Cover photo for Carolyn Kolstoe's Obituary
Carolyn Kolstoe Profile Photo
Carolyn

Carolyn Kolstoe

d. April 18, 2021

Carolyn Ruth Cockle Kolstoe was born in Hope, ND, April 16, 1927 to Harvey and Ethel (McCullough) Cockle. Carolyn attended Hope Public School and graduated in 1945. She attended Valley City State Teachers College and received the Standard Diploma in 1947. It was there that she met Ralph Hertsgaard Kolstoe, and they were married in the Congregational Church in Hope, ND in 1947 to begin a 73 year marriage. Four children were born while the family moved around the country before settling in Grand Forks, ND. David in ND, Mark in Pullman, Wash., John in Washington, D.C., and Paul in ND. While back in Grand Forks, where Ralph was a professor at UND, Carolyn received her B.S. Ed and M.S. Ed. She started teaching in the primary grades in GF and spent time at Washington, Ben Franklin, Kelly and Lake Agassiz Schools. She and Ralph also spent a year teaching at White Earth, MN Indian School. Three of the years in GF were Carolyn helped introduce the Learning Disability program in the primary schools. Carolyn and the boys spent 3 six-week session in North Carolina, Florida, and California with Ralph while he was attending National Science Seminars. While traveling around the country, the family took to camping and visited all 50 states, and most of the National Parks. Also, the 1974-5 year was spent in Bergen, Norway, while Ralph was a visiting professor on sabbatical from UND. After the children were grown, Ralph and Carolyn spent every other year traveling to Europe and enjoyed 13 cruises, which included South America, New Zealand and Australia, Hawaii, Panama Canal, and Alaska. A Grace Lake home was built by the family in 1962 and summers were spent there when not traveling. Retirement also meant a condo on Marco Island, Florida for winter retreats. When Ralph was moved to Eldercare, Carolyn resided at Parkwood in Grand Forks. Carolyn is survived by her sons David (Sheila) of Lingfield, England; John (Gail) of Bemidji, MN/Okemos, MI; and Paul of Grand Forks, ND; eight grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, and several cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Robert and Richard, son Mark, grandson Matthew, and daughter-in-law Kari (Paul). In addition to being a wife, mother, teacher and traveler, she enjoyed her organizations: Philomathian, Pi Lamda Theta, Alpha Delta Kappa, AAUW, UND Faculty Wives Round Table, church choirs, the Federated church (chair of the Lenten Soup Suppers), playing bridge, knitting, reading and all kinds of puzzles. Whether at home (Grand Forks, Grace Lake or Marco Island) or at school (for 25 years) - and not least in organizing the "boys" including husband Ralph - Carolyn was a wonderful and relaxed social organizer of people and events. She will always be well remembered for her remarkable cooking: from Sunday dinners to her "honey buns", lefse, krumkake, chocolate popcorn balls, fudge, brownies and much, much more. Many happy recollections, and certainly many recipes, will keep her fondly in the hearts and minds of all who knew her. Memorials would further Carolyn and Ralph’s history of generous giving to the UND Foundation Ralph Kolstoe Colloquium Endowment Fund (https://undalumni.org/kolstoe) or the Grace Lake Charitable Spendable Account managed by the Northwest Minnesota Foundation (https://secure.qgiv.com/for/nwmfoundation/restriction/GraceLakeCharitableFund). An memorial and interment service will be held in August at Grace Lake, MN. Details will be announced later.
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