Carol Berniece Held Burr was born 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 immigrated 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. They were married Jan. 1, 1941. When World War II broke out, Richard left for Europe with the U.S. Army. That left Carol with the challenge of managing the Burr Insurance Agency in Sioux Rapids until Richard 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 30 years. 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. 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. 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 and Mexico. They also enjoyed winters spent at their home in Mesa, Ariz. 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, where she lived for the past 21 years.
She is survived by her daughters, Michele (Allan) Mickelson of Madison, Wis., and Stephanie (John) Wagor of Cedar Rapids; her grandchildren, Richard Wagor, Cedar Rapids, Suzanne Wagor, Pawling, N.Y., and Mark Mickelson, Stoughton, Wis.; her sister, Darlene (Dale) Harris of Sioux Falls, S.D., her sister-in-law, Sherry Held of Cherokee; and many loving nieces and nephews.
Carol was preceded in death by her husband of 71 years and her 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 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402; or Cottage Grove Place Foundation, Employee Appreciation Fund, 2115 First Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, July 19, with refreshments and fellowship from 1:30 to 3 p.m., in Sedlacek Hall, Cottage Grove Place, 2115 First Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. A memorial service will also be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at First United Church, 408 Thomas St., Sioux Rapids, with fellowship and refreshments to follow.
Online condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.