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Carl W. Volkmann

SPRINGFIELD, IL - Carl W. Volkmann, 79, died Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, at his home at the end of a 15-year struggle with cancer.

Carl was born Oct. 23, 1933, in Streator, Ill., the son of Rev. William C. and Grace Bentzin Volkmann. He married Roberta Bock in 1957 in Dubuque, Iowa.

Carl received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wartburg College in 1955, his Master of Divinity degree from Wartburg Seminary in 1959, and his Master of Library Science degree from the University of Illinois in 1969.

Employed by Tri-City High School in Buffalo from 1960-1969 as a teacher and librarian, Carl joined the staff of Lincoln Library in 1970 as the Young Adult Librarian. He was named Assistant Director in 1972, and was appointed Library Director in 1981. During his professional career and after his retirement in 1993, he served on numerous boards and commissions including the Senior Citizens Commission, the Lincoln Memorial Garden Foundation, the Dana-Thomas House Foundation, the Sangamon County Historical Society, Opera Theatre of Springfield, the Illinois Library Association, the Community Volunteer Center, and the Lincoln Library Foundation.

Carl was named a 2004 recipient of the Illinois Humanities Council's Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award for his forty years of service as an educator, librarian, and community volunteer in Springfield. The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created the Carl Volkmann Scholarship Fund in 2010 to support students pursuing a professional career in public librarianship. He received a Wartburg College Alumni Citation in 2012 for his successful career in librarianship and his many years of serving as a community and professional volunteer.

In recent years, Carl wrote several books including Journeys Near The End: A Cancer Fighter's Journal; Springfield's Sculptures, Monuments, and Plaques that he co-authored with his wife, Roberta; and Lincoln in Sculpture, a compilation of Lincoln sculpture stories that first appeared in Illinois Heritage, the magazine of the Illinois State Historical Society.

He was a member of the Breakfast Optimist Club, Grace Lutheran Church, the Illinois Symphony Chorus, the Prairie Archives Breakfast Group, and WAMBEG.

He is survived by his wife, Roberta; daughter, Joan (husband, John Jones) Volkmann of Urbana, Ill.; son, Curt (wife, Sue) Volkmann of Lake Forest, Ill.; sister, Lois Jelneck of Ann Arbor, Mich.; brother, Jack (wife, Margaret) Volkmann of Lemon Grove, Calif.; sister, Marti (husband, Will) Everts of Janesville, Wis.; granddaughters, Abbie and Anna Volkmann of Lake Forest, Ill.; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Private family burial was held at Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Memorial Gathering: Family will receive friends from 9:00-10:45 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in the Fellowship Hall of Grace Lutheran Church, 714 E. Capitol Ave., Springfield.

Memorial Ceremony: 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, at Grace Lutheran Church, with Rev. Thomas B. Christell, Jr. officiating. Following the memorial ceremony a luncheon will be served at Grace Lutheran Church.

Memorials may be made to the Carl Volkmann Scholarship Fund, c/o U of I Foundation, 1305 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801, the International Health and Development Network, P.O. Box 7488, Springfield, IL 62791 or Grace Lutheran Trust, 714 E. Capitol St., Springfield, IL 62701.

The family of Carl W. Volkmann is being served by Kirlin-Egan & Butler Funeral Home, 900 S. 6th St., Springfield. Please visit to offer your condolences.

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Published in The State Journal-Register on Oct. 17, 2013.
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