Barbara Carlson, one of the Granite Falls community's most noteworthy women, died peacefully on Sunday in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. She was 92.
Amongst a life of public service and activism, Carlson holds the distinction of being the only woman to serve as mayor in Granite Falls.
"Barbara was a wonderful community leader," said Granite Falls Mayor Dave Smiglewski. "She set a very high standard for civic involvement and was a friend and an inspiration to many of us."
In addition to her time as mayor, Carlson also served as a member of the Granite Falls School Board and the Granite Falls City Council. She was a local leader with the League of Women Voters and served on the League's state board of directors. She was also involved with many other civic organizations and was an avid community volunteer.
Along with her civic involvement, Carlson was also involved in business. For a number of years she owned and operated The Fashion Shop, a women's clothing store in downtown Granite Falls. Later, she opened the local office of Bursch Travel and served as a travel guide, which allowed her to venture across much of the world.
Carlson was born in Sioux City, Iowa. She moved to Granite Falls during her high school years and resided in Granite Falls for the next 60 years until moving to Mesa, Arizon and then Shell Lake, Wisconsin.
Carlson was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, in 1984 and by her sister Marlys Ellingson. She is survived by her daughter Katherine (Kitty Jo) and her husband Robert Lovitt of Mesa Arizona and her son, Stephen and his wife Gloria Carlson, of Shell Lake, Wisconsin.
A small memorial celebration of her life will be held in Shell Lake on March 5. Any memorials are asked to be sent to Glenview, 201 Glenview Lane, Shell Lake, Wisconsin 54871.
A full obituary can be found inside on page 5B.