July 20, 1954 - January 5, 2021
July 20, 1954 to January 5th, 2021
At the age of 66, on Tuesday January 5th, 2021, beloved wife and Mother Catherine Carlson fell asleep in the Lord. She was surrounded by family, prayer, joyful stories, and songs.
Catherine (Karen Jo) was born on July 20, 1954 to Rocco and Mary Beth Nole of St. Louis. She had an active childhood and was very precocious. After graduating high school, she went on to attend college for a few years before transitioning her focus onto learning how to care for her spiritual being. Throughout her adulthood, Catherine pursued many intellectual interests and always prioritized a rich relationship with the Lord and her community. She became Orthodox in 1988, when the Holy Order of Mans was brought into the Orthodox Church through the sacrament of baptism which then became Holy Apostles under ROCOR. She also was a founding member of the Church of The Annunciation. Catherine had a quick wit and a quicker tongue, she loved to care for others and to create. These natural gifts made her an exceptionally fun and gracious hostess. She showed her love for the community by sharing these talents during the holidays- decorating and cooking for the shelter that she worked for.
Her community outreach work did not stop with the onset of her M.S. Over the years, and over many cups of tea, she honed both her listening and story-telling skills. Catherine entertained and taught at great length by sharing her experiences of love; the virtue of trial and error; and having patience with oneself in life. Catherine had great curiosity and a brave, explorative welcoming spirit. She strove to be honest with herself and others. She was generous with her love, time, and material belongings – Catherine often said she was not naturally these things, but they were the right way to be, so she owned her struggle, and by doing so has helped many people. Catherine was always willing to share a private moment or a personal experience to those she thought needed to hear it. Leading by example and being humble in who she was and how it led to the woman she became. She accepted her degenerative Multiple Sclerosis and the suffering caused by the constant decline in her abilities as a gift from God. Catherine set a beautiful example for us all. She is survived by her husband James Carlson and two daughters Bernadette and Mandy.