In Memory of Caroly M. Dawson

December 3, 1936 - February 1, 2024

Caroly M. Dawson, 87, of Barron, was called home by Heavenly Father early Thursday morning, February 1, 2024 after a lengthy battle with dementia. Caroly rejoined Dean, her husband of more than 66 years, for hand-in-hand walks they always enjoyed.

Fifth child of Florence (Gade) and Ervin Gerland, Caroly was born on December 3, 1936 in Rice Lake, where she graduated high school, worked for Schultz Bros Dime Store, and lived until her marriage to Dean in July 1954. The couple moved into an apartment above M.L. Anderson and Sons in Barron and began their life together After the birth of Brian, Caroly became a devoted mother, welcoming John, David and Mark to the family over the next eight years. Shortly after her first baby, the couple moved to their longtime home on Woodland Ave. where she gardened, cultivated and sold raspberries, took up sewing, and set to raising her four boys.

Always a wonderful cook, Caroly added baking, and canning to make her home smell heavenly. At Christmas, her favorite time of the year, she baked dozens of different cookies giving hundreds away to family and friends. Caroly also baked bread, coffee cake, more cookies made pies, and was renowned for her cake doughnuts, often making 'a dozen-dozen' to support the vote counters during local elections. As the boys grew, she included laughter, creativity and exploration in everything she inspired, including both cooking and play. As the boys began to explore the large property, she used a police whistle, hung by the back door, to call everyone to the house for supper.

In the early '70's, Caroly came back into the workforce, cashiering for Hover Brothers IGA in Cameron. Shortly thereafter, she took employment with Edson's Department Store in Barron where she sold menswear, shoes, and performed alterations on clothing the store sold until their shutting in the 1980's. By then, her love of traveling had been renewed, riding along with Dean as he drove truck and visiting her boys as they moved to Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota, Maine, California, southern Wisconsin or wherever they made their homes.

In her quiet time, she might be found camping, canoeing or traveling with lifelong friends Jerry and Charlotte, fishing with Dean, or going to morning coffee with the girls at Kate's Bar and Grill. Together with Dean, they enjoyed gardening, managing yard work, relaxing at the family cottage, and playing cards with sisters and brothers-in-law.

Raised in Christ, and throughout her life, Caroly maintained her walk with God. Shortly after their move to Barron, she and Dean joined Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church. By the mid-1960's she was called as secretary, and faithfully served the church community and three pastors over nearly two decades The family could be spotted each Sunday, near the left side in the front of the church, where God could 'keep an eye' on the boys. Caroly remained a parishioner there until her passing.

Caroly is survived by her sons, Brian (Cathy) and their daughters, Hannah and Elora; John (Sue) and their children, Jesse, Joshua (Shannon) and Christine; Mark (Joan) and their children, Matthew and Julia; and daughter-in-law, Jane, and her boys, Nick and Ben; brother, Donald Gerland.

She was preceded in death by her parents; son, Dave who left to prepare the way in October, 2017 and husband, Dean joined him in November, 2020; as well as her sisters, Phyllis Anderson, Linda Kolzow, Lorraine Barta and infant sister, Shirley.

The Memorial Service for Caroly Dawson has been postponed until Summer 2024 when family, friends and extended relatives can gather for her Celebration of Life. Watch for further announcements.

The Dawson family has asked for those wishing to memorialize Caroly, to please consider offering donations to Judy's Cottage c/o Golden Age Manor, 220 Scholl Ct., Amery WI, 54001-1440, phone (715) 268-7107. Do not send flowers as they cannot be accepted.

Arrangements are being handled by Rausch and Steel Funeral Home in Barron.

Last Update: Feb 05, 2024 9:38 am CST

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