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Carol Vinkemeier

Carol (Lipke) Vinkemeier, age 54, of Stewart, "a gentle spirit," passed away Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004 at Glencoe Regional Health Services after a courageous five-and-a-half year battle with cancer.

Carol Linda Vinkemeier was born Sept. 22, 1949, in Glencoe, the daughter of Clifford and Margaret (Schwarzrock) Lipke.

She was baptized by the Rev. Schultz Oct. 16, 1949, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Stewart, and was confirmed by him April 26, 1964.

She participated in the church Luther League and was also active in 4-H as she grew up in Stewart. Carol graduated as the valedictorian with the Class of 1967 from the Stewart High School. She continued her education, and received her B.A. degree while graduating magna cum laude from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter in 1971.

Carol taught second grade in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, Blaine, for five years. She then earned her masters degree in education from Mankato State University. Carol also reigned as the 1971 Dairy Princess at the county and region levels.

On August 5, 1973, Carol was united in marriage to Wayne Vinkemeier at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Stewart, with the Rev. Schultz officiating. Their marriage was blessed with one son, Joshua Aaron.

Carol utilized her education and love of teaching children in her career. Following additional classes at Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Carol earned special licensure in early childhood family education and learning readiness.

She had the position of teacher/coordinator for the McLeod West school district, and taught early childhood family education for 17 years. Carol taught summer school at Crown College in Waconia, and also supervised student teachers there. She was a member of Minnesota Educators Association, and the Red Hat Organization.

Carol served on the board of directors for Aveyron Homes. She was a lifetime member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Stewart. A collector of angels and Hummel figures, she also enjoyed reading. Carol cherished the time spent with her family.

Carol was preceded in death by her grandparents, and by her brothers-in-law Tom Nelson and Jerry Dietel.

Carol is survived by her husband of 30 years, Wayne Vinkemeier of Stewart; her son Joshua Vinkemeier of Victoria; parents Clifford and Margaret Lipke of Stewart; father- and mother-in-law Clarence and Gertrude Vinkemeier of Le Sueur.

Carol is further survived by sisters-in-law Carol Nelson of Odessa, Darlene Wolfe and her husband Jerry of Walker, and Phyllis Meffert and her husband Roger of Gaylord; brothers-in-law Bruce Vinkemeier and his wife Marilyn of Glencoe, Dale Vinkemeier and his wife Julie of Henderson, Dennis Vinkemeier and his wife Diane of Gaylord, and Kent Vinkemeier of Le Sueur; many cousins, nieces, nephews, and many other loving family members and friends.

Funeral service was Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Stewart. Visitation was Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Hughes Funeral Home in Stewart, with an 8 p.m. prayer service.

Visitation continued one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.

Memorials preferred in lieu of flowers to Connectcare Hospice, the Hand Bell/Music Ministry at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, or to the Cancer Society.

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