Carol Elaine Heilmann

Carol Elaine Heilmann, 65, of Overland Park, KS, passed away peacefully at home January 13th, 2016, holding her son’s hand. She ran circles around a severe lung disease as long as humanly possible.

She is preceded by her brother Lance Heilmann, father Charles Heilmann, and mother Maryann Heilmann.

Elaine was born in El Dorado, KS, on October 30th, 1950. Elaine grew up with parents who were pillars of the community and a handsome older brother. She studied piano at an early age, following in the footsteps of her mother, an opera singer and teacher, and her father, a concert violinist and criminology professor. Her deep passion for classical music continued her entire life; studying piano in Europe, competing in state competitions and volunteering for the Kansas City Youth Symphony.

Elaine enjoyed culture and travel. She lived in Spain and studied the language, traveled with her father throughout Europe and most recently spent time with her son in New York City.

While she had very fine taste, Elaine also truly enjoyed the simple things in her life. She was a sophisticated and classy woman. She was also stunning. Elaine valued education and was especially a stickler for proper grammar.

She volunteered for animal rescues and later for a hospice. She created lifelong bonds more powerful than she ever realized within her neighborhood, throughout her career in insurance and during her volunteer work. Her generosity with her family and friends spread wild.

The light of her life was her son, Ryan, a well rounded, educated, and accomplished individual. She hoped to be part of the reason for his success. She was the entire reason.

Elaine is survived by her son Ryan Novak (daughter in law Alexandra Novak), niece Christy Bowen (Jamie), nephew Stephen Heilmann, nephew Tim Heilmann and an abundance of friends.

She had a wonderful life.

In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation on behalf of Elaine to Operation Wildlife where she volunteered at

For any questions regarding Elaine’s life, please feel free to email her son Ryan at


  1. Pat White Mazon on January 15, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    I always enjoyed time spent with Elaine and shared several classes with her in jr. High and high school. She was very witty and admired by all who knew her. She will be remembered fondly. God bless Ryan and family with comfort. Sincerely, Pat White Mazon

  2. Marylee Butcher Guy on January 15, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    God bless! She was a class act!

  3. Shonni Penland Dixon on January 15, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    So sorry to hear this news. Elaine was a part of lives for many years and always dearly loved. Our prayers go out to Ryan and family.

  4. Carol Sapin-Chasan on January 15, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    I am so saddened to hear of Elaine’s passing. I am a retired California Casualty team manager out of the Glendale, AZ office and enjoyed spending time with Elaine during management meetings. She was always warm, friendly, caring and classy. She will be missed. RIP my friend!

  5. Amy Hamilton on January 15, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

  6. Gaye Wilcox on January 15, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    I knew Elaine through her deep friendship with my sister, Debbie. Elaine has always been a great inspiration to me, especially in the last few years. I was always in awe of her beauty and independence and her great love for her son, Ryan. She will be in my heart forever and I have always considered her as family. Peace be with you Ryan and Alexandra. She was a very special, classy lady. The world will be “less bright” without her in it. It seems I have known her my entire life and will miss her greatly. RIP dear Elaine.

  7. Jane Firestone on January 15, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    I am so very sad to hear of my cousin Elaine’s passing. She was a lovely woman, with so much talent!

    Condolences to Ryan and family.

  8. Marty Paulson Pope on January 15, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Elaine was a classmate in El Dorado. She was as beautiful as an older woman as she was in school, soft-spoken, and as Ryan said, classy. We were out of touch for many years and only connected again as part of the EHS ’68 women, who began getting together for monthly lunches. Through the lunches, we were introduced (and loved) one of Elaine’s favorite places, the Burns Café, where I understand she loved to go with her dad for their fabulous pies. Good memories of a
    sweet gal. May God grant comfort and healing to Ryan and family.

  9. Jan Osborne Koelsch on January 15, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Ryan and family,
    This world was richer because Elaine was here. May you all feel God’s presence and peace at this time and in the days to come. May her legacy continue with you all.

  10. Marri Penland Reavis on January 16, 2016 at 3:21 am

    Elaine was a beautiful and kind spirit-she will be loved and missed. I feel blessed that she touched our lives~

  11. Ann Roggenkamp on January 16, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    We all walk the path of life and on that journey we cross other paths that inspire and brighten our lives. I was blessed to cross paths with Elaine. She was my supervisor and dear friend. She touched many lives with her kindness and generosity and her smile and (hee hee) laugh was contagious. Until we meet again my dear friend, may God bless and keep you.

  12. Nola Tedesco Foulston on January 16, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Ryan this is a beautiful tribute to your mom. I will miss her. My love to you and to Alexandra…the two young people that made her heart sing with joy!!!

  13. Richard Hill on January 17, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    I am greatly saddened to hear about Elaine’s passing. She was a truly memorable person and one of the classiest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. My sincere condolences to her family.
    Sincerely, Richard Hill

  14. Michael Filardi on March 1, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Elaine was a kind, caring and compassionate woman. She was more than a supervisor, she was a friend. So very sorry for your loss

  15. Markie Stephens on February 16, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Elaine was a very special person.
    Love and hugs to those she left behind.

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