Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Carol Druffel

Jan. 1924 - May 8, 2019


May 23, 2019

Carol Irene Druffel

Carol Irene Druffel

Carol Irene Druffel passed away May 8, 2019, at the golden age of 95 from infirmities of age and dementia. On a cold January day in 1924, John and Goldie Schlee went to a maternity home in Colton where their daughter, Carol Irene, was born. She was raised on the Schlee Homestead at Uniontown, Washington. From the time she could walk, she spent her days alongside her dad working the ranch, caring for the livestock, riding horses, and helping with cattle drives. She was happiest in the company of a horse.

Carol attended grade school in Uniontown. They then moved to Clarkston so she could attend Clarkston High School. She was very proud to be crowned CHS May Queen for a week and was often asked to play her accordion for events and played saxophone in the marching band. She graduated from CHS in 1942 and went on to further her education at Washington State College (WSU). She majored in Fine Arts with a minor in English Literature. She was a Lewiston Roundup princess in 1943, an honor she kept near and dear to her heart throughout her life and attended every roundup parade thereafter.

When WWII was over, Carol met the love of her life, Jerry Druffel, at a Fourth of July dance. In order to test this love out, she traveled to San Francisco to work for Bay Area Telephone Company drafting telephone lines for them. She spent a few months working and attending the San Francisco School of Art, then decided to return to her roots. The couple was married June 2, 1947, just eleven months after they had met. They made their home at the homestead at Uniontown.

She became a full-time wife, mother, homemaker, rancher and farm hand. During the summer months she drove harvest truck, fed a harvest and hay crew and raised a garden. In the springtime she rode through the canyon pastures and checked on the cattle. When their feed ran out, she rounded up the cattle and drove them home on horseback. In fall and winter she helped with the cattle branding, vaccinating and feeding. During lambing season it was not unusual for us to have a lamb or two warming up in the house. She nursed them along and prepared bottles to feed to the lambs. If all this wasn't enough to keep her busy, she and Jerry also managed to raise four children-Leroy, Laurel, Lynn and Lisa.

Along with her every day work, Carol found time to utilize her education and pursue her passion for fine art and created many wonderful works of art over her lifetime. She also spent what little spare time she had reading fine literature. Carol helped the Jog-a-Long Horse 4H Club which provided an opportunity to share her knowledge of horses with many youths in the area. Carol also had a love for music and enjoyed playing the organ and piano and accompanied the choir at church.

When the children, her "Masterpieces", were raised and she and Jerry became empty nesters, the couple enjoyed traveling the world with their many friends. They built fond memories together and enjoyed seeing all the different countries and cultures. She particularly loved the Smithsonian Mall and art galleries in Washington D.C. In 2002, they built a home in Clarkston and spent their retirement years enjoying golf, cultural events and watching the Snake River roll by. Carol and Jerry lived a full and enduring life together. They had a marriage that very few will ever experience. They were a fine-tuned team and worked side by side all their lives.

Carol is survived by her children, Leroy (Joanne), Lynn (Pat), and Lisa (Tracy); her eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Marilyn Burg and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jerry; daughter, Laurel Druffel Kuther; grandaughter, Laura Kuther; brother, Jake Schlee and her parents, John and Goldie Schlee.

The family would like to thank the caregivers at Guardian Angel Home for loving and caring for Carol as if she was their grandma. Carol loved all animals, wildlife, and appreciated the beauty of nature. The family suggests memorials be made to NW Children's Home, Boys and Girls Club of LC Valley, Helping Hands, St. Boniface Endowment Fund, or charity of your choice.

A celebration of Carol's life will be held May 31 at 11 am, St. Boniface Church in Uniontown, Washington.


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