Carol Elizabeth Pippitt Henkel of Sarasota, Florida died peacefully July 24, 2019 at Sunnyside Village after dealing with Parkinson’s disease for more than 24 years.
Born in 1934, she was the daughter of Samuel Allen and Katherine (Laird) Pippitt. She grew up in Short Hills, New Jersey, where at 16 she met 17-year old Steve Henkel.
She attended Mount Holyoke College for three years, and after her marriage graduated in 1956 from Barnard College of Columbia University with a degree in economics.
Shortly thereafter, she and her husband bought their first sailboat, and both instantly fell in love with being “at sea.” In fact it was the beginning of a joint lifelong love of sailing and boating, and over the years they owned over 30 different boats.
In Short Hills, she was active as a volunteer, notably as co-chair of the Bal de Bateau, sponsored by the Junior League of Short Hills and the Oranges. When the pull of the sea became too strong, she and Steve moved to Darien.
In Darien she continued to serve in many volunteer and sailing organizations, often in leadership positions. In Darien she was secretary of the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk, treasurer of the Newcomer’s Club of Darien, and after joining the Noroton Yacht Club, was a recipient of the Philip Moon Award for extraordinary service.
—an obituary from the National Cremation and Burial Society of Sarasota
A woman of many talents, she became an author in 1966, when Yachting Magazine published her article, “Building A 23-Footer Family Style.” Subsequently she worked as a bookkeeper for Tortola Yacht Charters, Yacht Racing/Cruising Magazine (now Sailing World), and Sailor Magazine.
In 1988 Connecticut Governor William O’Neill appointed Carol to be Darien’s first female harbormaster, and only the second female ever in the state.
With her family she continued to live in Darien for 30 years, before moving to Sarasota, Florida in 1991. There she was at various times captain of the Venice Women’s Sailing Squadron (Bitter Ends), chairman of that organization’s Learn-to-Sail course, secretary of the Florida Women’s Sailing Association, and secretary/treasurer of the Florida Boaters Action and Information League.
She was also editor of the Venice Sailing Squadron newsletter, and creator of their yearly directory.
In 2003 Carol and Steve moved to Sunnyside Village, where she vigorously pursued volunteer work until PD overwhelmed her.
She is survived by Steve, her husband of 64 years; and two sons: Charlie (Kokyo) Henkel and his wife, Kerstin (Shoho) Kuebast of Santa Cruz, California; and Laird Henkel and his wife, Kristina Neuman, of Corralitos, California.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Aug. 12 at Sunnyside Village in Sarasota. Donations may be made to the Sunnyside Foundation, 5201 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota, FL 34232.