Cover photo for Carolyn Jean Ahlquist's Obituary
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1931 Carolyn 2024

Carolyn Jean Ahlquist

April 7, 1931 — July 2, 2024


Carolyn Jean Jarvinen Ahlquist, 93 yrs, passed peacefully July 2, 2024 in her home surrounded by her loving husband, Paul, and four children.

Carolyn was born April 7, 1931 in Eveleth, MN to Arnold and Sadie Jarvinen. She was raised in Virginia, MN graduating from Roosevelt High School and attending Vermillion Community College. At the University of Minnesota Minneapolis, she completed her bachelor’s degree as a speech pathologist, a career she loved, working with school-aged children.

In 1955, Carolyn was united in marriage to Paul Ahlquist and they enjoyed 68 years of love and devotion. Carolyn’s love extended to their four children: Dave (Michelle) Ahlquist of Garfield, MN; Kris Ahlquist of Alexandria; Dan (Gayle) Ahlquist of Bemidji, MN; and, Sue (Kirk) Ivankovich of Columbus, MT who remember their mom as a loving soul with tremendous SISU. SISU is a Finnish word with an almost magical quality, a combination of stamina, perseverance, courage and determination held in reserve for hard times.

Following several years staying home to raise their children, Carolyn returned to work. First, as Alexandria City Hostess then as Executive Director of the Alexandria Senior Center. She retired after serving as the Director of Volunteer Services at Bethany Home. Her life was always about helping others. 

Carolyn’s service to others extended to numerous roles in the church and community. From teaching Sunday School and VBS to leading Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Circle, Bible studies and participating in the GIFT group. She shared her genuine smile, laughter and love with these groups as well as her dear birthday group and bridge group. Among her passions were reading, learning and seeing the best in people!

Preceding Carolyn in death were her parents, Arnold and Sadie. Her spirit is carried forward by her beloved husband and children, as well as grandchildren: Kendra (Ben) Zietz of Moorhead, MN; Jim (Kaytlin) Ahlquist of Alexandria, MN; Lauren (Coltt) Nelson of Biglerville, PA; Rachel (Luke) Fratzke of Plainview, MN; Ellen (Tracy) Sonnier of Rochester, MN; Stefan Thomes (Claire Patnaude) of Crystal, MN; Joe (Lauren Haugen) Ahlquist of Rochester, MN; Dr. Luke Ahlquist of Columbus, OH; 2LT Robert Ivankovich U.S. Army; Matt Ivankovich of Columbus, MT; and, 11 great grandchildren. 

The service to celebrate Carolyn’s life will be held at Calvary Lutheran Church, Alexandria on Friday July 12 at 11:00 with visitation at 10:00. A private family burial will be held at Kinkead Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred.  

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Friday, July 12, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Friday, July 12, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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