Carl L. Carmichael

Carl L. Carmichael


On May 18, 1933, Carl Leroy Carmichael was born in Pickering, Missouri. He is the youngest of four children born to Ora and Josephine (Murphy) Carmichael. He had struggled valiantly with the after effects of lymphoma and two strokes over two years. He was 86 years old. He attended both elementary and high school in Hopkins, Missouri, graduating in 1951. His leadership abilities, work ethic and organizational skills were evident in these formative years. He began his college studies in 1952. In 1953, he received a letter from neighbors, friends, and the selective service to spend the next two years in the Army near the end of the Korean War.

Meanwhile, Carl met Janell Giles, of Bethany, Missouri, who was visiting her sister, who lived in his hometown on his paper route. She was sitting in the front yard in her nephew’s Red Flyer wagon. Carl ran into the wagon with his bike, knocking Janell backwards. They were 11 and 10 years old. Although they lived in different towns, their friendship grew over the years. After Carl was drafted, they made the decision to marry. On May 3, 1953, they were united in marriage in the chapel of the United Methodist Church in Maryville, Missouri. They were blessed with two sons, Carl Richard and Marcus Edwin. Marcus passed away at 49 years of age. 

After his discharge, Carl resumed his formal education, receiving a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from Northwest Missouri State College, and his Educational Specialist Degree and doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison. 

In 1959, he became a school administrator in Irwin, Iowa. In 1962, the family moved to Gresham, Wisconsin when Carl was chosen as the principal. He served two and a half years there and was then assigned to the old middle school until 1968. His final years as principal were spent at Shawano High School. In 1968, due to overcrowding at the high school, Carl implemented the first modular scheduling program in Wisconsin. He resigned in 1981 after 23 years in the Shawano school system. His resignation came about as Carl was selected the Executive Assistant to the State Department of Public Instruction, Herbert Grover. He retired from there in 1990. 

He coached Little League ball teams for 10 years, even after his own sons had outgrown the league. 

He is a former member of the Valley Council Committee of the Boy Scouts, serving as the camping coordinator for ten years. He also headed up a Capital Improvement fund drive that extensively remodeled and rebuilt the Gardner Dam Boy Scout Camp. 

At some point, he has been on or chairman of most of the committee or taught Sunday school classes at the United Methodist Church in Shawano. 

He served on the Shawano City Extra Territorial Commission from its inception until it was replaced by the Shawano County Zoning Committee. Carl and the late Ed Krueger authored the first county zoning laws. Carl served as Wescott Township Zoning Chairman for 11 years, and wrote the first ever zoning ordinances for the Town of Westcott. 

He was assigned by the Wescott town board in the 1960’s to find a way to end sewer and water pollution of Shawano Lake. Carl became Chairman of the Shawano Lake Sanitary District, staying in that position for 12 years. The committee was responsible for the development and construction of a significant municipal water and sewer utility, encircling Shawano Lake and Shawano’s Industrial Park with sewer and water lines 200 miles long, and a regional waste water treatment plant. 

After Carl’s first retirement, he was appointed as the Board of Directors of the Masonic Home Board in Dousman, serving nine years in that capacity. During his tenure there, the large campus was greatly expanded and Masonwoods was constructed on the north shore of Shawano Lake. 

When he completed his work in Dousman, he was asked to be the campaign director for Dr. Steve Kagen, who was seeking election to Congress. Carl was successful for two terms, then his son’s health issues became critical, and he left that position. 

He was a charter member of the Shawano Optimist Club, the American Legion Post 117 of Shawano, United Methodist Church member of over 50 years, a 59 year member of the Shawano Masonic Lodge, and Eastern Star, BEJA Shrine, performing for many years as a clown. 

After Carl finally retired for good, they purchased a large RV. They spent five months in sunny Arizona, exploring the state by golfing, dancing, and playing dominos. Later, they had a yacht, mooring it in Oconto, for summer fun. Books could be written about the experiences in those toys!

His most enjoyable times were when he was in the woods, saving trees, observing wildlife, including having a cub bear appear in front of him, tinkering in his shop, resting on the patio with Janell, smoking his pipe, and in the company of his beloved dogs. The biggest bump in his life was the death of his son Marcus. He never really recovered from that, but adjusted to living with that loss. 

Carl devoted his entire life in helping others, be it improving the environment for future generations, participating in community projects and government, and mentoring students. His creed during his whole career was that a person never stands as tall as when stooping to help others. He did this unselfishly. 

Carl is survived by: his wife of 66 years, Janell; son, Carl Richard (Eloise) Carmichael of Sheridan, Wyoming; two grandsons, Carl John “C.J.” Carmichael of Grand Junction, Colorado and Evan (Brooke) Carmichael of Carbondale, Colorado; step grandchildren, Jean Haynes and Shelagh Sitterson both of Virginia, Meg Sitterson of Australia, Alex Saltzgaver and Alan Sitterson both of Colorado; two very special young people, Zach and Hailey Leicht; our “other” son, Timothy Martin; and Penny Carmichael. 

He was preceded in death by: his son, Marcus; his parents; his three siblings and their spouses; seven nephews; and one niece. 

Viewing will be at Swedberg Funeral home in Shawano from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 with Masonic services at 7 p.m. 

Funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at the Church on the Hill, United Methodist Church, 1000 Engel Drive, Shawano, with the Rev. Claudia Deede officiating. Viewing will be from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. With military honors to follow by Shawano American Legion Post #117.  

Additional services are being held on Friday, June 14, 2019 at 2:00 p.m., Wray Memorial Methodist Church in Hopkins, Missouri. Burial to be held in Hopkins Cemetery. Bram Funeral Home in Maryville is assisting the family with arrangements in Missouri.