Carol Pyeatt of Grand Junction, Colorado passed away on Sunday morning, March 11th, 2018. She was 76. She was born on Christmas day in 1941 in Chicago, IL to Alex and Kathleen Thompson. In 1954 the family moved to Palisade, Colorado and she graduated in 1957 from Palisade High School.
Carol had a passion for helping children and attended college to become a teacher, graduating from Adams State College in Alamosa CO in 1965. She taught in Salt Lake City, UT for one year before coming home to of Colorado and beginning her family. She loved her children and stayed at home with them during their younger years, taking in foster children and loving them just as much as her own.
When life took unexpected turns for Carol, she made the biggest decision of her life and went to Papua New Guinea in 1989 to follow her true passion of teaching and spreading her faith by example. In the tiny village of Wau was the Katherine Lehman School, a boarding school for the children of Lutheran Missionaries as their parents worked in the bush. The school was blessed to have her as a teacher for five years. She made a deep and lasting impact on those that came into her warm and loving circle while she was there.
Family and health reasons brought her back to the US. By then she had several grandchildren and more on the way and her love for them was strong! She moved to Minneapolis and enrolled in Luther Seminary, receiving her Associate in Ministry degree in 1996 and then took one of the more challenging jobs she’d ever had. She became the Director of Children’s Ministries in 1996 at Westwood Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park, MN and was an integral part in the lives of over 300 children as she used her gifts to make children feel loved and a part of the church family. She ran many mini camps all summer long and whenever there was no school. She always said, “When school is out, church is in.” She also began writing for children, both Sunday school material as well as musicals and Vacation Bible School curriculum.
In 2008, she attempted to retire for the first time. She came home again to Colorado and after a few short months of “retirement” became the Director of Early Life Ministry at American Lutheran Church in Grand Junction and became a Deacon of the ELCA in 2016, working with the children of the church.
After retiring yet again, Carol found great joy in volunteering at St. Mary’s Hospital, spending time with her children and grandchildren, and continuing her travels the highlight of which occurred in 2014 when the entire family travelled to England and Scotland, especially the Orkney Islands, her father’s family homeland for two wonderful weeks of family bonding and memories.
Carol touched the lives of many and truly made a difference in the world. She is preceded in death by her parents, Alexander Thompson and Kathleen Fenton Thompson and her brother Kenneth Thompson. She is survived by her children Laurie (Matthew) Boelke of Grand Junction, CO and David (Kathleen Huoy) Pyeatt of Juneau, Alaska, her grandchildren Benjamin Boelke, Seth Boelke, Kenneth Pyeatt, and Jennifer Pyeatt, niece Kelli-Jean Thompson of Argyle, TX, and her beloved dog Maggie.
Services will be held at American Lutheran Church in Grand Junction, Colorado on June 2nd so that her Alaska family may safely get here. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to American Lutheran Church’s Carol Pyeatt Memorial Fund for the Early Life Ministry to Young Children at 631 26 ½ Road Grand Jct CO 81506.
She will be missed greatly as she was truly a Christmas Carol upon the world.