Carol L. Capes of Green Valley, Ariz., joined our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sept. 27, 2011, after a five-year battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP).
Carol was born May 30, 1942, as the oldest child of Elmer and Leona (Knop) Pieper in Atlantic, Iowa.
Carol is preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Lana Berglund; and a brother, Lynn, who died in infancy. She is survived by her husband, Dean D. Capes; three sons, Daniel and (Darla) Capes of Herrin, Ill., David and (Sandra Pollnow) Capes of Genoa, Ill., Douglas and (Melinda Scissom) Capes of Whitwell, Tenn.; six grandchildren, Jimmy Lee Capes, Brandon David Capes, Nicholas James Capes, Kimberly Nicole Capes, Lacy Michelle Capes, Logan Andrew Capes; one brother, Jay B. and (Beverly Schultz) Pieper of Wayland, Mass.; one niece, Cynthia and (Arsallan) Afkhami; one brother-in-law, Barry Berglund of Greensboro, N.C.; one nephew, Morgan and (Chaeli) Berglund; and several grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
Carol spent her early years growing up on a farm in Elk River, Minn., later moving to Boone, Iowa, and graduated in the Class of 1960. Carol attended Valparaiso University for her freshman year. She transferred to Drake University, majoring in Spanish with a minor in French, graduating in 1964. During her time at Drake, she worked at the Drake library, where she met her husband and the love of her life, Dean Capes.
They were married June 6, 1964. They took up residency in Elburn, which was their home for 44 years. Carol took a job as a school teacher at Oswego Middle School, teaching Spanish until Dan (their first son) was born. During the next two years, David and Doug were born.
Carol was very active with church activities. She had a gift and passion for working with churches and promoting God’s work from Sunday School teacher to church administrator. She was raised Missouri Synod Lutheran, 10 years United Church of Christ, 10 years Grace Lutheran Church, 10 years Rejoice Lutheran Church, during which time Carol and Dean were charter members of the new mission church, Rejoice, located in Geneva. Carol was administrator during the mission phase and through construction.
Carol shared her talents to make people around her better. She always made the pastor look good with her organizational ability and being a stickler for detail. It was 2006 when retirement and the Lord brought them to Green Valley and Desert Hills Lutheran Church.
Carol loved to help people. The people of Elburn have reminded Dean how she touched so many lives with her swimming lessons for both young and old. People always referred to Capes’s pool as the only place for swimming lessons. Carol even had a group of workmen that wanted to learn to swim and did so in the evening after work. She would give lessons to over 100 children in the area each summer for three generations.
When grandmothers were bringing their grandchildren, and she had taught all three generations, Carol felt it was time to retire from giving swimming lessons. This allowed Carol to devote more of her time and talents to God’s work. She had many dear friends in Elburn that worked with her to promote God’s work. Carol had three other activities that she enjoyed. She flew single-engine aircraft every Thursday and was instrument rated. Dean and Carol square danced for over 28 years, helping people learn to dance and did so three to five times per week until a mystery disease stopped this activity. Carol loved to travel and do things.
In 2006, everything changed, and the mystery disease got its name; that’s when Carol was diagnosed with PSP, which has no known cause, treatment or cure. During the early years of retirement, Carol and Dean were “snowbirds,” spending their summers at their beautiful home at Knights Templar Club in Summit Lake, Wis.
The last two years, Carol was not able to travel and stayed in her Arizona Dream House. The progressive nature of the disease kept moving forward. Carol worked very hard to fight the disease and remain active. She looked forward to every Sunday, going to church and Sunday evening pizza at Two Girls Pizza, Wednesday going to Bible study, Friday getting her hair and nails done and going to the doctor, during the week going to Mama’s Kitchen and having breakfast and watching many friends and people come into the restaurant. Carol would give them a smile and thumbs up until the disease attacked those muscles, and then those trademarks were gone.
She loved going to Nancy Pantz and Meredith Hallmark to visit or shop.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Desert Hills Lutheran Church, Green Valley, Ariz., or Knights Templar Club Memorial Fund, PO Box 130, Summit Lake, WI 54485. Arizona Memorial Services will be 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Desert Hills Lutheran Church, 2150 S. Camino del Sol, Green Valley, AZ 85622.
Illinois Memorial Services will be Sunday, Oct. 16, at 2 p.m. Visitation will be Saturday, Oct. 15, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W Pierce St., Elburn, with private interment of her ashes at Blackberry Township Cemetery, Elburn.