Carol Jean Helmke, the daughter of Duane (Bill) and Doris (Kurfman) Olson, was born on April 15, 1948 in Fort Dodge Iowa, she graduated Goldfield High School “Class of 1966”. Then Carol moved to Texas for a short stint where she graduated from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Arts in English (with a teaching certification). She later went on to earn a Master of Science Degree in Education from Drake University in 1993.
Carol’s home for most of her life was Goldfield and Eagle Grove. For 39 years Carol taught English and British Literature at Eagle Grove High School, where at least 3000 students passed through her classroom, sometimes multiple generations from the same family. Carol was a devoted and active member of the United Presbyterian Church in Goldfield.
Carol never met a stranger; she inherited her gift of gab from her dad. Carol enjoyed reading, especially the classics, movies, spending time with her many nieces and nephews as well as her two granddaughters, “my best girls”. Carol also enjoyed traveling by car and was always up for a spontaneous road trip or adventure with her family. She loved all animals especially her “grand dogs” and they loved her. You know someone is as good as they come when every dog, they cross paths with loves them immediately as was the case with Carol. She also enthusiastically rooted for the Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones in football and basketball. She always cheered “Come on Hawks” or “Lets go Cyclones”. One of Carol’s favorite moments was meeting Jim Zabel at the Iowa State fair and yelling “I love it, I love it, I love it” at him across the main entrance of the Iowa State Fair. He waved at her and gave her a thumbs up and she waved wildly back at him. If there is one word that can be used to describe Carol it would be GENUINE.
One of Carol’s biggest joys in life was her students and being active in high school activities. Every one of her students was truly special to her. It did not matter if you were an A student or struggled to pass her spelling tests. She believed in all of you and in your potential. Carol was fond of sharing stories about students that needed that little extra encouragement. Maybe it was someone who played sports and needed to stay eligible, maybe it was someone who was struggling with issues at home. She genuinely cared for all of you and wanted you to do your best and wanted the best for you.
Carol made her way home to her heavenly father on Friday April 23rd, 2021 at Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas NV surrounded by her brother, sisters, children, and granddaughter. She was preceded in death by her parents and younger brother Steve Olson and her ex-husband Norman Lee Helmke.
She is survived by her siblings Sheila (Bert) Merrell of Saint Louis MO, David (Larayne) Olson of Sioux City, IA, Juanita Rivera (Steve Olson dec) Kapaau HI, Annette (Jeff) Rust of Littleton, CO, her children Lance Helmke (Heather Hanna) of Las Vegas, NV, Lara Rosendahl (Helmke) of Cedar Rapids IA, her granddaughters Azure Helmke of Wyoming, Iowa, Sariah Moon Helmke of Las Vegas NV and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Monday, May 24th, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Foust Funeral Home in Eagle Grove.
A memorial will be created in Carol's name for the Eagle Grove High School.
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