April 14, 1943 ~ July 17, 2011
Karol Rose Sikie died on July 17, 2011 in her Torrance home after a brave battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her family and passed into the realm of the ancestors in a circle of love and appreciation for the tremendous efforts she made during her life to help others. Karol Rose was born on April 14, 1943 in Glendale, California to Elsa Varga Richards, a New York model and a Ziegfeld Girl, and Elvin 'Kink' Richards, a former New York Giant who was honored in the Football Hall of Fame. Karol was their only daughter and the sister of her older brother Jonathan, whom she adored. His death from cancer was one of the greatest tragedies of her life. Karol married her high school sweetheart Michael Sikie at the age of eighteen and had three children, Lisa, Karen, and Michael. She later married Richard Tibbett, and raised her children in Torrance. Karol received her certificate in ASL from El Camino College where she met her friend and colleague Susan Iten. This skill ignited her interest in community service and she began volunteering in local battered women's shelters where she gave employment readiness workshops. However, the women in the shelter needed someone to go to court with them for restraining orders. So it was in 1992, Karol Sikie co-founded New Life Advocacy, a non-profit agency in Los Angeles, California with her colleague Susan Iten. Their mission was to advocate in the Family Court System for Victims of Domestic Violence. Karol became Executive Director and Susan assumed the role of Program Coordinator. Together this dynamic duo provided their unique Family Court Advocacy Program to more than three thousand victims of domestic violence and accumulated twenty-eight hundred hours of court time. Through New Life Advocacy's Certified Court Advocacy Program, they trained and certified more than six-hundred domestic violence service providers from every county in California to assist battered women in the family court system. Karol was a strong and dynamic woman who was proud of her Hungarian and Iowan heritage. She was devoted to her family. She enjoyed traveling to places in New York where her mother grew up after their family emigrated from Hungary to escape the Communist occupation. Karol considered herself a feminist and raised her daughters to be likewise strong, independent and proud. She was especially known for the joy she took in being a mother and she felt a special love for children and animals. This passion, combined with her fight for justice and equality for women, made her a powerful legal advocate for victims of domestic violence and their children. She will be remembered by many as instrumental in helping them escape lives of violence. She is survived by her loving husband Richard; her children, Lisa, Karen, and Michael; her sister-in-law, Shannon; her cousins, Sue and Marilyn; and all of their children who brought her so much joy. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: New Life Advocacy PMB# 5598, 21213-B Hawthorne Blvd. Torrance, CA 90503 or your local Animal Rescue.
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