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NormaJean Carlson

January 19, 1947 – January 26, 2023

Wife of pastor David G. Carlson, Normajean Slater Carlson died peacefully at home Jan. 26, 2023 under the loving care of her family and Harbor Hospice. She had the heart of a mother, the spirit of an artist, and a soul formed by the God of Love. She was 76. Born Jan. 19, 1947 in Muskegon, Normajean was the third of eight children of Leroy and Jessie (DeVries) Slater. Her parents and two siblings, the Rev. Dr. David Slater, and Phyllis (Slater) Paquette passed away before her. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, David Gunnar Carlson; by their three children, Raven (Midian) Niles, of Milwaukee, WI, Jens (Jennifer) Carlson, of Portland, OR, and Stephen (Crystal) Carlson of Norton Shores. Also, by her beloved grandchildren, Tristan, Hannah and Eowyn Twitchell, Jazmyhn Carlson, Daphne Carlson and Vivien Carlson; by her siblings, Joan (Fred) Sanderlin, George (Pam) Slater, Clifford (Cheryl) Slater, Sherri (Mick) Slater-McCully, and Beth Adkins; by sister-in-law Constance Slater and brother-in-law Ron Paquette; by former son-in-law Wayne Twitchell and his husband Jeff; and by numerous extended family members, in-laws, nieces and nephews and their children.
Normajean spent most of her life in Muskegon, but had also lived in Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Saginaw, Grass Lake and New York City. She was a 1965 graduate of Muskegon High School, and a proud member of the Big Red Marching Band, A Cappella Choir and Madrigalians.

She loved being a mother and a grandmother and that calling was the prime focus of her full and rich life. It was a life filled with music, art, literature and service to others. She taught piano for many years in Norton Shores; sang with the Saginaw Choral Society, Muskegon Chamber Choir, Camerata Singers , and Community Connects; at various times volunteered with Love INC, Mission for Area People (MAP), Supper House, Temple United Methodist Church, Habitat for Humanity, and the Stephen Ministry of Central United Methodist Church. She had a passion for photography, and designed beautiful note cards from her hundreds of photos of Michigan scenes. Some she sold, but as a chronic letter writer and card sender, she much preferred to share them liberally with friends. She was a writer with a gift for narrative prose, and a lifelong seeker. She took special joy in her friends, especially her Ya-Ya Sisters, Cynthia, Marilyn, Cathy and Betty. There was no more fiercely loyal or loving sister and friend than Normajean, and no more supportive life partner. She was – and is — special.

A MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held for Normajean 11:00am, March 4, 2023 at Central United Methodist Church (1011 2nd St.) with Pastor Rob Cook and Pastor Jerry Hagens co-officiating. VISITATION with the family will be one hour prior to the service. Memorial gifts may be addressed to Family Promise of the Lakeshore, or to Temple United Methodist Church (organ fund). Arrangements by, The Walburn Chapel of Sytsema Funeral and Cremation Services, Muskegon, MI 49441.

Leave condolences at Sytsema Funeral & Cremation Services

Last Updated on April 1, 2023

The Michigan Conference