Carol Klumper

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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 12:06 pm

Carol Lynn (Gunnink) Klumper, passed away peacefully on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 24 at the age of 65.

She was born on March 31, 1954, to Helen and Harold Gunnink of Edgerton, MN and spent her younger years in rural Minnesota in a full house with brothers, Henry and Gordon, and sisters, Leila and Gretchen. In 1972, Carol graduated from Southwestern Christian High School in Edgerton.

Carol met her best friend and future husband, Jerry Klumper, at the Pipestone Roller Rink in 1969, and it was history from there. Despite attending competing colleges of Dordt and Northwestern, Jerry and Carol continued their amazing relationship, in part to Jerry’s tenacity, which included hitchhiking to get to his wonderful Carol. Carol earned her degree from Dordt College in the spring of 1975, and the two entered matrimony on July 9, 1976 – a sweltering hot day of 109 degrees, in Edgerton. The couple’s marriage ceremony was performed by Carol’s brother, Henry, with Carol gowned in a wedding dress sewn by her sister, Leila.

Carol and Jerry moved to Elk Point in the fall of 1977, where they spent nearly all their years of marriage. Shortly after her arrival to Elk Point, Carol began her career in the Union County Auditor’s Office as a Deputy Auditor under Phyllis Limoges. Carol enjoyed 40 years working for Union County, with the majority in the elected position of county auditor. She quickly made countless contacts during her tenure as Union County Auditor with other county workers throughout the state. She served as second vice-president, first vice-president, two terms as president and past president on the South Dakota Association of County Officials. During her tenure as Union County Auditor, Carol worked with 22 different county commissioners.

Carol and Jerry raised their children, Jessie and Lucas, at 308 East Main St. in Elk Point. Carol was incredibly supportive of her children’s ventures. Without question, she attempted to attend every event in which her children participated. This included attending all of Jessie’s high school and college concerts as well as trips to Lincoln, NE to visit Jessie while she attended law school. She loved watching Lucas play basketball from early 3-on-3 tournaments to Mount Marty college basketball, where she and Jerry formed lasting friendships with the other Lancer parents. She truly supported her children in all of their endeavors.

Carol was an active member of the United Parish Church where she sang in the choir, played piano and dearly enjoyed time with her Bible study group.

Tulips and cardinals competed for Carol’s love of nature. Each year her tulips would bloom on either side of her sidewalk and at least a small part of each day was spent waiting for cardinals and other birds to land at her bird feeders.

Carol loved spending time with family and traveling alongside her husband, Jerry. She was always up for an adventure, and sudden changes in plans never fazed her. Carol and Jerry’s travels were primarily by car and ranged from the Pacific to the Atlantic and everything in between (including 45 of the lower 48 states and 7 of the 10 Canadian provinces). Over the years, Carol developed a special fondness for Atlantic Canada. To Carol, absolutely no meal could match a platter of fresh scallops served at the Gables Restaurant in St. Andrews, NB. For destinations that were not accessible via CRV, she was happy to board a plane to visit Jamaica, Costa Rica or Iceland.

The other favorite destination was Lakeville, MN to visit her three beloved granddaughters. Carol absolutely loved being a grandma and she treasured the time she spent being “GaGa” to Susie, Kara and Harper. She loved to snuggle, read, play and spoil her girls with treasures from the green bag which often held photo books and calendars. She thought everything they did was a “hoot,” and she never missed an opportunity to share stories about her girls to anyone who would listen.

Those blessed to have shared her life are her husband, Jerry; their daughter, Jessie and husband, Travis Weber, of Eau Claire, WI; their son, Lucas and wife, Sarah, Klumper and granddaughters, Susie, Kara and Harper of Lakeville; mother-in-law, Lois Jean Klumper of Pipestone, MN; brother, Henry (Judy) Gunnink of Inver Grove Heights, MN; sister, Leila (Paul) Muzzey of Brookings; sister, Gretchen (Will) Zitterich of Ames, IA; brother, Gordon (Jamie) Gunnink of Griffith, IN; sister-in-law, Kathy (Curt) Fey of Pipestone; sister-in-law Karla Wornson of Sioux Falls; many nieces, nephews and friends.

She was preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Gary (Leila) Huisken; a nephew, Barry (Leila) Huisken; and her parents, Harold and Helen Gunnink.

A memorial service will be held at the Elk Point Baptist Church (formerly United Parish) Saturday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. Following the memorial service, we will be celebrating Carol’s life from 3:30-7 p.m. at the Eagles Club in Vermillion.

In lieu of flowers, we welcome a donation to benefit Fairview Hospice. This organization offered incredible assistance and comfort in the final week of Carol’s life.