Obituary for Shirley Carlson (Faler)
27 November, 1924 –12 January 2018, age 93. Physiotherapist, church organist, gracious hostess, friend, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother.
Shirley died in Rideaucrest Home, Kingston after several months of gentle decline. Born in Mankato, Minnesota, she was the daughter of a papermaker, Parker Faler, and his wife Hilda (Knoff) Faler. She was raised in Iroquois Falls, Ontario before graduating from U of T as a physiotherapist in 1945. Shirley was predeceased by her husband, Colonel C.V. (Chuck) Carlson. She is survived by son John and his wife Alice (Daverne), and son David and his wife Sarah James; grandchildren and their families include Dan and wife Katie (Bellefontaine) with children Brenna and Ronan; Andrew and wife Alex (Belton Brown) with children Wesley and Cedric; Mark and partner Kirsten Newman, Heather and Chloe.
Shirley began playing the organ at the Iroquois Falls United Church at age 12 and shared her gift of music for the next 80 years, singing, directing choirs and playing the organ. Wherever "The Army" posted her and Chuck, she became the church organist. Even in retirement, she served as organist for many years at Elgin United Church, and most recently at the Royale Place in Kingston. Both Chuck and Shirley were young officers when they married in 1947—she outranked him at the time, and Chuck for the next 63 years delighted in observing that the ranking had never changed. Together they served Canada in 4 countries and travelled to 45 others, with Shirley working as a physio, or mother, or Senior Officer's Wife. And always there was the music.
"Music was the soundtrack of her life" (paraphrasing Dick Clark).
Thanks to the professional and caring Rideaucrest staff for making her last few months more comfortable; and thanks to her friends and staff at the Royale for their friendship, particularly in the years since Dad died.
In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made to the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation or a charity of your choice.