Carrol Emogene (Palmer) Jewell, 80 passed away peacefully at the Presbyterian Manor in Newton on November 5th, 2019. Carrol was born on July 17th 1939 in Newton, Kansas to Henry Alonzo “Steve” and Anna Helen (Kluge) Palmer. Born Emogene Carrol Palmer, at a young age her father would call her by her middle name of Carrol which she preferred and used for her entire life. Born at home in a house that still stands on the corner of Santa Fe and 4th St. in Newton Kansas, she often shared the story of being the first to ride in the new ambulance to Axtell Hospital after her birth. Carrol was one of 6 children. She was the 2nd youngest child followed by her brothers Orville and Sterling. Spending her early childhood in Newton, she often tells stories of her and her 2 brothers, Sterling and Orville playing outside and the adventures they had around Sand Creek, which at that time was just a narrow, shallow “crick”. Her father worked on the railroad. She was very proud of her daddy. She was a daddy’s girl and often bragged to the other railroad workers that her daddy was the “boss!”
In the years following, her parents had divorced and both remarried. Carrol’s two older siblings, Lonnie and Jackie were almost grown. This was during the depression and caring for large families was hard financially. It was decided that her two older brothers, Sterling and Orville would stay in Newton with their father and Carrol and her baby brother Gary would stay with their mother. Carrols new step father Joe Laubener would move them to California. He was military and also worked for Lerner’s clothing store and opened new store all over the U.S. They would eventually move to Boulder City, Nevada. Carrol remembers this as a very sad time. Not only did she have to leave her two playmate brothers but she was also leaving her daddy. Later in life she had a better understanding.
Carrol attended Hollywood High and Boulder City High. She would live in California, Rodger Young Village in a Quonset hut. This was temporary housing for veterans returning following WWII to the Southern California area. She shared many stories about living there. It had its own city with a market, school, movie theater and gas station. She and her little brother Gary had many adventures there as well. The village is gone and is now Griffith Park. This was the start of many adventures in Carrols life. She lived in several states; California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Michigan, Idaho and then back to her home in Kansas.
Carrol was blessed with three daughters, Candee, Crystal and Janine. She was a single mother most of their lives. Even though it was a struggle and she never left poverty, she always made sure her girls had food on the table and a roof over their heads. Her girls were the one steady thing in her life and she loved them dearly. She would rotate favorites and her daughters knew this. They would laugh and point out who was the favorite one for that time frame.
Carrol was BEAUTIFUL! She was always a fascination to many. Her step mother, Lydia once said, “Carrol always looks like a million bucks on a $2 budget!” and she did!
Her sister Jackie was her best friend and they spent many hours talking, smoking and drinking coffee together. They loved playing KENO and made many trips dressed to the “nines” to downtown Las Vegas. When Carrol moved back to Kansas from Las Vegas, her brother Sterling returned there as well. These two, who were playmates as kids but separated, came together again and were “partners in crime.” They would visit over coffee almost every day. She was eccentric, independent and intelligent. She was fearless. Her daughters often said that she had a guardian angel and that she kept that guardian angel VERY busy.
She loved the Native American Indian way of life. She loved nature and the pan flute music. She was fascinated by the life and beauty of Marilyn Monroe. She resembled her a lot in her younger years and even lived in the same town in California when Marilyn was just 13 years old. She was a restless soul. She found herself moving a lot in search of something. In her older years she settled into life and found the peace within herself. With her daughters close by, her grandchildren and great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and other family, she was content living in her birth town of Newton.
She loved Jesus and talked to him often. She loved to paint and sew and read and write. She loved talk radio and watching movies. She loved animals, birds (particularly ravens and black birds) and nature. She loved visiting and drinking coffee. She loved music. Lionel Ritchie, Bread and Inka Gold are just a few examples. She loved sitting at the park and reflecting. She loved her dog, Cherokee.
She worked as a CNA for many years in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the 70’s she was the Manager at the new Towne and Country Convenient Store in Newton and most known for the position she held as Manager of the Kwik-Fil Self-Serve gas station located at the Alco Plaza parking lot in Newton. This little station gave employment to Carrol, her sister Jackie, three daughters Candee, Crystal and Janine, cousin Cheryl (Watson) Cooper, step-mother Lydia, several friends and even on occasion her father Steve. It has since been torn down and there are now pictures of it in the Newton Historical Museum.
Carrol celebrated her 80th Birthday in July of this year. She celebrated with a 1950’s “Sock Hop” complete with her favorite 50s music, a detailed “soda shop” cake, poodle and record cookies (made by her grandson Christian Krehbiel’s wife Taylor), punch served with stripped paper straws, coca cola bottles, popcorn, black and pink balloons and a cardboard jukebox and records. Everyone dressed in 50’s attire and Carrol danced the afternoon away in her poodle skirt.
Just a little over 2 weeks from her diagnosis of Pancreatic, liver and abdominal cancer, Carrol took her last breath with her 3 daughters by her side. They held her hand, stroked her hair, rubbed her leg and assured her that Jesus was waiting and it was okay to go home. She was loved and will be missed so very much.
Carrol was preceded in death by her parents. Her brothers Orville Palmer and Alonzo “Lonnie” Palmer. Her sister Jacquelyn “Jackie” Russell and her great-granddaughter Adeline “Addie” Mae Helsper. Her daughters’ fathers, Gordon Keith “Fritz” Johnson, Ross Hamilton and John “Johnny” Francis Morton.
She is survived by her brothers Sterling Palmer of Newton and Gary Palmer (Fay) of Kingman, Arizona. Her three daughters, Candee Sue Wright (Dave) of Lawrence KS, Crystal Ann Johnson-Morton Gray (Mike) of Newton KS, Janine Helen Clark (Dave) of Wichita KS. Eight Grandchildren Jessica Yoder, Zachary Yoder (Kristen), of Newton, Jacob Yoder (longtime girlfriend Breeze Duvall) of Beaverton Oregon, Aimee Helpser (Ken) and Molly Law both of Lawrence KS Ryan Krehbiel (Nancy) of Wichita KS and Christian “Chris” Krehbiel (Taylor) of Newton KS and Daniel Clarki, Wichita KS. Nine Great-grandchildren Parker Murphy, Elijah Yoder, Annika and Abigail “Abby” Yoder, Twins Emma and Alice Krehbiel, Lucy and River Law, Isabella “Izzy” Krehbiel. Many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and Lavonne “Virgie” Adams who she met one day at the car wash and became longtime friends.
A Christian service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Baker Funeral Home in Valley Center. Stephen Cooper (spouse of her cousin Cheryl) will officiate.
Memorials can be sent to Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City in memory of Adeline “Addie” Mae Helsper. www.rmhckc.org/donate/
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring!” –Marilyn Monroe
Baker Funeral Home Valley Center is handling arrangements. Condolences may be left for the family at www.bakerfhvc.com.