Carol Hartman, 82, of Cedar Rapids, passed away on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, at Grand Living, Cedar Rapids, surrounded by her cherished family. She was moved and impressed with the respect and care throughout the University of Iowa's Deeded Body Program, and for that reason, she chose to gift her body to the UIHC students. Arrangements by Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services, Cedar Rapids.
A Celebration of Life ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. followed by a garden party from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Grand Living Theatre: 325 Collins Rd. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403. Music and laughter are Carol's priorities for this garden party.
Survivors left to carry her spirit include her husband of 62 years, Joe "Pep"; children, Jim (Ruth), Mike (Marianne) Mary "Ernie" (Dick) Bruce, Tom (Sara), Susan (Ed) Aller, Ted (Carrie) and Joel (Darsi) Hartman; 19 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; siblings, Ben (Mary Charlene), Mary Beth (Jack) Parcheta, Bob (Mary Sophie) and Margaret "Peg" (Mike) McNamara; special brother-in-law, Bob Hartman; many extended family members; and many close friends.
Carol Ann Peiffer was born at the family farmhouse in Van Horne, Iowa, to Ernest and Elaine (Irelan) Peiffer. Carol attended St. Patrick's High School, where she met the love of her life, Joseph Hartman. She graduated in 1955. Carol and Joseph were married on Aug. 10, 1957, in Walker, Minn. They raised seven children, and were experts in joy and happiness for their family.
Carol enjoyed flowers, books and was a talented seamstress. She built and ran a very successful Shaklee business for 50 years. Carol appreciated exploring and expanding her spiritual awareness and journey and absolutely loved nature's beauty. Carol enjoyed 25 annual vacations spent with family and friends, including Canada and especially Mexico. She belonged to several book clubs, and enjoyed the other members and their important perspectives they shared about the books.
She had a competitive spirit, and was a very accomplished, strong-willed distance runner who tended to go a bridge too far. She also had a soft spot for the underdog. Carol participated in many trail runs, including Pike's Peak Ascent, Living History Farms, Cooper River Bridge, Indian Summer Run, Rockford Run, Turkey River Run, Osborne Run and the Pigman Triathlon. Most recently, she participated in the 2019 Pancreatic Cancer Benefit Walk, which spoke personally to her toughest competition of all: a race with pancreatic cancer for two and a half years.
Carol's greatest joy was sharing her laughter and love with family, friends and acquaintances.
Carol, in living her life her way, was a natural mentor to all lives she encountered and touched. Carol was so full of love, it naturally flowed out of her, touching those around her and filling the rooms she occupied with kindness, care, compassion and a great sense of positivity and hope, even in the dismal situation. This was evident up to her last physical action on this earth. Of the 30 family members surrounding Carol's bed during her three last days, it was obvious to all, with her comforting words and smile to her very last breath, she was the rock in that room that kept teaching life. Those lessons did not and do not end with her last breath, as her lessons will be carried on and spread by her family members as well as all who have known or been touched by Carol's lessons.
And so, you could do Carol no greater honor than to go live your lives in each moment by treating each other and those you encounter with kindness, compassion and love. Continue spreading it until her spirit has touched ALL! Go share a laugh with someone in her honor. You are always welcome in the Carol Hartman family.
Carol specifically requested a happy obituary, stating "My life has been good." A poem by her granddaughter is sure to make the reader laugh: "Sometimes in life, God chooses a different road than we were hoping for; we either sit down and cry and keep asking 'why?' or we put on our big-girl panties and ask 'What can I do now?' and keep moving." All were proud to be in the Big Girl Panty Club with Carol.
She was preceded in death by her parents and great-grandchildren, Fern Hartman and John Will Belgarde.
"My favorite things are flowers and books; I would like to request of those who would like, to send flowers or a book to someone and affirm them in their lives." "All will be well." -- Carol
Please share your support and memories with Carol's family on her tribute wall at www.stewartbaxter.com under obituaries.