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Carol D. Starkjohann

July 11, 1920 January 19, 2021
Carol  D. Starkjohann
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Obituary for Carol D. Starkjohann

Carol D. (Johnson) Starkjohann, long time resident of Valentine, Nebraska, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at the Hooper Care Center in Hooper, NE. She was an impressive 100½ years old.

Born July 11, 1920 in Hastings, MN, Carol soon moved to Nebraska with her parents, Carl Mark and Hannah Amelia, where the family farmed in several locations, including Osceola, where she graduated high school in 1938, and ultimately Stromsburg. She then attended Nebraska State Teachers College at Wayne, now Wayne State, where she proudly graduated in 1942, grateful to leave behind her boarding house whose proprietress was rather stingy at mealtimes. Following college, Carol first taught in two rural districts, walking miles each day to open the country schoolhouse, light the stove and then manage 1st through 12th
graders all in a single classroom. Falling in love with the beautiful Sands Hill while subsequently teaching in Stuart for six years led to a move to Valentine at the outset of the 1950s where she began a remarkable decades long tenure at the high school, teaching English, typing, bookkeeping, and shorthand to generations of Badgers.

While in Valentine, she met Arthur P. Starkjohann, whom she married in 1959; they spent 30 wonderful years together until his passing in 1989. A dedicated member of the community, Carol attended St. John's Episcopal Church, served on the Vestry and was a member of Eastern Star and the American Legion Auxiliary. In 2002, she retired to Nye Square in Fremont, NE to be closer to family, moving to Hooper Care Center in 2019 where she had the distinction of oldest resident and therefore first to cast her ballot in what would be her 20th presidential election.

A talented gardener, a skilled baker, a voracious reader, and equally adept with a needle as she was with the crossword puzzle, Carol was a tremendously kind and generous woman, witty as well as courageous, with a take-charge approach that never wavered as she reached her centenarian. She was loved and adored by long time neighbors her fellow Valentine citizens, friends and staff in Frem ont and Hooper, countless students with whom she stayed in touch, her siblings who predeceased her, her many nieces and nephews and her stepdaughter and grandson, who will be forever grateful to a grandmother who made the most delicious chocolate chip cookies and would wake him in the morning to pick vegetables in her garden.

An exemplary and accomplished woman, immensely proud of her Nebraska heritage, Carol was a member of the generation that made the Cornhusker state, and this country, so great.

Carol is survived by her stepdaughter, Ann Nixon, of Kansas City, MO; her grandson, Michael Nixon, of Washington, DC; many nieces and nephews, including Marjorie and her husband George Johnson, of Omaha, NE who helped take such good care of her; great nieces and nephews, and even great-great ones.

A memorial service will be held in late spring/early summer in Stromsburg with details forthcoming in this paper once a date is determined. In lieu of flowers, remembrances and personal notes may be sent to Ann Nixon at 1301 West 50th Street, Kansas City, MO, 64112; memorial contributions in the name of Carol D. Starkjohann may be sent to the VFW in Valentine and/or the St. James Episcopal Church in Fremont.

Dugan Funeral Chapel in Fremont, is handling arrangements.

Dugan Funeral Chapel
402-721-2880

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