Vera Rita Carlson 88


It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, and Friend—Vera Rita Carlson at 88 years old. She passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 7, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of love, wisdom, and cherished memories.

Vera was born September 6, 1935 in Arpan, South Dakota. She was the daughter of Amada and Emilio Gonzales. Vera grew up in Arpan and later went to school in Belle Fourche. She met her husband Wayne Carlson as a teenager and got married in 1956. Together they were blessed with 45 years of marriage before Wayne passed at the age of 64 in 2001. They had two children Mary Rose Carlson and Bobby Joseph Carlson. Vera loved caring for others—she worked as a nursing assistant for Dr. Melvin Marousek at his clinic and loved the memories working there. Later in life, she worked at Rolling Hills Healthcare for many years up until she was 83 years old.

Vera will be remembered for her sweet and loving personality, her stories, and for being very strong. Vera lived through a lot in her life and will be missed by her friends and family.

Vera was a devoted matriarch. She is survived by her son Bobby Carlson; Grandchildren, Cameron (Lauren) Carlson, and Trinity Carlson; Great-Grandchildren, Carter and Cade Carlson; and Sisters, Mary (Tony) Vasquez, Jessie (Harry) Heidrich, Lupe (Stanley) Speers and Larry (Renita) Gonzales; as well as many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her daughter, Mary Rose Carlson; her husband, Wayne Carlson; and siblings, Evelyn Shumaker, Emil (Pat) Gonzales, Frances (Lyman) Lehto, and Billy Gonzales.

A Rosary was held Thursday, March 14 at St. Paul Catholic Church in Belle Fourche. Mass of Christian Burial will followed at 10:00 am at the church. Inurnment was at Pine Slope Cemetery in Belle Fourche.

The funeral was livestreamed and can be viewed on Vera’s obituary page at

An online guest book and video tribute is available at