Carole E. Sharp, age 72, of Staunton, passed away on Monday, July 20, 2020, at her home surrounded by her family. She was born on Saturday, November 15, 1947, at the Mitchell County Hospital in Osage, Iowa. She was the daughter of the late Rosemarie (Wenninger) and Donald G. Elbert.
She married John F. Sharp on April 6, 1974, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Iowa City, Iowa. Carole completed her high school education at the International School of Kuwait. She studied abroad at the American College in Paris, France and at the Beirut College for Women in Lebanon.
She graduated from the University of Iowa and taught German at Civic Memorial High School in Bethalto in the early 1970s where she met her husband. Carole was also co-owner of Party all the Time with her husband in Alton during the 1990s. In 2001, she and John got involved in real estate and served as a sales associate team and part-owners of Coldwell Banker Neuhaus Real Estate in Staunton.
In 1997, Carole began volunteering at the Staunton Food Pantry beginning a chapter of her life that would result in 20 years of dedicated service to her community. She became the pantry’s director in 2001 and assembled a team of volunteers who helped oversee its tremendous growth. The pantry was feeding as many as 60 families per month by the mid-2000s, up from 15 when she first started. Within her first four years of running the pantry, she helped feed 10,000 people.
Carole raised awareness about hunger in the community and the importance of the pantry and its needs in newspaper articles she wrote each week in the Staunton Star-Times and Kwik Konnection, ensured that the pantry’s shelves were stocked, handwrote thank-you notes to all donors and helped coordinate donation drives. Her dedication to the Staunton Food Pantry was recognized nationally in 2005 when Realtor Magazine awarded Carole with one of its five “Good Neighbor” awards. The award is given to realtors who make an extraordinary difference to their community, national or world stage through volunteer work. She was honored during the National Realtors Conference in San Francisco, CA.
Carole was named the Staunton Chamber of Commerce’s “Citizen of the Year” in 2007. Carole retired from the Staunton Food Pantry on Dec. 31, 2017.
Carole is survived by her husband and her three children, John (Margaret Jayne) Sharp of Daphne, AL, Jim (Lisa) Sharp of Staunton, and Annmarie (Rudy) Angel of Libertyville, IL. She was a loving and beloved “Maw Maw” to five grandchildren, Ethan, Jace and Colton Sharp of Staunton, Lila Sharp of Daphne, AL, and Brianna Angel of Libertyville, IL. Carole is also survived by her brother, Donald Elbert Jr. (Myrene) of Tiverton, RI; and a sister, Anne Fratzke of Staunton.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her stepmother, Phyllis Elbert.
A memorial mass for Carole will be held on Saturday, July 25, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. at the St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Staunton with Fr. George Radosevich officiating. Visitation will occur prior to the service from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM at the St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Staunton. All COVID-19 guidelines will be observed for both the visitation and mass for Carole at the St. Michael’s Church.
Memorials can be made to Helping Hands Center or to the St. Michael’s Catholic Church. The Lesicko Funeral Home in Livingston is privileged to take care of the arrangements and services for Carole E. Sharp and her family.