LaRae Carolan, Elkader, Iowa, November 23, 2023

LaRae Jeanine Carolan, 88 formerly of Elkader, Iowa most recently of Manchester, Iowa passed away Thursday, November 23, 2023 at University Hospitals, Iowa City, following a brief illness.

LaRae was born November 4, 1935 in Waterloo, Iowa to Lawrence and Myrtle (Jensen) Kussatz. When LaRae was eight she and her family moved from Waterloo to Grimes, Iowa, eventually settling in Osage, Iowa when she was 12 years old. She graduated from Osage High School, Osage, Iowa in 1953 and went on to attend Iowa Teachers College in Cedar Falls for two years. She spent her summers waitressing for her Aunt Viola at the Airport Inn in Elkader, where she meant the love of her life David Jerome Carolan

LaRae was united in marriage to David Carolan on November 3, 1955 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Elkader.  Early in their marriage she worked alongside Dave at Theis Clothing in Elkader. As their family grew LaRae was promoted to full-time homemaker & mother, caring for their family with unconditional love. LaRae would become a Head Start teacher, eventually transitioning to the role of Income Maintenance worker with the Iowa Department of Human Services, a position she served in for over 25 years. LaRae was an active member at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Elkader. She was a long time member of St. Joe’s Ladies Guild and Crafters. LaRae loved the theater and was a patron of the arts. She was a charter member of the Opera House Players in Elkader. Some of her fondest memories were attending Broadway musicals and other productions at Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City, Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids and Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls. LaRae & her husband were also charter members of the Elkader Country Club.  In her retirement she enjoyed her social membership at the Country Club playing cards with all her “bridge club ladies”.  Any time spent with family was special to her. Whether it was trips up North to Leech Lake to relax, read and listen to her beloved loons call or hectic afternoons being a taxi driver for her grandkids to & from school & activities that filled her with a great sense of purpose, she cherished each and every moment.

LaRae is survived by her children, Stephen (Linda) Carolan of Robinsdale, Minnesota, Daniel Carolan of Farmersburg, Michael (Catherine) Carolan of Viola, Robert (Beverly) Carolan of Dubuque, Thomas (Shannon) Carolan of Tampa, Florida and Jennifer (Michael) Meyer of Manchester; grandchildren, Joshua (Catherine Vander Zee) Carolan, Stephanie Carolan, Stacy Carolan, Jason (Debbie) Ohrt, Jared (Sarah) Ohrt, Ryan Carolan, Nick Carolan, Adam Carolan, Ryan (Jennifer) Lindahl;  Noah Carolan, David Meyer and Shannon Meyer; several great-grandchildren; brother, Joseph (Kathy) Kussatz of Davenport.

LaRae was preceded in death by her husband, David; their infant daughter Denise and her parents.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 am with a Visitation from 9:00 am to 11:00 am on Saturday, December 2, 2023 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Manchester, Iowa with the Rev. Gabriel Anderson as celebrant.

Inurnment will be at 2:00 pm on December 2, 2023 at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Elkader, Iowa.

Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Elkader is assisting the family with services.


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