I (Karin Brace Wargel) grew up in Johnston City, Illinois, and finished school there. I wasn’t involved in athletics because, like I told my stunned grandson, they wouldn’t let girls do that back then. But I was a cheerleader and was involved in a myriad of extracurricular activities. I received my bachelor’s degree at Southern Illinois University, as did my three children, my sister, her husband, one of her daughters, two of my husbands, a cousin, and a bunch of my friends. We liked it there. (My current husband went to Perdue. He might be a traitor.)
I was an educator most of my life and retired after teaching in Juvenile Detention facilities, also in Southern Illinois. Being retired is great, but I can’t stand to be idle. After my kids were finished with college, the first thing I did was join the Peace Corps and go to Rumania. It was a lifelong dream, but I didn’t stay. Too many issues detrimental to my health. Then I joined the Red Cross, helping fire victims, but I also worked tornadoes and went to Houston after Hurricane Harvey. I volunteered at the Williamson County Historical Society and Cumberland Island National Seashore, where I was a docent in a Carnegie mansion. I also worked in my daughter-in-law’s law firm for a couple of years. The most fun job I ever had was a waitress. I also had a construction company briefly until a divorce. I had to have benefits.
I have enjoyed many days and nights babysitting my grandchildren and attending their ballgames. If there are no games I go into withdrawal.
I have to be active. I have attempted anything: walking, running, bicycling, golf and tennis, water and snow skiing, and now pickle ball. I love to read, and have been writing for years. I even tried painting and took an art class. I meet monthly with friends for dinner. With my husband, my children, and a good friend I have traveled all over, and we are not finished.
I also love working around the house and yard, gardening, raking, and digging up weeds. I have refinished a load of antiques and have built and redecorated and remodeled too many houses.
I am married to Larry Wargel and have three children, Jay Schafer, Sarah Wittig, and Cord Wittig.
My don’t likes include politics, mean people, and doing my hair.
Like anyone, my interests change over the years, and now that I am finished with this book, I am anticipating a new me.