May 21, 2024

Carol Ann VanNahmen

Posted May 21, 2024 6:16 PM
Carol Ann VanNahmen
Carol Ann VanNahmen

Carol Ann VanNahmen, a dedicated educator and community leader, passed away peacefully on May 19, 2024, at the age of 76. Carol was born on December 3, 1947, in Wichita, Kansas

Carol pursued her higher education with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She then went on to earn a Master of Arts in Political Sciences from Kansas State University in 1987, marking the beginning of her lifelong commitment to education and community service.

Carol’s professional journey was marked by her significant contributions to Kansas State University. She served as the Director of the Community Service Program from 1987 to 2005, where she was instrumental in developing service-learning activities for K-State students, fostering a culture of civic engagement and community involvement. From 1993 to 2005, she also directed the Kansas Center for Rural Initiatives, where she worked to link the university’s resources with rural communities, enhancing their access to education and development programs.

In 2009, Carol assumed the role of Executive Director for the Great Plains IDEA at Kansas State University. Over her 15-year tenure, she led numerous initiatives that expanded educational opportunities and fostered collaboration across institutions in Great Plains region.

Carol married her second husband, Tom Gould, on May 19, 2001, in the Manhattan City Park rose garden. Tom, a dedicated professor at Kansas State University, passed away on February 14, 2016, after a long battle with cancer. Carol shared a love for Kansas, exploring its landscapes and small towns.

After Tom’s passing, Carol married Alan VanNahmen, blending their lives and families with mutual support and love. Together, they built a life marked by dedication to community, education and each other.

Carol is survived by her loving husband, Alan VanNahmen. She is remembered as a devoted mother and grandmother, deeply involved in her children’s and grandchildren’s lives. She is survived by 3 sons and their families: Christopher Peak and wife, Michele (Bethesda, MD), Nathan Peak and wife, Alison (Washington, DC), and Nicholas Peak (Boise, ID); and her five grandchildren, Connor, Lauren, Alana, Evelyn and Owen.

Carol was preceded in death by her eldest son, Brian Peak, who passed away 24 Oct. 2022, from glioblastoma. Kellie Peak, daughter-in-law lives in Stillwell, KS. Carol also has a surviving brother Keith Alright, Mulvane, KS.

Carol’s life was a testament to the power of education and community service. Her contributions have left an indelible mark on Kansas State University via the Great Plains IDEA program and the communities she served. She will be remembered for her unwavering dedication as a Manhattan City Commissioner and leadership in the local Mater Gardeners Club and the Manhattan Lions Club.

A memorial/visitation service will be held at Carol and Alan’s residence, 220 Starlight Ln, Manhattan, KS 66503, on Sunday, May 26, 2024, from noon to 5:00 P.M. Come and Go, Food and Wine.

Carol’s Ashes will be scattered in the Rocky Mountain National Park on Wednesday, August 28, 2024.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to supporting community service programs at Kansas State University. 

Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home 1616 Poyntz Ave, Manhattan, KS 66502 are assisting the family with arrangements.