Carol Rick

Honored by:The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Des Moines
Brick location:B:21  map

It was just a couple of days after her surgery that Carol called the office of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women. She asked if we had a copy of the Sex Equity in Vocational Education report that we had worked on several years ago for the League of Women Voters she had been talking with the nurses about the results of that study and wanted to share the report with them.

That involvement with issues of equity was typical of the life and work of Carol Rick. Each of you here could "write a book" about Carol and her remarkable contributions; I trust my remarks will be representative of what you would like to say in tribute to her.

The League statewide study of sex equity in vocational education is an example of what could not have happened without Carol. From her authorship of the proposals - to her role as liaison with the state board for the study committee - to her participation in research and interviews, and in writing and editing the paper.... her dedication to the project was key. This was an important review of how well the federal law mandating full participation by girls and women in vocational education was being implemented in Iowa. The study indicated much room for improvement, and opportunities for young women have been enhanced by her work. She continued this emphasis through her participation in Partners in Vocational-Technical Education.

As you know, there were an amazing number of volunteer efforts through which Carol showed leadership. You will not be surprised to hear that a couple of years ago when she reviewed her activities in order to write her resume, she had more than eight pages of material!

Carol lobbied effectively at the Legislature on issues of equality and justice, education and housing. She was supportive of legislative action on recommendations of the 50 States Report (an Iowa Commission on the Status of Women study to eliminate discrimination on the basis of gender from the Iowa Code). Modifying the state requirement that cities and counties give absolute preference to veterans in employment was a victory for her and for all women. For several years, editing of the LWVIA Legislative Newsletter could not have happened without her contribution to the effort. And for several years the state League office functioned better with her help - in so many ways, including fresh fruit for lunch!

Carol was a founding member of the Food Bank of Iowa and worked on their needs and distribution policies. The Des Moines and Iowa Talented and Gifted programs benefited from her leadership - one way in which she showed her commitment to quality education for all. Other ways she showed that commitment included her work for the desegregation of Des Moines schools; being a founding member and volunteer teacher at the Willkie House preschool; coordinating a summer vacation program called "Friendly Town" for inner city children; tutoring junior and senior high students in reading and writing skills; assisting the public library with an oral history project; 15 years on Parent Teacher Associations and School Advisory Committees; and service on the board of Friends of Iowa Public Television. On the boards of the League of Women Voters of Metro Des Moines and of Iowa, she quietly and persistently pursued the goal of good government through informed citizen participation. The research and the writing of study material such as that for the Housing Task Force resulted in a significant contribution to the betterment of our society. And how many people learned to use voting machines through demonstrations by Carol and the team of volunteers she organized!

Carol Rick led a life of commitment and dedication to high ideals and service to others. And always, she kept her focus clear - each person mattered to her, and was made to feel that she cared, which she did. Carol has our respect and admiration, and our love.

Submitted on 6/4/94