Carole Lee Stengel
August 30, 1950 to June 26, 2017
Those we love, never go away.
They live in our memories we made every day.
Carole Lee Stengel arrived into the world on August 30, 1950. She was the first daughter born to James and Marjorie Stengel, the second oldest child in a family with three siblings (Gordon Stengel, Ann Berry, and Joseph Stengel). Carole was a member of the fourth generation of the Stengel family born in Colorado dating back to the 1870s. Her grandfather sold a portion of his farm near Baseline Rd. and 75th street for the first Fairview School, now Douglass Elementary.
Carole grew up in a supportive and happy home near Boulder, Colorado. As a child, she enjoyed playing the piano, flute, piccolo, and singing. She also enjoyed spending time with her family and friends sledding down the hill next to their home, and skating on Baseline Lake in the winter and swimming there in the summer. Carole was involved in many activities as a youth. Some of her fondest memories were her years in Job’s Daughters and her time at Fairview High School, where she graduated a year early, in 1967.
As a young woman, Carole had three children, Kenneth Berkhimer, Brian Berkhimer, and Natalie Wilson. Carole loved her children dearly and raised them to be independent thinkers. Carole wasn’t content to be only a homemaker, and in the 1970s she began working for her father at Bestop Manufacturing Company. It was there that she learned to sew. Sewing became a huge hobby of hers. She sewed clothing and costumes for her children, made drapes and curtains, and adorable stuffed animals.
Carole became a single mother in the late 1970s. Working part time was no longer an option for her. Carole took on several jobs and used her talent in sewing to work at Ferrell Reed (a tie-making factory). This was also a time that she knew she needed to continue her education. After working and studying and taking classes, Carole would still make time to make homemade bread and noodles for her family.
Carole became somewhat of a “professional” student. She earned many credits in nursing, law, psychology, engineering, and music. Some of her different jobs were working at Rainbow Preschool and working for the City of Longmont as a Probation Officer. Carole loved learning, was extremely intelligent and had an amazing memory. “Useless facts,” she would often call her wide realm of knowledge, but if you were playing Trivial Pursuit, you’d want her on your team.
Carole was very passionate about a lot of things. She was passionate about politics and could talk for hours, citing evidence to support her democratic claims. She always believed that opinions not based on facts were just opinions. She wanted to base her beliefs on facts. Carole was very passionate about music, and she loved to play classical music or Broadway music while her daughter Natalie would sing along. Carole was passionate about children too, and often times referred to herself as a “kid at heart.” Part of what made Carole who she was, was her wonderful sense of humor and her willingness to be silly and to always be herself. She absolutely adored her grandchildren, Sarah and Matthew, and would quickly connect to any child she met. Carole was also passionate about people. She had many good friends and would give the shirt off her back to help anyone who needed it.
Carole was also very strong willed. Although she suffered from many health issues and had chronic pain most of her life, she led an active lifestyle and would continue to do things like ride her bicycle to the store or the doctor, paint pictures, sew, play the piano, and spend lots of time with her family and friends. Carole was a kind soul, and her memory will be forever in our hearts.
A celebration of life will be held on Friday, July 28th at Natalie and Fred Wilson’s residence from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Please call 970-532-4938 for the address/directions, if you plan to attend.
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