Carolyn Lenore Lusson
Madison — Carolyn Lenore Lusson, 88, passed away at home Sept. 7, 2019, after several years of living with dementia. Despite the typical mind and memory loss, she would still smile and laugh at jokes until the very end.
Carolyn, who went by her middle name Lenore her whole life, was born July 10, 1931, in the family farmhouse in Sverdrup Township, Griggs County, North Dakota. When she was 10, the family moved to nearby Cooperstown having lost the farm to drought.
After graduating from Jamestown College, Lenore taught high school English in Washburn and Fargo, North Dakota, and Miles City, Montana. Taking full advantage of summers off, she travelled across Canada, Mexico and Europe, either alone or with girlfriends. Highlights including a steamer trip from Quebec to South Hampton, England, and celebrating her 25th birthday in Rome.
Lenore came to UW-Madison in the late 1950s to earn a Masters in library science. While living in Barnard Hall she met her husband of 56 years, Frank Lusson. During their courtship, she worked for a year as a librarian at State College of Iowa (now University of Northern Iowa). Frank drove his red MG convertible from Madison to Cedar Falls to visit Lenore.
Raising two children on Madison’s North Side, Lenore volunteered at Mendota Elementary School and for several years was a substitute librarian in Madison schools. She sang in the choir at First Unitarian Society, where she and Frank were longtime members, and she volunteered in the church office.
Lenore loved good literature, theater, classical music and jazz. She and Frank enjoyed Madison Jazz Society concerts and once even humored their middle-school aged children by taking them to see the Doobie Brothers at the Dane County Coliseum.
A lifelong Democrat and supporter of liberal causes, Lenore was generous with her contributions to many groups. She tutored for the Madison Literacy Network.
Lenore enjoyed more than 50 years of Frank’s puns, some questionable, most clever. She was still laughing at his wordplay up until a week before she died.
Lenore and Frank travelled to several European countries with the church choir, and on Elder Hostel trips. In more recent years, Lenore made frequent forays with Frank to her favorite northside haunts Manna Cafe, Cafe La Bellitalia, and Benvenuto’s, forging lasting friendships with staff and customers alike.
In her final year, Lenore continued to receive loving care from Frank as well as the talented and compassionate home care staff of Right at Home. We would not have survived without them! Agrace Hospice provided timely and critical assistance in the final weeks.
Lenore was preceded in death by her parents, Henry Herigstad and Evelyn Josephson; sister, Marian (Martin) Jensen; and brother, Bert (Barbara) Herigstad. She is survived by husband, Frank; daughter, Jean; son, Joe (Aleen Tierney); grandchildren, Jasper, Alma and Ingrid; cherished double first cousins, Joann Albrecht and Phyllis Hess; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Lenore will be remembered by many for her kindness, big smile and easy laugh. She will be greatly missed.
A celebration of Lenore’s life will be held Saturday, Nov. 30, 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Olbrich Gardens, 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Lenore’s honor to the Literacy Network and Fair Wisconsin.
To view and sign this guestbook, please visit www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services
2418 N. Sherman Ave.
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