Mildred “Dolly” Carlson

May 17, 1930 - October 1, 2023
Mildred “Dolly” Carlson

Gifts & Memorial Donations

Mildred Catherine Carlson of Hendersonville, North Carolina entered her heavenly home on Sunday, October 1, 2023, after a brief stay at UNC Health Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville. Called “Dolly” by all who knew her, she was 93 years old.

Dolly was born on May 17, 1930, in Ironwood, Michigan, the daughter of Milo and Anna Sabol. By God’s grace she was clothed in Christ at her baptism, and she was confirmed in the Christian faith on May 17, 1953, at Zion Lutheran Church of Rhinelander, Wisconsin.

After graduating from Luther L. Wright High School of Ironwood, Dolly was employed over the years at Michigan Bell; AC Spark Plug; Rhinelander Paper Mill; Carlson Funeral Home of Rhinelander; and the Cliffs of Minnetonka. She considered serving the Lord as a wife, mother, and grandmother to be her highest calling in life.

Dolly embraced numerous charitable programs in Rhinelander over the years, often involved in fundraising for them. For instance, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra was dear to her heart. Even more precious were the churches in which she and her husband were active members: Zion Lutheran of Rhinelander, Wisconsin; Ascension Lutheran of Plymouth, Minnesota; Ascension Lutheran of Sarasota, Florida; and Living Savior Lutheran of Hendersonville. Encouraged by the gospel of Jesus Christ, she frequently expressed a humble gratitude for God’s saving grace, and in her later years she often stated her desire to be with Jesus and with her loved ones in heaven.

On September 13, 1952, Dolly married James R. Carlson at Zion Lutheran Church of Rhinelander. The two of them made their home in Rhinelander for 34 years; in Minnetonka, Minnesota for seven years; and in Sarasota for 27 years before moving to Hendersonville in 2020. The Lord blessed Dolly and Jim with three daughters; three sons-in-law; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Besides her Savior and her church, Dolly’s family was always her greatest joy.

Dolly was gifted with a remarkable ability to strike up a conversation with every person she met. Her genuine interest in other people’s lives, her concern for their families, and her sharp-as-a-tack memory of those conversations were quite endearing. She never grew weary of sending thoughtful handwritten cards and notes to family members, longtime friends, and even recent acquaintances.

In addition to her parents, Dolly was preceded in death by her brothers John, Joseph, George, and Emil; by her sisters Anne Stefanidies and Mary Paich; and by her daughter Anne Hoyer.

Dolly’s surviving family includes her husband Jim of Hendersonville; son-in-law, Pastor Philip Hoyer of Jacksonville, Florida; daughter Catherine (Pastor Paul) Zell of Hendersonville; and daughter Mary (Dr. Thomas) Zellmer of Sister Bay, Wisconsin. In addition, she is survived by eight grandchildren: Andrew (Jen) Hoyer; John Hoyer; Elizabeth (Nick) Konietzko; Joseph Zell; Emily (Matt) Rothe; Heidi Zell; Dr. Catherine Zellmer; and Dr. Erich (Alicia) Zellmer. Dolly was also blessed with five great-grandchildren: Ava, Andrew, Julian, Gabriel, and Mila.

A memorial service celebrating God’s gift of eternal life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at Living Savior Lutheran Church of Hendersonville, with Pastor Philip Hoyer and Pastor Paul Zell officiating. Memorials may be directed to the building fund of Living Savior Lutheran Church of Hendersonville or to the student aid fund of Ascension Lutheran Church of Sarasota, Florida.

“I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Philippians 1:23).

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  • November 17, 2023
    Anne Davis says:
    Jim and Dolly were my next door neighbors in Sarasota. Such a kind and lovely couple. Dolly came and welcomed me the first day I moved in and from that point on, I adored Dolly and spent lovely times in Dolly’s and Jim’s company. I truly loved them and miss Dolly so much. Many wishes for the family as I know she will be missed each and every day.

  • November 11, 2023
    Lynn Williams says:
    Dolly was a true joy and a blessing to those of us who met her at the Sarasota Y. She joined our exercise class and brought her great smile and sense of humor to make our workout more tolerable. We also both loved our Packers and commiserated each other after the losses. When I remember her it makes me smile.

  • October 04, 2023
    Daniei Forsman says:
    Uncle Jim, Cathy, Mary and Families, Please accept our Deepest Sympathies and heartfelt Condolences at Aunt Dolly’s passing. She was a wonderful Lady who loved her Husband, Daughters, their Husbands and Families. Aunt Dolly was always so sweet and kind to us nephews. The wonderful memories from times spent in Rhinelander during those summer vacations will always be cherished. She always shared her love with us and I remember her sharp mind, engaging conversations and love and concern for everyone she knew. There is so much more to say…. RIP Dolly! God be with you til we meet again! With Love, Dan, Trudy and Family

  • October 04, 2023
    Jacqueline M Thompson says:
    Dear Aunt Dolly you will be greatly miss by me, John, Michael and Steve. We love you. You will now be reunited with my beloved mother and your sister Anne. God be with you. Love, Jackie

  • October 04, 2023
    Anna Bartsch says:
    Dolly had a true Christian heart. May God's grace and promise of the resurrection comfort Jim and family as they treasure precious memories of Dolly. She is home with her Savior her journey of service on earth over.