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URBANA — Carole S. Appel passed away in her sleep Saturday (Nov. 14, 2020) at home in Alexandria, Va.

Carole was born in Philadelphia on Jan. 23, 1937, the daughter of Charlotte and Joseph Stein. She attended Temple University for a bachelor’s degree in English and the University of Michigan for a master’s in journalism.

While at Michigan, she met Kenneth I. Appel, who was finishing his Ph.D. in mathematics. They married in 1959 and moved to Princeton, N.J., where they lived for two years before settling in Urbana. Their three children were born between 1960 and 1964.

In the 1960s, Carole taught English as a second language, and in the 1970s and 1980s, she was an editor at the University of Illinois Press — publishing books, managing academic journals and developing the Women’s Studies program for the Press. For the last 60 years of her life, she was active in Democratic politics and an organizer and community leader.

In 1993, she and Kenneth retired from their University of Illinois jobs and moved to Dover, N.H., where Carole became the chair of the Strafford County Democrats, helping recruit and support candidates for state and local office and the U.S. Congres, and becoming actively involved in the campaigns of several Democratic candidates for president, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. She was also active in the National Organization for Women and the NAACP. She moved to Alexandria in 2013, continued to be active in political work and made many new friends.

She was predeceased by her husband, Kenneth Appel, and daughter, Laurel Appel.

She is survived by her sons, Andrew and Peter, and their wivesm Maia Ginsburg and Barbara Zamora-Appel; son-in-law, Michael Weir; brother, Howard Stein, and his wife, Lea; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A small funeral service will be held in Alexandria, and she will be buried in Dover. An online memorial service will be held Saturday, Nov. 21, at 4 p.m. Eastern — those interested in joining can email

Donations in Carole’s honor may be made to the University of Illinois foundation, directed specifically to the "Kenneth and Carole Appel Legacy Scholarship Fund."

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