October 20, 1942 – September 10, 2020

 

The world and all of central Minnesota lost a wonderful woman when Barbara Jo Carlson succumbed to cancer on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at her home surrounded by her loving family.

A family memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 11:00 AM. While the memorial service will be attended by family only, they have chosen to share the service via livestream. To view the service please go to www.bensonfuneralhome.com within 30 minutes of service time and click the indicated link. Burial will be in the North Star Cemetery, St. Cloud, MN.

Barbara Jo Amosson was born the daughter of Orville and Ann (Olson) Amosson in Ottumwa, IA. Throughout her life Barb was a true and stalwart friend to many. She and Jerry moved to St. Cloud in 1968. She began her teaching career at Apollo H.S. in 1974 where she was an English teacher as well as a speech and debate coach. In 1980, she took on the role of Title IX Coordinator for district #742 ensuring equal access for girls in sports and other extra-curricular activities. In 1982 Barb took a position at the College of St. Benedict as Alumnae Director, she later became the Director of Development and eventually the VP of Institutional Advancement. In 2000 Barb joined the Central MN Community Foundation as development officer. There she started the Women’s Fund, including Women on Stage, which works to develop a pool of financial resources that provides scholarships and other opportunities to women and girls in Central Minnesota. She was also an advocate and supporter for Anna Marie’s Alliance and Great Theater. Barb served on the boards of Great Theatre and Stearns History Museum. Barb was also instrumental in developing the community foundations in Willmar, Brainerd, Alexandria and Carver County. Barb was the 2004 recipient of the Athena Award for commitment to improving the lives of women and girls. She especially loved and cherished her time with her grandchildren, Emily and Andrew, and her days with family and friends at their cabin in Shingwauk Village near Aitkin. Barb also was an avid reader, a great cook, a quilter, and a rabid sports fan; she particularly loved the Lynx and the Vikings. She also loved to travel with family and friends.

Barb will be deeply missed by her family: spouse, partner and lover, Jerry Carlson; daughters, Christine (Jeff Pounds) Carlson Pounds and Kelly (Adam Ploof) Carlson; grandchildren, Emily and Andrew Pounds; sister, Janice (Mike) Brenny; and, Laure Fuerstenberg.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her son Andrew (2001).

In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to the Central Minnesota Community Foundation’s Amosson Carlson Fund to be distributed to the nonprofits Barb cared for so deeply, such as: Anna Marie’s Alliance, Great Theatre and the Central Minnesota Women’s Fund.

“Giving of anything – of your time, of your talent, of your passion, of your energy, of your resources – is what makes living worthwhile.” -- Barb