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Celebration of Life

Depot Park
Saturday May 14th, 2022

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Carol Blackmon Carlson

Carol Blackmon Carlson, 76, of Sanford, NC, passed away December 31, 2021 at Carolina Central Hospital. Carol was generous, loving, compassionate, and wide open to life’s experiences. She loved her family and friends unconditionally. Her passions included music, dancing, politics, her church community, and unrelenting service to the people and causes she believed in. The lives she touched and impact she had along the way are immeasurable.

Carol was born in Durham, the second of five children to the late William Earl Blackmon of Four Oaks and Louise Swain Blackmon of New Bern. In 1972 she moved to Anchorage Alaska for “a one-year adventure” with her brother, Bill. Once there, she met and married Richard Carlson. They stayed in Alaska 26 years where they raised their two children, Brian, and Cortney.

In 1999, they moved to Sanford to escape the harsh winters and be closer to family. Once in Lee County, Carol hit the ground running looking for opportunities to enrich the lives of others in her new community. She served on the boards of Downtown Sanford, Inc., and Haven, a nonprofit providing shelter, advocacy, and other support services for women, men, and children leaving abusive situations. She was a past president of the Sanford Professional Women’s Organization and was the founder and original Executive Director of Willing Hands, whose mission is to build community and raise funds for agencies who work with at-risk families in Lee County. Special events and projects she created to support that mission include No Scare Fair, Holiday Socks, and the all-volunteer weaving studio Common Thread. The Sanford Herald selected Carol Carlson as 2004 Citizen of the Year and in 2016 she was named Woman of the Year by the Lee County Community Foundation for her continued positive impact on Lee County,

Carol is survived by her husband of 47 years, Richard Carlson of Sanford; son, Brian Carlson, daughter-in-law Jen, and grandchildren Matthew, Juliet and Cameron, of Minnesota; sisters Anne Gillenwater (Steve) of Florida; Tricia Anderson (Ross) of Alaska; brother Dick Blackmon (Trish) of Hillsborough, NC; and an adoring multitude of nieces, nephews, and cousins throughout the country. She was pre-deceased by her daughter, Cortney Michelle Carlson and brother, William E. Blackmon, Jr.

A celebration of Carol’s life is planned for May 14th in Depot Park, Sanford, NC.

In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation in her honor to Trinity Lutheran Church, 525 Carthage St, Sanford, NC 27330; Common Thread, 234 Carthage St #4205, Sanford, NC 27330; or Haven in Lee Co, PO Box 3191, Sanford, NC 27331.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carol Carlson, please visit our flower store.


Richard, Tom and I will always remember Carol's loving energy for life. Our thoughts and hearts go out to you in this time of profound loss. Gods peace to you and yours. Holly and Tom Barber

holly barber May 14 2022 3:18 PM

What a force of nature Carol was. Imagine she's organizing talents
in Heaven with all the singers, dancers and actors.
She gave our family such time and energy to promote our son, Joshua
Howard's, acting and singing talents. She promoted him whole heartedly
by arranging for us to go to Hollywood for the in between season's auditions.
It was a whirlwind experience we'll remember forever.
I am forever grateful for her recognizing Joshua's gifts and helping us.
'Til we see you again, dearest Carol, rest in peace.
Ginny Jacober

Virginia (Ginny) Jacober Feb 14 2022 1:59 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Carol Carlson

Virginia (Ginny) Jacober, Anchorage, Alaska Feb 14 2022 1:53 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Carol Carlson

Ed Mjolsnes Jan 9 2022 5:16 PM

Richard and family, our love and prayers to you all at this most difficult time. Carol was so special to us and so many more. Praying for God's comfort and peace. Love you all💕

Aunt Gladys Blackmon, Floyd & Sharon B. Strickland Jan 7 2022 1:33 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Carol Carlson

Richard, so sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers are with you and all your family. Len Tippett Jan 7 2022 1:26 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Carol Carlson

Mike and Misty Benson Jan 6 2022 6:01 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Carol Carlson

Scott and Elaine Erickson Jan 6 2022 2:10 AM

The Graham Clan has been richly blessed by sharing life, love, and ministry with Carol and Dick in Alaska. Our kids and kid lets all benefitted from Carol's irrepressible creativity and acceptance model. We cherish the memories. Dahna and Larry Graham

Larry and Dahna Graham Jan 5 2022 5:46 PM

Carol was a true gem and one of the most selfless people I've had the pleasure of knowing. We named her Citizen of the Year when I was at The Herald because she did so much for so many for so long - and never for recognition, but rather for the love of serving others. She and Richard brightened Sanford and Lee County and in so many ways made this a better place to live.

One of my greatest pleasures was to hear a knock at my door and see Carol walk into my office at The Herald, or for me to pop in at Richard's office and sit and just talk to Carol about things - her latest project, our families, local politics, whatever. Her support and encouragement to me over many years meant the world to me. There was no one like Carol. Her loss will be felt deeply.

Bill Horner III Jan 5 2022 9:36 AM

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