Carol Nalbandian, a resident of Lawrence since 1976, passed away on January 7, 2014 in her home. Time and place for a celebration of her life will be announced.
She was born in 1944 to Yoneyo and Eiichi Taniguchi in a WWII internment
camp in Arizona. Following the war, her family resettled in Los Angeles where she grew up in the house behind the mom and pop grocery store her parents owned and operated. As a child she attended Japanese language classes and learned and publicly performed traditional dances in addition to excelling in school. Carol graduated on scholarship from the University of Southern California where she met John, her husband of 47 years.
Following John's time in the Army and CIA and with their young child, John Baylor in arms, they returned to Los Angeles, where Carol supported the family as John earned his PhD. John's work took them to what for them was a great unknown—Lawrence, Kansas--in 1976 and employment as a faculty member in Public Administration at the University of Kansas.
Carol worked at KU specializing in professional management education in the School of Continuing Education and then in the School of Business. Opportunity arose with the Leadership Center at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka where she practiced the client centered consultation skills she had learned during her Masters degree education at California State University, Los Angeles, and then later with her doctoral degree in Communication Studies at KU.
Carol became John's partner not only in life, but in work as well. Carol led the relationship side of their management consultant business, which took them all over the country working with local governments. They hosted local government professionals from around the world in their home, and Carol enjoyed immensely the Christmas parties and summer picnics they hosted for John's Public Administration students.
Carol's life was marked by the unpretentious but powerful influence of her Buddhist upbringing. She was notably and admirably comfortable with herself. She never asked for more than she had. She could find something of interest in virtually every person she met. She was the consummate caretaker – always making sure that the needs of others were met. And, she loved every moment she spent with her precious grandchildren, George and Janie.
In addition to her work and family, Carol gave much to the community. She served on the boards of Headquarters Crisis Counseling Center, the Community Mercantile, Friends of the Library, and most recently, 10,000 Villages and Family Promise.
Carol first encountered the oncology group at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in 2002 when breast cancer
was discovered and continued to receive treatment after she presented symptoms of ovarian cancer in 2007. Never did she see herself in a "fight" with the cancer; never did she use the term "battle," and never did she say "why me?" She accepted every new physical limitation on her life as part of a new normal and in doing so she earned the respect of those who knew what she was going through. The family is grateful to the Oncology Center at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and also to Visiting Nurses of Douglas County Hospice for their caring involvement with both Carol and John.
In addition to her husband, Carol leaves her son, John, her daughter-in-law, Carrie, and Carol's dearest grandchildren, George and Janie, in Northern Kentucky. She is survived by her sister, June; her brother-in-law, Allen, in Los Angeles; and her two nieces, Lisa, in Portland, and Naomi and her family, in the Bay Area. She leaves her husband's caring sister, Terry, in Los Angeles.
Inurnment will be at the Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles. The family prefers no flowers; tributes in Carol's name to the Lawrence Public Library (www.lawrencepubliclibrary foundation.org/
) or a
are welcomed and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.
Online condolences may be sent to www.warrenmcelwain.com
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