Carol Lee (Kiekhafer) Sovel, age 76, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 29, 2019, in Great Falls, Montana.
She was born May 6, 1943 in Spokane, Washington to Mildred Elaine (Askey) Phelps. Robert Phelps and Elaine raised Carol with their three other offspring in the Spokane Valley, Washington. She graduated from West Valley High School in Spokane Valley in 1961 and went on to Holy Names Academy in Spokane on an art scholarship, and later attended Wayne State University. She married Donald Zawacki in 1963 in Detroit, Michigan and resided in Michigan throughout most of her life. She worked at General Motors Research and Tech Center as a graphic artist, retiring from GM after 30+ years of service. She received many accolades for her work ethic and artwork in the workplace. She continued in her personal life as a thriving freelance artist, primarily working in charcoal and pencil medium. She enjoyed attending the symphony and theatre, home remodeling, decorating, gardening, sewing and needlework. She also thoroughly enjoyed entertaining, and hosting special meals and conversing with friends and family.
Carol met and married the love of her life, Donald Sovel, of Detroit, in 1996. They operated a business out of their home in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Donald passed in 2003. Unfortunately, while still in Farmington Hills, Carol suffered a stroke in 2012, which left her with the inability to continue with her passion for creating art and to verbally communicate as she would have liked. She relocated to Great Falls that same year, and her sister Pat Gray became an ardent advocate to assist her until she passed. Carol had a very gracious, giving, and warm personality, which would exude upon meeting her. Her laughter would come easily and she would light up the room with her sparkling eyes when she entered.
Carol is survived by her half sister, Patricia Elaine Gray (Neely) of Highwood, Montana, her half brother, Bradley James Phelps (Dawn) of Vancouver, Washington, and her stepbrother Randall Keith Phelps (Yvonne) of Coolin, Idaho, her stepdaughter Marci (Jeff) (Sovel) Sparks and family and their children, numerous nieces and nephews, and her very special friends Nancy and Don Horkey, and Ruth Reck, who all were very deeply loved by her.
Interment next to her husband will occur in Livonia, Michigan, at Beth El Memorial Park Cemetery on Friday, August 2, at 11:00 A.M.
Carol’s family extends our deep appreciation to the staff and residents where she lived at the Timbers in Grandview and to her nurses and doctors who were so very compassionate and kind to her.
Carol will be remembered in our hearts as a gracious, creatively gifted, and loving individual.
To send flowers to Carol's family, please visit our floral section.