Carol Romkey, 62, of Bettendorf, Iowa passed away Sunday, Jan. 6, after a brief illness.
Carol Jill Cerny was born in Chicago, Ill. April 26, 1956, the daughter of Warren and Shirlee Cerney.
Carol married Michael Romkey March 28, 1981, at First Congregational Church, Moline.
She is survived by her husband; three sons, Ryan (Isabelle) of Thornton, Co.; Matt (Hilary) of Des Moines; and Drew of Davenport; two grandchildren and one step-grandson; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister Nancee.
Carol also is survived by hundreds of friends, each of whom she considered to be members of her family, including Jody Leiby, Renae Rosenstiel, and others too numerous to list.
Carol was an excellent student and had planned to become a medical doctor before falling in love with working on the student newspaper.
Carol was a graduate of Northern Illinois University, where she was editor of the Northern Star newspaper. She started her career as a reporter at the Daily Dispatch in Moline. At the Dispatch, Carol met Mike, who knew from the first time he saw Carol that they were going to get married. Though it took Mike a while to convince Carol of the fact, eventually she came around.
After getting married, Carol and Mike moved to Florida and worked for a year editing romance novels for a publisher in North Palm Beach, Fla.
Returning to the Midwest to start a family, Carol became public relations director for Marycrest College, Davenport.
After taking a year off following the birth of her first child, Ryan, Carol got a job as a writer and editor at ACT (formerly American College Testing) in Iowa City. Carol worked at ACT for more than 30 years, including serving as senior editor in the publications department. Carol played an integral role in the company’s marketing and publishing divisions for many years in an exacting zero-error environment.
Carol was an editor’s editor, dedicated, meticulous and precise. If there was an error in copy, Carol would find it. She also had an excellent ear for language and could add sparkle to any prose. In retirement she continued to be the go-to resource ACT employees and former employees turned to for editing resumes and other critical documents.
A genuinely nice, kind, caring, loving person, Carol mentored many people in both her professional and private lives. She was active in the PTA at Mark Twain School, Bettendorf, and served as its president. She was a Cub Scout leader at Mark Twain. After her own children were out of the program, she volunteered to run a pack at another school where they needed an adult leader.
Carol was a faithful member of Trinity Anglican Church, Rock Island. She was a member of the Trinity Vestry, and had previously served as senior warden. She sang in the choir and hosted many Bible study classes in her home.
Carol was an avid sailor and enjoyed spending weekend afternoons on the Mississippi River aboard her boat, “Sprite.” She loved traveling with friends to Ireland, Scotland, Africa and the Caribbean. She especially liked the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and spent many happy vacations in Telluride surrounded by family, friends and music. Her hobbies included gardening, rehabilitating old houses, and looking after an endless series of cats, birds, fish and assorted reptiles.
Carol was in charge of ticketing for the Bucktown Revue, her smiling face greeting people when they arrived at the Nighswander Theater for the shows.
Carol was intensely proud of her three sons and their mates. Her grandchildren were a source of unfathomable joy.
Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home, 3030 7th Ave., Rock Island. The funeral is 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at Trinity Anglican Church, 1818 6th Ave., Rock Island, followed by a reception in celebration of Carol’s life.
Memorials may made to Trinity and will be used to support the school in Nairobi, Kenya, where Carol has sponsored students for many years.
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