Carol Berniece Held Burr was born on March 2, 1918, to Viola Croston Held and Benjamin Franklin Held of Hinton Iowa.
Some of Carol’s ancestors came to Sioux City in 1855 from the Rhine River Valley in Germany and others emigrated to that area from County Cork, Ireland.
Carol had a deep love of family, community and education. After her graduation from Hinton High School, Carol earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public School Music from Morningside College in 1939. Her first teaching job was at Manilla, Iowa. Later she earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Counseling from Drake University in 1967.
While at Morningside, Carol met G. Richard Burr of Sioux Rapids, and they were married January 1, 1941. When World War II broke out, Richard left for Europe with the US Army. That left Carol with the challenge of managing the Burr Insurance Agency in Sioux Rapids until Richard’s returned four years later. His return allowed Carol to continue her teaching career in music at Sioux Rapids, Cornell, and Albert City-Truesdale. Her career spanned thirty years, and some former students maintained correspondence with her until the time of her death.
Carol was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church. In Sioux Rapids she directed the choir and taught Sunday School and Bible School for more than 25 years, and she sang for many weddings and funerals. In Cedar Rapids she attended St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Her community activities included PEO, Questers and Eastern Star.
In retirement Carol created numerous handmade crafts, including wool braided rugs, quilts, afghans and more. She quit counting after the first 16 quilts she made for family members and friends, and she worked with a volunteer partner to hand quilt 17 quilts to raise funds for the Cottage Grove Place Foundation. Carol and Richard loved traveling in retirement throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Mexico, and they also enjoyed winters spent at their home in Mesa, Arizona. Carol was known for sharing her hospitality and good food with many. She also volunteered at the First United Methodist Church in Mesa to make quilted sleeping bags for the homeless.
Carol passed away at age 101 on Friday, July 5, 2019 at Cottage Grove Place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she lived for the past 21 years. She is survived by her daughters Michele (Allan) Mickelson of Madison, Wisconsin and Stephanie (John) Wagor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; her grandchildren, Richard Wagor, Cedar Rapids, Suzanne Wagor, Pawling, New York, and Mark Mickelson, Stoughton, Wisconsin; her sister, Darlene (Dale) Harris of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, her sister-in-law, Sherry Held of Cherokee, Iowa, and many loving nieces and nephews. Carol was preceded in death by her husband of 71 years and siblings, Duane Held, Emma Talmadge, Howard Held, Hazel Huff, Joyce Jensen, Lois Field, Warren Held, Robert Held, and Roberta Hasek.
Carol will be remembered as a warm caring educator, generous community member and loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt. Her life touched many and was a blessing for which we are thankful.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Carol’s name to St. Paul’s First United Methodist Church, 1340-3rd Avenue, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402 or Cottage Grove Place Foundation, Employee Appreciation Fund, 2115 First Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. with refreshments and fellowship from 1:30-3:00 p.m. on Friday, July 19 at Sedlacek Hall, Cottage Grove Place, 2115 First Avenue in Cedar Rapids.
A memorial service will also be held at the First United Church, 408 Thomas Street in Sioux Rapids, Iowa on Saturday, July 20 at 1:00 p.m. with fellowship and refreshments to follow.