Carol Ann Pickell was born in Lansing, Michigan on June 16, 1943 to Clare Hardenburg and Mary (Proal) Hardenburg. She passed away on January 22, 2022 at her home in Indianapolis, IN, with her sons Bert Pickell and Davin Pickell at her side. She died of complications from COPD.
Carol Ann grew up in Michigan and attended the Michigan School for the Deaf (MSD), graduating in 1963. While there she made some of her best friends for life, Marlene Jones, Kathy Marsh and Linda Whitworth. The four would take trips together throughout their lives! She also had many other friends and family who attended MSD and loved them dearly.
She married Herbert L Pickell, Jr on August 14, 1964 in Lansing, MI. The two ended up moving to Wichita, KS where she gave birth to her two sons, Bert and Davin. She still has a number of friends from Wichita that she has stayed in touch with through the years. In 1968, the family moved to Pittsburgh, PA and cherished memories with friends, the Deaf club and especially the Brusco family across the street. In 1972, the family once again moved on, this time to Chicago, IL. They settled in a townhouse in Hanover Park and thrived in the vibrant Deaf community of Chicago. Carol Ann began working at RCI (Respiratory Care Inc) and spent 30 years working there. The couple divorced in 1976 and Carol Ann stayed in Chicago while Herb and the boys moved up to Madison, WI.
During this time, she made so many wonderful friends in Chicago and truly developed into a leader in the community. Serving in various roles for the Chicago Club of the Deaf (CCD), Illinois Association of the Deaf (IAD) and the International Lutheran Deaf Association. Truly it was amazing to see her blossom in those roles. She was fun loving and an ardent believer in doing what was right for those organizations. During this time, she learned about an organization, CODA (Children of Deaf Adults) and encouraged her boys to attend. They did and she became a lifelong proponent of CODA and of the KODA camps that grew out of it with help from her son, Bert.
She became a grandmother in 1999 and loved looking after her granddaughter, Elizabeth, and spoiling her. After retiring, she moved up to Wisconsin so she could focus on being Grandma CAP, splitting her time between Madison and Spring Green. She truly loved it there and was involved with Red Hat Ladies and Our Savior Deaf Lutheran Church. It was very interesting for her boys to see her become such good friends with people that they had grown up with and known as friends of their dad so many years ago.
As time went on she began to face a number of health challenges and moved to Indianapolis, IN to live with Bert. As she endured replacements of both hips and both shoulders it took a toll and she became happy to just stay at home and check in with friends and family through Facebook and by videophone.
She is reunited in Heaven with her parents, Clare and Mary, her brother David (died in infancy), dear friend Marlene Jones and many other family and friends. The great Deaf Club in the sky is a brighter place now with her in it. She is survived by her brother, Ivan (Joyce) Hardenburg, sons Bert and Davin, granddaughter Elizabeth Robbins and several cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm CST on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at Our Savior Deaf Lutheran Church, 3110 Dairy Drive, Madison, WI 53718.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Carol Ann Pickell Scholarship Fund for KODA Campers c/o Bert Pickell, 6510 Cougar Ct., Indianapolis, IN 46237.