Carolyn was born on April 1, 1937, at St Paul’s Bethesda Hospital; to Myrtle and Harold Durand. Her largely happy childhood began in the Durand’s home at 137 East University Ave, and expanded while attending The Franklin School, The Capitol Community Center and the Faith Lutheran Church. Those happy times brought forth a joyful girl with a beautiful infectious smile. In 1947 the Durands moved to the Hamline-Midway neighborhood. There, Carolyn attended Galtier School and Wilson High School, graduating in 1954. Carolyn was awarded a Hamm Scholarship, and used it to attend St. Olaf College for two years; then, gleefully transferred to the University of Minnesota. Not willing to be rushed; Carolyn graduated in June 1992.
Carolyn and I were married by Reverend Charles L. Grant at Faith Lutheran Church on April 29, 1961. We continued to live in St. Paul during our childrens’ (Ron Jr. and Sarah Jane) early childhood. Our children and I realized “early on” they “couldn’t have had a better Mom.” We moved to our pea patch size farm in Isanti county in 1970. For the next few years Carolyn was able to be a stay-at-home Mom, gardener, canner and bird watcher, until necessity pulled her back into the work place.
Carolyn was a pioneering woman in the fields of public administration and financial advisory to local governments. Serving as the first (defacto) Isanti County Administrator from 1979 - 1981. Carolyn was likely the first woman to have this position in Minnesota.
Carolyn’s career in public finance began in the 1950s while still a student at the U of MN. Bob Ehlers first hired Carolyn as a part-time temporary typist at Ehlers-Mann and Associates. She quickly discovered that she was the one and only associate. The firm grew, became “A Leader in Public Finance”, and Carolyn was elected Chairman of the Board. Carolyn was most pleased in this endeavor with her role in helping create or enhance public school facilities in Minnesota.
Dementia relentlessly chipped away at Carolyn; save her beautiful smile that held until the last few days of her life. Carolyn died on Nov. 23, 2021, at GracePointe Crossing of Cambridge. Following a graveside eulogy Carolyn was buried in Riverview Cemetery at St. Paul. -Amen-
Carolyn was preceded in death by parents Myrtle and Harold Durand, brother William (Bill) Durand and mother and father-in-law Sophie and Edmund Drude.
Carolyn is survived by Ron Sr., Ron Jr., and Sarah Jane, grandsons Timothy and Levi Drude, sister and brother-in-law Patti and Dennis Gerwing, sister-in-law Carol Durand, childhood friend Ruth (Schelberg) Skolos and an assortment of nieces and nephews.
If the spirit moves you, Memorials to: the Alzheimer’s Association or The Southern Poverty Law Center would be appropriate and greatly appreciated.
Arrangements by Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge. www.carlsonlillemoen.com