Blood is, that is.
One of my favorite aunts passed away this year; Mom’s younger sister Carollee died unexpectedly in her apartment in Henderson, NV, at age 75. She and her seven kids had all left Sioux Falls for greener pastures at the far corners of the US, but Carollee’s second husband died shortly after their marriage, and she had a gravesite waiting for her next to his. All of the kids were able to come back home for the funeral; some for the first time in 30 years. It’s a bitter-sweet thing, being able to catch up with cousins that I practically grew up with, but haven’t seen for so long. We need to get together more often, but for better reasons.
Carolee’s kids were always my favorite cousins; three of the five boys and one of the girls were all within a few years of my own age, and we spent a fair amount of time together, usually at their house. Their house because things were always a lot more fun there. It was within an easy bike ride of our own, so I made the trip probably far too often, probably making a bit of a pest of myself.
Truth be told, I secretly wanted to be part of their family instead of my own. Things between Mom & Dad were far from rosy in the late ’60’s & ’70’s, and Carolee’s household provided a nice respite from the conflicts at home. Plus they always had a nice house (I remember one house that had a secret sub-basement bomb shelter; how cool was that!) and nice cars and nice things and played golf. Her first husband, and my cousins’ dad, did well financially and provided well for the family. Of course my perspective of that family was pretty limited, so I was unaware of the deep-seated conflicts that eventually caused Carolee and Paul to divorce. The news of their divorce came as a real shock to me; the possibility that relationship problems like Mom & Dad had could happen in such a great household had never occurred to me.
We all somehow got through the wake, prayer service, funeral and luncheon. It was a sad time, but the reunion atmosphere made the grief easier to bear. Not only Carolee’s kids, but uncles and aunts and other cousins from far away. The night before the funeral we had a huge family get-together with probably 80 people in attendance, and it was an amazing time. While catching up on life stories, it was interesting to see how many things we still share in common in spite of our living in different parts of the country. Funny that the aging process is hitting many of us in similar manners, making our common ancestry even more obvious than when we were younger.
But the thing that kept hitting me was how great it was to get together, and why events like this so rarely happen in happier times.
Carolee Green Buehler of Sioux Falls, SD
Published: August 11, 2010
Sioux Falls – Carolee Green (Rooney) Buehler, Henderson, NV
Carolee Green Buehler passed away suddenly on August 5th, 2010. She was 75. Carolee was born to George and Floris Green in Sioux Falls on January 20th, 1935. She graduated Cathedral High School and Augustana College in Sioux Falls. Carolee married Paul Rooney Sr (Dec. 1989) in 1958, together they had seven children. In 1978 she married Dick Buehler (Dec. 1980) and they shared time together until his death in 1980.
Carolee began work with Dayton Hudson in a professional capacity. She worked there for 25 years. Carolee moved around the Midwest during her time with Dayton Hudson and upon her retirement settled in Henderson, Nevada. She enjoyed reading, gardening, baking, golfing, sewing and traveling. She loved to travel to see friends and family. Carolee will be remembered for her wonderful sense of humor, her strong sense of faith and her kind and loving heart. She was a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. Her love of life was evident to all. She had an amazing gift of making everyone she knew feel special.
Survivors include her sons; Paul (Kim) Rooney Jr. of Kings Mills, OH, Tim (Leza) Rooney of Livermore, CO, Steve Rooney of Portland, OR, Mike (Claire) Rooney of Medford, OR, Pat Rooney of Honolulu, HI; daughters, Sheila (Joe) Prusa of Seattle, WA, and Margaret (Craig) Johnson of Renton, WA; eight grandchildren, Paul, Parker, Tim, Seth, Sam, Olivia, Sophia and Sarah; brothers, George “Bud” (Darlene) Green, of Bloomington, MN and Dan (Marcia) Green, of Camano Island, WA and sister, Clare Dargen of Torrance, CA; as well as many nieces and nephews and countless friends.
Visitation will begin at 8 am with the family present from 5 to 7 pm and a wake service followed by a rosary at 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 12th at Miller Funeral Home, 13th & Main. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 am on Friday, August 13th at St. Michael Parish in Sioux Falls with burial at St. Michael Cemetery.
For obituary and online registry, please visit www.millerfh.com.