Memorial services for Carrol Riley-DeGier of Morris, MN will be Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris, with Reverend Dell Sanderson officiating. Visitation will be Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris and for one hour prior to services at the funeral home on Tuesday.
Carrol Jean Riley-DeGier, 72-years-old, died on Sunday, July 24th, at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, WI. Over the past few years, Carrol had suffered from various illnesses, but had a stroke on Friday, July 8th, leaving her with paralysis on her right side. After a few days, she developed pulmonary embolisms, which eventually took her life.
Carrol was born on July 31, 1943 in Herman, Minnesota, daughter of Francis and Virginia (Stoneberg) Crow. The middle child of three girls, her sisters – Donna and Marlene – still live with their spouses – Butch Brandt and Tom Sherwin respectively.
Known for her ease in frequent conversation with even total strangers, even as a child, she possessed a contagious smile and an entertaining sense of humor. Throughout her life she maintained a forward and truthful demeanor that won the trust and hearts of many, and challenged others. Her signature gift of joy was shown through her constant smiling, laughter, and joking around, which will never be forgotten. We wish that so much of her life had not been lost to her illness, that things could have been different for her, and for us. While we know that she is at peace and that her struggles are at an end, there is pain and sadness. But even though she is gone, she has left the legacy of her love and perseverance.
After graduating from Morris High School in 1961; Carrol married Jim Riley in September of that same year in Morris. Married for 23 years, Jim and Carrol raised their four sons: Kevin, Kirk, Kenny and Kyle, making their home in Hancock and in Morris. In 1984 Carrol and Jim divorced, and Carrol remarried the love of her life, Brad DeGier in 1990. Over the years, Carrol displayed a true entrepreneurial spirit by opening several small businesses where she could display her true creative abilities; she had a variety of interests including, but not limited to: sewing, arts and crafts, animal stewardship (many the time her family come home to Carrol bottle feeding abandoned raccoons, or saving a variety of dogs and cats), and especially gardening. One of the most important things in Carrol's life was gardening and took pride in her flowers. Gardeners are special people. It takes patience and perseverance and a love for living things to grow a garden or a beautiful flower. Gardening is tedious and hard work, but there is something that gardeners know and experience that others sometimes do not. There is a beauty and a satisfaction in seeing the result of our labor grow and come to fruition. There is a peacefulness that can come over us as we care for and nurture the flowers and plants in a garden. In nurturing living things and helping to bring beauty and peace to the world, gardeners make a difference in the world and make their lives and the lives of those who see their gardens richer and fuller. I think that for Mom, maybe working in the garden was a way to be the careful nurturing person that she didn't always appear to be in person.
Carrol was preceded in death by her parents, and her son Kyle. Her surviving family members are numerous and include her husband of 26 years, Brad, Morris, MN; her three sons: Kevin (Terri), Morris, MN, Kirk (Lisa Jost), Morris, MN, Ken (Jay Lokken) Riley, La Crosse, WI; two sisters: Donna (Butch) Brandt, Morris, MN, Marlene (Tom) Sherwin, Galesville, WI; and ten grandchildren: Karmen, Whitney, Alex, Meghan, Cole, Eric, Kami, Conner, Abby and Peyton. Finally, Carrol is survived by three great-grandchildren.
Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the funeral arrangements. An online guest book can be signed at www.pedersenfh.com.