Carol Oppenheimer

Carol Oppenheimer

Carol Ruth Shaw Oppenheimer, 79, of Burlington, died at 7:35 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at the Great River Hospice House in West Burlington.

Born Aug. 31, 1929, in Burlington, she was the daughter of William Douglas Shaw and Eunice Caroline (Sourwine) Shaw.  On Aug. 5, 1950, she married Richard Frank Oppenheimer from Fort Madison at St. John’s Catholic Church in Burlington.

She was a past member of Grace United Methodist Church in Burlington, and a current member of Ss. John and Paul Catholic Church in Burlington.

Mrs. Oppenheimer attended Concordia Grade School, Horace Mann Jr. High School, and was a 1947 graduate of Burlington High School, and 1949 graduate of Burlington Junior College.  She held a B.A. from Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and an M.A. from University of Northern Iowa (UNI) at Cedar Falls where she also did post-graduate work in educational administration.  She taught elementary grades in schools in Grandview, Mo.; Fort Madison, Burlington, Emmetsburg and Algona, Iowa for over 38 years, and has a permanent professional Iowa certification.

She was a life member of the National Education (NEA) and the Iowa State Education (ISEA), and was a past member of PHI Delta Kappa Society (PDK).

She was also an active member in the Des Moines County Retired School Personnel Association (DMCRSPA), and the Southeastern Community College (SCC) Alumni Association where she held various offices.

Mrs. Oppenheimer served five years on the original Des Moines County’s Two-Mile Zoning and Planning Commission, followed by serving on the five member Ordinance Board of Directors.

She was volunteer chairman for five years at the Hawkeye Log Cabin in Crapo Park, where visitors learned about early life in Burlington while serving as a member of the Des Moines County Historical Society.

Carol was a member and officer of numerous lineage societies where her interest in the family genealogy of her ancestors: they are Stars & Stripes Chapter, National & State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR & ISDAR), National & State Society Dames of the Court of Honor (NSDCH & ISDCH), National & State Society Daughters of the War of 1812 (NSD1812), Continental Society & State Society Daughters of Indian Wars (CSDIW), National & State Society Daughters of Colonial Wars (NSDCW) National & State Huguenot Society (NHS), National Society Magna Charta Dames & Barons, the Sovereign of the Colonial Order to the Crown Descendants of Emperor Charlemagne, and the Daughters of Union Veteran of Civil War, Ceclia White Tent.

She often gave programs to her PEO Chapter NI, Questers, Antiquer’s #284, and lineage society groups in Burlington, Mount Pleasant and Iowa City, about her antique collections and current interests.  Her favorite pastimes include bridge and pinochle clubs, family genealogy searches, music, reading, computer creations and organizing family and BHS class reunions.

Survivors include her husband, Dick; two daughters, Joanna (Reese) Morgan of Coralville, Iowa, and Janette (Charles) Burkhart of Belvidere, Ill.; two sons, Jon Douglas Oppenheimer of Burlington, and Jeff Richard Oppenheimer of Emmetsburg, Iowa; four granddaughters and one grandson, Jennifer, Bridget, Jamie, Aja’, and Austin; two step granddaughters, Jessica and Caitlin; and two step grandsons, Jason and Clinton; eight great grandchildren, Jazmyn, Morgan, Cameron, Koen, Cade, Lyllian, Jace, Hayden; one brother, Dr. Eugene D. Shaw of Hingham, Mass.; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, William Douglas and Eunice (Sourwine) Shaw.

A memorial has been established for the Burlington Public Library, Children’s Department.

The Hass-Thielen Funeral Home was in care of the arrangements.

 A photo tribute can be viewed and condolences can be sent to the family by visiting Carol’s obituary at

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