Carol Burch was born in Waite Park, MN, the daughter of Josephine and Roy Carlson. She grew up in Morton, MN. She earned degrees in elementary education from St. Cloud Teacherâ€™s College and the University of Minnesota. She taught in Saulk Center and St. Paul before realizing a long time dream of visiting Japan when she accepted to teach at Yoyogi ES, Tokyo in 1960. In 1961, she transferred to Alconbury ES, England. Here, she met her future husband, Les. They married in 1962 and moved to Tripoli, Libya where they both taught at Wheelus Air Force Base. Her first child, Mary, was born at Wheelus at the end of the school year in 1963. The family then moved to Bitburg, Germany. She chose to suspend teaching while she raised a family. Her second daughter, Margaret, was born in Bitburg in 1965. The family moved to London and in 1967, her third daughter, Catherine, was born at West Ruislip AF hospital.
While raising her daughters, Carol was active in PTAs, wives club functions, and host nation activities wherever Les was assigned. These included Chicksands, Lakenheath, and Harrogate in England, Royal Oaks in Madrid, Spain, and Bad Nauheim, Illesheim, and Heilbronn in Germany.
She returned to the clasroom in 1983 at Sembach ES. In 1987, she and Les moved to Camp Zama, Japan. Instead of teaching for DoDDS, she chose to volunteer in the community and to promote Japanese-American friendships. As a result she developed many Japanese friendships which resulted in frequent invitations to their events.
After 30 years overseas, she and Les returned to the U.S. They lived in Northeast Tennessee until 1995 when they moved to Fort Collins, CO. Carol continued her love of travel by visiting at least one foreign country each year, and by seeing much of the U.S. She was an avid reader who thoroughly enjoyed her book group discussions. She loved her gardens which drew constant praise from viewers. Her neighbors regularly sought her willing advice on gardening.
She was devoted to her husband of 46 years, her three daughters, who were educated in DoDDS schools before attending U.S. universities, and her 3 grandchildren. 2 brothers also survive her. Carol Burch lived an active life to the end. Her sudden death of heart failure occurred 5 days before she was planning to visit India .