CDA Membership Spotlight – Court St. Anthony #330

CDA Membership Spotlight – Court St. Anthony #330

Carol Andress – Member since 11-10-08 

By Carol Hollenbeck, Web Manager

Carol Nelson was born at the old Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa. At the time, her family lived in Missouri Valley, Iowa. When she was six years old her Dad took a job in Northern Iowa working as a salesman for a Hatchery. The family moved to Coulter, Iowa. Then in 1957 the family relocated to Council Bluffs. Carol’s Dad worked for Cook Paint and her Mom worked for Beno’s department store.

Carol graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in the same class as CDA member Kathy Carlin. After High School she went to work as a secretary at Prudential. It was there Carol had a colleague, who had been a High School friend of Larry Andress; a young man who had grown up on the farm. Larry was currently working at the Hinky Dinky Warehouse.Prudential was about to have a Christmas Party. Carol’s colleague pressed her and she agreed to a “blind date” with this young man for that event. Thevery day of the party, Larry bought a brand new 1965 Super Sport vehicle. He proudly arrived to pick up his blind date in this spanking new, white car, with red interior. Well, Carol was impressed with the car,but even more so with Larry! She embraced him and converted to his Catholic Faith. They were married at the original St. Patrick Church in Council Bluffs.

Larry was drafted into the Army in the Spring of 1965.Their marriage followed that September. Larry was sent to Germany in December and Carol joined him there in the summer of 1966, living there until June of 1967 when his military service was completed. When they returned to Council Bluffs Carol was expecting their first child, a son whom they would name Dave. The family was then blessed with two daughters, Teresa and Deb. When her youngest Deb was about 2 years old Carol went back to work at Omaha Standard, which was a plant that made truck equipment, again as a secretary. Then she worked for Central National Life Insurance company in downtown Omaha for 10 years. Followed by 19 years at First National Bank in Omaha, retiring from her long career as an executive secretary.

In 1974 Larry and Carol had purchased a piece of farmland, built a house and stayed there for 25 years, as their three children were growing up. Carol has many warm memories of the years her children participated in 4-H. She and Larry were 4-H leaders. They and their children “raised several Grand Champion sheep over those years.” She said Westfair was “so awesome, with so many 4-H entries.” She so enjoyed the large group of farm women who provided “homemade meals, which were wonderful.” She is sad that there aren’t as many children participating in 4-H today. Their days at Westfair were always “so much fun.”

Son Dave finished High School at Underwood, Iowa, while both daughters graduated from St. Albert High School in town. The Andress family has grown to include six grandchildren. Dave has two boys, Teresa has two boys and Deb has a son and one daughter. So, five grandsons and only one granddaughter. The family currently has two dogs, and a large aquarium of fish(and used to have a bird), so the love of animals continues.

Larry joined the Knights of Columbus at St. Patrick’s years ago. Carol and Judy Lookabill joined our CDA Court together over ten years ago. Carol said she thought it was time she did that because she “likes the idea of Gift in Kind donating and because the court gives so much to the community.” She and her husband worked several months on the first Capital Campaign fundraising for the new St. Patrick Church. Carol is fulfilling a three-year commitment to the Altar and Rosary Society at St. Patrick’s, currently serving as co-president. The couple has been in a Faith Sharing Group for years and she currently enjoys meeting with a St. Patrick’s Book Club.

For years Carol prayed an hour of Adoration at Gabriel’s Corner. Also, because Larry was working part-time at Fox Run Assisted Living, Carol began bringing Holy Communion to the residents every Sunday. She did this alone for four years. She now coordinates a team of four Eucharistic Ministers, who rotate bringing communion every Sunday. CDA member Kathy Carlin conducts a communion service there on Mondays and a priest comes once a month. Carol and Larry have surely made a difference at Fox Run.

Carol has two main hobbies. One is a love of gardening, which she shares with her husband. I only wish it was farther along in the Spring, so that I could have seen their backyard in full bloom. It must be quite beautiful. But it was still a peaceful view from her kitchen windows, as she served me chai tea on a chilly day.

Now I must tell you of her other hobby, which is beyond impressive–BAKING! Carol belongs to a Cookie Crumb Group that has sent more than a million cookies overseas. She has been in this group for five years. Every three months she makes TEN DOZEN COOKIES. The cookies are then wrapped in packages of six and tied with a bow to be shipped. She can make any kind of cookie she wants, but you have to watch out for ingredients like chocolate chips that might melt before delivery. She also helps the K of C at St. Patrick on the first Saturday of December with their annual cookie sale, which is open to the public. Last year she made enough cookie dough for 100 dozen cookies because the dough they had been buying was not satisfactory. She will be making even more dough this coming year for that event. (Her husband does lend her a hand with this project.) She helps with the annual pie sale the church holds in the Fall. She said they are now “so fortunate to have the large, well equipped kitchen in their new church.” I expressed my admiration that she is able to do that much baking. She said, “Oh the dough is the easy part, the hardest part is the baking of the cookies.” (I am still very impressed!)

When Carol was a younggirl she knew nothing about The Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin because she would convert as an adult. But she frequently went to visit an Aunt and Uncle who lived in Missouri Valley. That family prayed the Rosary every day. So, she had heard it from outside while they would wait for the family to be finished with the prayer. Then 17 years ago, following a crisis in the family, Carol began praying the Rosary daily. Then a book about the Rosary came in the mail (she knew not from where.) She came to know of the power of the Miraculous Medal,also known as the Medal of Our Lady of Graces, which was originated by Saint Catherine Laboure, following her apparitions of the Blessed Mother. It is now the only jewelry she wears on her neck each day. She has shared these medals with her children and grandchildren and rejoices in the many graces that she has received. She experienced a process, ending in a Marian Consecration, through the book33 DAYS TO MORING GLORY by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC. She says, “That was a turning point for me.” Her “love of Mary and praying the Rosary is another reason she was drawn to our Court #330.” There is a statue of Mary in the front yard of the Andress home that is lighted at night.

Thanks for the chai tea Carol and for sharing your stories with me, both were delicious!

He spoke to them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”  Matthew 13:33

**The reason I so enjoy doing these Membership Spotlights for the court is because I have the privilege of learning about each woman and the faith journey that they are on. It is a profound blessing to me. In this case it was also amazing to find out that: I was also born in the old Mercy Hospital, I also worked for years at Central National Life Insurance, I also converted before my marriage, I also belong to a St. Patrick Book group, I also have two daughters and a son, I also have been miraculously led to praying the Rosary and had just bought the same book by Fr. Gaitley to experience a Marian Consecration. We find when we listen to each other that we share so much more than we could ever have imagined!  –  Carol H.