Carol Nadine (Dluhos) Vavra

March 8, 1929March 18, 2020
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Carol’s earthly journey began March 8, 1929; she was born into the loving home of Fred and Josephine (Bardesono) Dluhos, who lived in the Shuler Mine Camp in Waukee. She was very proud of being a “Coal Miner’s Daughter”!!

She was in the Waukee High School graduation class of 1946. She loved, loved, loved all of her Waukee connections, and remained in contact with many of them through a ‘round robin’ letter to this day.

After graduation, Carol began her career at Equitable of Iowa. She and a group of roommates lived in the downtown area. It was at a social event at Babe’s Restaurant Carol, and the dashing Edward J. Vavra first met. They married in 1962. Though they were not blessed with children of their own, they were a doting aunt and uncle to their nieces and nephews. They loved being a part of every family gathering; Carol was often the photographer. As we looked for photos to share, we realized how she was so good at capturing and sharing memories!

As her health declined in later years, she needed to rely on help from the loving team from Home Instead. We want to especially thank Lena, Becky, and Lorena that not only offered care but brought her such joy and allowed her to continue to live life to the fullest each day.

She ended her journey on earth March 18, 2020, just days after her 91st birthday.

Her parents, brother Gene, infant brother Freddie and her husband Edward, who passed away in 2005, preceded her in death.

Carol is survived by her nieces and nephew - Kathy (Jerry) Burger of Waukee, Karen Dluhos of Waukee, Colleen (Mark) Smith of Eagle Grove, Deb (Tim) Willcockson of Urbandale, and John (Teresa) Dluhos of Altoona; sister-in-law Margaret Ann “Peg” Dluhos; 10 great-nieces and nephews; 14 great-great nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be scheduled for a future date at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Private entombment will be at Resthaven Mausoleum. Memorials may be directed to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church or donor’s choice.


  • Jason Burger
  • Rick Burger
  • Ryan Burger
  • Brandon Burger
  • Ben Willcockson
  • Nate Willcockson
  • Jennifer Franklin, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Kendra Burger, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Emma Willcockson, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Ryan Dluhos, Honorary Pallbearer

  • St. Luke's Episcopal Church
  • Donor's Choice


  • A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.


Carol Nadine (Dluhos) Vavra

have a memory or condolence to add?

Barbara Thomas

March 24, 2020

To Carol's family,
I am so sorry to hear of Carol's passing. I first met her and Ed probably 15 years ago through my work at the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. I was able to visit them in their home, interview them for an article in our magazine and arrange to have their photo taken in their yard.

They were such a lovely pair. Very kind and considerate and I remember fondly how Carol offered ice tea and cookies. She and Ed were great supporters of our college and you should know that future students will benefit from their generosity when they receive notice that they received the Vavra Scholarship. It's a wonderful tribute to a lovely pair of people.

My thoughts are with you at this trying time.

Kris Sexton

March 20, 2020

I never met Carol but know that she was loved significantly. I am friends with Deb and I know her love for Carol is deeply rooted in her heart. I also know that Karen was a devoted caregiver and that this loss is a difficult challenge. Prayers to all of your family as you grieve the loss of a wonderful woman who's warmth touched so many lives. Continue to share the memories to keep her spirit alive.
My heartfelt condolences - Kris Sexton