Carol A. Opel

Jan. 13, 1946 - Oct. 22, 2005

Carol A. Opel of Waukesha died Saturday, Oct. 22, 2005, at Waukesha Memorial Hospital at age 59. Carol was born Jan. 13, 1946, in Chicago, the daughter of Harry and Dorothy Tobin.

She was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a bachelor of science in mathematics, and went on to receive her master’s degree in management/finance, also at UW-Milwaukee. She was a mathematics instructor at Waukesha County Technical College from 1980 to 1994. From 1985 to 1994, Carol was an alderman and was responsible for the entire budget development and adoption as finance committee chairman. She was also instrumental in the development of computer technology throughout all city departments. She was elected mayor from April 1994 to April 1998, during which her most prized achievement was the implementation of the Fox River Corridor Plan. Other accomplishments during her term as mayor included the negotiation of the Waukesha/Pewaukee border agreement and a formulated youth and neighborhood-oriented organization to develop a safe environment. She also advocated housing initiatives to achieve a full array of housing alternatives, initiated the first update of the city’s comprehensive land use plan since 1957 and procured a $1.5 million grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for the West Avenue landfill remediation. Carol was also a board member of the Literacy Council of Waukesha, a board member of The Caring Place and a member of the Rotary Club. She will be remembered as an honest, giving and caring community leader.

Carol will be sadly missed by her husband, Robert C. "Bob"; her children, Vanessa (Matthew) Koster of Milwaukee, Rachel Opel of St. Louis and Stephanie Opel of Waukesha; her granddaughter, Madeline Koster; her brother, Harry (Dot) Tobin of Tinley Park, Ill.; her sisters, Lorrie (Don) Buechele of Grayslake, Ill., Rita (John) Aaron of Hickory Hills, Ill., and Judy (Angelo) Rekounas of Frankfort, Ill.; her mother-in-law, Harriet Opel of Raymond; her sisters-in law, Kristine (Michael) Jacobi of Wind Lake and Ann Ewald of Chandler, Ariz.; her brother-in-law, David (Emaleta) Opel of Wenatchee, Wash.; and nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

The funeral Mass for Carol will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 822 N. East Ave., Waukesha, with the Rev. Michael Michalski officiating. The visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. today, Oct. 26, at Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 237 N. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha. A second visitation will be held on Thursday at the funeral home from 9 a.m. until the 10:30 a.m. procession to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Entombment at Prairie Home Cemetery in Waukesha will immediately follow the Mass.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to The Literacy Council of Waukesha, 217 Wisconsin Ave., Waukesha 53186, or The Caring Place, 810 N. East Ave., Waukesha 53186.

For more information, call Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home and Cremation Services at 542-6609 or visit www.waukeshafuneralhome.com for online obituaries, directions or condolences.