during this sorrowful time. Also, that picture of her is just so precious with those rosey cheeks and beautiful eyes.

Mary Bilyeu

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:42 p.m.

How heartbreaking! I'm so very sorry for your losses ....


Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 12:12 p.m.

My heart goes out to the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.