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Saturday, April 13, 2024 at 12:47 AM




We are celebrating the life of our beloved family member, Carolyn Carlson, who passed in her sleep on January 10, 2024. Born on October 27, 1936, to Herman F. Kraemer and Sadie B. (Goshorn) Kraemer in Wayne, Nebraska, Carolyn grew up alongside her three older brothers, Bill, Gene and Fritz. Strong family bonds and education shaped her life. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church, a rural church near Concord, Nebraska. In 1954, she graduated from Concord High School. At Concord High School she found her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, Verl Carlson. On August 7, 1955, Carolyn and Verl married at St. Paul Lutheran Church and devoted themselves to a life together for 68 years.

Her journey continued to unfold with a commitment to education by attending Wayne State College. As the one room rural grade schoolteacher, she instilled the love of learning to her students. In 1957 a significant chapter in Carolyn’s life was defined by her role as a devoted farm wife and mother. It was on the farm that she, along with her husband, built a life centered around Grade A dairy, feeding lots of baby calves, end to- end farrow to finish hog operations, and tilling the soil for corn and soybeans – a life full of hard work, and love. Carolyn and Verl welcomed three wonderful children into their lives: Tammy, Jeff, and Dirk. As a mother, Carolyn was the epitome of warmth, strength, and unwavering support. Her legacy lives on through the values she instilled in her children and the love that continues to bind the Carlson family together.

After retiring from the demands of farm life, Carolyn and Verl embraced a new adventure – traveling in a fifth wheel RV trailer. The open road became a canvas for the couple to paint memories, exploring new places and enjoying the freedom retirement afforded them. They worked in RV parks in Estes Park, Custer, South Dakota, Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, and Tuckerton, New Jersey. They traveled across America from the Maine coastline to the California shore with side trips to Hawaii, Alaska and Europe.

In 1996, Johnstown became their new home. With Carolyn’s warmth and caring for friends, she established a breakfast coffee group and led a Red Hat Society group. There was always cake and cards to celebrate a birthday or anniversary for both family and friends. As a home chef and host, there were lavish abundant feasts for her family holidays and fun parties for her friends. If there was free time, she created gorgeous needlework and quilts. There was always a good book to read.

She was blessed with three grandsons, Sam, Luke and Seth. From early years of playtime to years of athletic events she watched with pride as her grandsons grew With two Nebraska Pioneer Farm Family awards she extends the legacy of over 100 years of farming on the Carlson and Kraemer family acreages.

Carolyn’s favorite spot was the family cabin at Grand Lake, Colorado, and Rocky Mountain National Park. She dearly loved the many moose visitors and dinners in the Aspen dining room, which is the towering surround of aspens in the meadow area of the Grand Lake cabin.

Carolyn Carlson will be remembered not only for her dedication to family and the community but also for the joy she found in each chapter of her life. Her spirit of adventure, kindness, and enduring love will remain etched in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to share in her journey.

As we say our goodbyes, let us celebrate the remarkable life of Carolyn Carlson and the enduring impact she made on each family member and friend.

We suggest memorials in her name to those places that Carolyn loved and deeply influenced her life: Rocky Mountain Conservancy in Estes Park, or St. Paul Lutheran Church in Concord, Nebraska.

The Celebration of Life for Carolyn Carlson will be held at 2:30 p.m. January 26 at Zion Lutheran Church in Loveland. After the service there will be a reception in the fellowship hall.

I’M FREE Don’t grieve for me for now I’m free; I’m following the path God laid for me I took his hand when I heard Him call; I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day; To laugh, to love, to work or play Tasks left undone must stay that way; I’ve found that peace at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void; Then fill it with remembered joy A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, Ah yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow; I wish for you the sunshine of tomorrow My life’s been full, I’ve savored much; Good friends, good times, my loved one’s touch.

If my time seemed all too brief; Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief Lift up your heart, and share with me; God wanted me now; He set me free!