Karol was born in Iron Mountain, Michigan April 24, 1938. She moved to Liberty with her parents in 1952 with a strong “northern” accent that definitely caught some attention. She graduated from Liberty High School in 1956 where she participated in FHA ‘53; Girls Glee Club ‘53-‘56; Girls Sextet ‘55-‘56; Acapella Choir ‘55-‘56; Librarian ‘55; Spectator Salesman ‘55; Spectator Co-Advertising Manager ‘56; Pep Club ‘54-‘56; and Phi Nu Phi Sorority.

It was at the age of 15 Karol took the first steps to her future career in Nursing when she became a Candy Striper at Research Hospital in Kansas City, MO. Every weekend she would take the two buses by herself to volunteer her time working side by side with the medical staff. A close classmate wrote in her junior yearbook, “May your nursing career be a success, you will be great help to those many people who need someone like you, who is so completely dedicated to their work. And I admire you for your choice of work, because it takes a great love for humanity and a big heart. You have both.” After graduating from high school Karol entered Augustana Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago, Illinois. She would take her course load in the mornings, have hands on experience working in the hospital in the afternoons, and that left time for studying at night and over the weekends. She graduated with lifelong friendships with the class of 1959. “The secret of success is consistency to purpose.” What followed was a forty-year career in Nursing. She started by working for Doctors Hendren, Bowles, and Adams in their office in Liberty, MO. Then she worked at North Kansas City Hospital in NKC, MO as a floor Nurse working nights and weekends. And finally in 1973 she was hired as part of the pre-opening staff at Liberty Hospital in Liberty, MO. For the first twelve years as a Registered Nurse, Critical Care Registered Nurse, Karol worked in the Intensive Care/Coronary Care and Critical Care units. She was then approached to create the pre-surgery testing program as their Admitting Nurse. A program that is still used today. She retired after twenty-five years of service at Liberty Hospital on April 2,1999. She liked to say she came with the building, and she was very proud of being a part of the Liberty Hospital family. She took great pride in taking care of people. Nursing is a calling, a way of life. Nursing is a service profession that cannot be lived in isolation. Nurses rely on each other for the synergistic effort of teamwork in their efforts for care giving. Karol will not be remembered for just being a Nurse, but forever she will be remembered for the difference she made during those years by stepping into people’s lives when they needed a light through the storm.

She Was There

(A Nightingale Tribute)

“When a calming, quiet presence was all that was needed, She was there.

In the excitement and miracle of birth or in the mystery and loss of life, She was there.

When a silent glance could uplift a patient, family member or friend, She was there.

At those times when the unexplainable needed to be explained, She was there.

When the situation demanded a swift foot and sharp mind, She was there.

When a gentle touch, a firm push, or an encouraging word was needed, She was there.

In choosing the best one from a family’s “Thank You” box of chocolates, She was there.

To witness humanity—its beauty, in good times and bad, without judgment, She was there.

To embrace the woes of the world, willingly, and offer hope, She was there

And now, that it is time to be at the Greater One’s side, She is there.”

~ 2004 Duane Jaeger, RN, MSN