Cover photo for Carol Kurtzhals's Obituary
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Carol

Carol Kurtzhals

Carol Kurtzhals, age 86, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Thursday, May 19, 2022, at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton. Memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 AM, on July 16, 2022 at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Yankton with Reverend Thi Pham officiating.  The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.  Inurnment will be at the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Yankton.  Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton. Carol was born November 13, 1935 in Amelia, Nebraska.  In 1939, she moved with her parents, Grover and Lola Barthel, to Wenatchee, WA where she graduated from high school in 1953.  Carol then graduated from Med Tech School in Minneapolis, MN.  She met Bob Kurtzhals on February 29, 1956 in Coleridge, NE and it was love at first sight.  They were married on July 16, 1956 and enjoyed 52 years together until Bob passed away on December 5, 2008.  Over the course of their marriage, they lived in Coleridge, NE, Kent, WA and Yankton, SD.  They had 7 children, 11 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.  Carol and Bob had a heart for the Lord.  They were foster parents to many children while living in Kent and later adopted their son, Jerry.  They also served as youth group leaders. Carol was a Campfire Girls leader, president of the PTA and Altar Society. In 1971, she was awarded The Woman of Achievement Award while living in Kent.  After moving back to Coleridge in the early 1970’s, Carol graduated from Mount Marty University in Yankton as a nontraditional student, then got her Master’s Degree in Sociology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and became a Professor of Sociology at Mount Marty University for 20 years. She also continued to work on her PhD.  She received many Fulbright Scholarships to study women’s roll in culture where she travelled all over the world, including Spain, China, India, Russia, Bahrain, and most of Europe.  She mentored many students and volunteered in her community at The Banquet and Human Services Center in Yankton.  She was awarded the Marquis Who’s Who of American Women in 1981-1982 for her contribution to betterment of contemporary society.  Carol served as the chairperson of Humanities for South Dakota from 1995 to 1998. She was president of the South Dakota State Chapter of Church Women United and received the Valiant Woman Award in 2008.  Carol and Bob were members of St. Benedict Catholic Church and she served as an Oblate.  Carol and Bob continued to serve the Lord by volunteering in their community.  For several Januarys, while Carol was teaching at Mount Marty University, she and Bob took students to volunteer at the homeless shelter in Chicago.    They loved traveling in their motor home, sightseeing, visiting family and friends.  They lived life to the fullest, committed to each other for the last 66 years and are at last in Heaven together rejoicing in our Lord Jesus. Carol is survived by five children: Teresa Garrett-Miller and husband, Howard of Gig Harbor, WA, Lola Kling and husband, Mark of Kent, WA, Katie Hanson of Federal Way, WA, Robert Kurtzhals and wife, Jacque of Auburn, WA, Clara Thoene and husband, Bruce of Omaha, NE; 11 grandchildren; and four great grandchildren. Carol was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bob; two children, Molly Herpy and Jerry Kurtzhals; and a grandson, Mitchell Garrett.
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