Barbara Buschman Carlson, 87, of Southern Pines, passed away peacefully Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in the Caritas Center at St. Joseph of the Pines, following a lengthy struggle with dementia.
Barbara was born July 8, 1932, in Detroit, to the late William and Eleanor Buschman, their only child. After living in Maine for several years, the family moved to Buffalo, N.Y., where Barbara graduated from Amherst High, maintaining life-long friendships from both places. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a BBA degree, having told her parents not to worry about grades because she was going to be very active — and she was. One of Barb's unique traits was to maintain relationships throughout her life, and this chapter at U of M included many from Gamma Phi Beta sorority, the Women's Judiciary Council, and countless dances and similar active events. After brief stints in Cleveland and Buffalo, a childhood friend convinced her to try Chicago. There, on her first day of work, flowers on her desk from her prior boss caught the eye of Rudy Carlson, then starting his advertising career in the mailroom. They married in Buffalo on Nov. 3, 1956, his parent’s 33rd anniversary, and settled in the Chicago area. Two sons arrived and after several moves, the family landed in East Grand Rapids, Mich., where both boys graduated from high school. Among many other activities, Barbara was very proud to be the first female moderator at Mayflower Congregational Church in Grand Rapids. Barbara continued to foster new relationships in every place she lived. Golf started in her teens; continued in Illinois and Texas (where she got Rudy and the boys started); led to many friendships at Mount Mitchell, and lasted into her 80s with the Ninettes at Whispering Pines. Sailing in Lake Michigan with Rudy was an early love; then tennis as the boys grew up, and riding bikes with the Bike Group in Grand Rapids. Barbara joined P.E.O. in the 1970s and enjoyed renewing her connection with the group in Southern Pines, as well as becoming a mahjong player.
Rudy and Barbara enjoyed travel throughout their marriage, such as cruising through Yugoslavia in the early 1960’s in a convertible, and more recent trips that included a voyage around the South American coast.
Barbara is survived by Rudy Carlson, her husband of 63 years; sons, Chris, of Silver Spring, Md., and Peter (Connie), of Charlotte. Tyler and Elliot (Chris’ sons) and Elizabeth and Catherine (Peter's daughters) visited with their Oma over the holidays. The family is very thankful for the loving care Barbara received at both The Coventry and The Caritas Center these last four years and appreciative of the entire staff at Belle Meade.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Belle Meade Employee Scholarship Fund, 100 Waters Drive, Southern Pines, NC 28387, or a charity of your choice.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 29, at Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church, with a reception immediately after at the Belle Meade Clubhouse. Services have been entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.
Online condolences may be left at www.bolesfuneralhome.com
Services entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.