Obituary Rosemary Carlson (1929 – 2022) – Tinley Park, Illinois

On May 15, 2022, Rosemarie “Mobe” Carlson (n?e Coensgen) passed peacefully from this life at her home in Tinley Park, Illinois, with her children at her side. Rosemary was born in La Salle, Illinois, on April 22, 1929, the only child of Henry John Koensingen and Sophia Paulina Kensingen (n? E. Lees). She is survived by daughter Deborah (n?e Servillo) Burke, son-in-law Jim Burke, son-in-law Dennis Basinger, son Daniel Servillo, son-in-law Tracy, son John Servillo, son-in-law Maribeth, son-in-law Sven Carlson, son-in-law Lynn, son Lars Carlson and girlfriend Kim. She is also survived by 16 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Daniel Servillo, her second husband, Robert Carlson, and her daughter Christine (n? E. Servillo) Basinger.

Moby was almost always busy, whether she was keeping her home and yard, doing needlework, tending her garden or volunteering in the community or at her church until her 80s. When she wasn’t busy otherwise, she would talk to her family and friends regularly, eventually in the form of a daily multi-screen text message to her children about last-day events or current-day plans – a model of competence. With great intelligence and a strong memory, I was able to recount recent events or childhood experiences in La Salle in one minute detail. Her stories about helping her father produce milk at 4:00 a.m., about a “secret” cousin whose lineage came to be known later in life or her walk through freshly hardened lava flows in Hawaii, were both vivid and full of her views of the world or the era.

Overall, Mobe believed in taking the world as it is and doing whatever was in front of you, work or play, to the best of your abilities. She worked as a milkmaid and farm worker, makeshift bomb collector, shipping clerk, punch press operator, real estate agent, tax preparer, and antiques dealer. When she wasn’t occupied with these responsibilities, she was sewing, gardening, singing, collecting antiques, and even wrote a novel. As a volunteer, she has served as a roommate at her children’s school, president of the Parent-Teacher Association, Girl Scout leader and Sunday school teacher. Even in her 80s, she was an active member of the Parkview Christian Church Tribute team and a group painter and installer for the visual arts team. She had an active presence in the lives of her children and grandchildren, as she traveled to many exhibitions of their artistic and sports talents and decorated their walls with their pictures.

Growing up in LaSalle as an only child, she spent much of her time in “recluse” activities (as she called them): long bike rides to Starved Rock, swimming in the city pool, or sitting in a tree reading books borrowed from the city’s Carnegie Library, which Rose loved ( She was also called a girl. She also loved to sing, and would listen to the operettas on Saturdays cleaning up, singing along with that fervor that neighbor Rose once told her she would always open the windows just to hear her. Rose learned sewing in part from her mother, Sophie, who trained to be a seamstress, as well as from weekend lessons that Rose took as a child. With this skill, Rose was able to “dress children in affordable fashion” when her children were young. As her grandmother, she sewed costumes for Lincoln Way High School, musicals, and even matching pajamas for many of her grandchildren’s Christmas for one year. Sadly, Sophie did not live to see her lessons pass on to her daughter, as she died of cancer while Rose was in high school.

After graduating from high school a year ago, Rose left La Salle for Blue Island, Illinois, in the Chicago area. There she met Daniel Servillo while they were both working at Federal Sign & Signal. Although he initially tried to fire her from her job as her boss on the machine floor, he waited instead until they were married in 1953 and moved her from the machine floor home with a new job as a housewife and mother. Together, they had four children: Deborah, Kristen, Daniel, and John. While the children were young, she stayed home, volunteered in the community, sang in the choir at Alsip Reformed Church, and lived in Markham, and later Midlothian.

She was widowed when Daniel died unexpectedly in 1976. Later that year, she met Robert “Bob” Carlson at a support group for Widows and Widows. In August, they married, and she became a stepmother to Bob’s children, Sven and Lars. Together, they built a home in New Lenox, Illinois, where she and Bob lived for decades. While Daniel introduced her to a purely home life, Bob encouraged Rosemary to try new things. At Bob’s request, Moby also joined him as a real estate agent and tax preparer, a job she did not enjoy but which enabled her to visit Hawaii for the first time on a business trip with Bob. In the following years, she also traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Germany, and Sweden, along with return trips to Hawaii.

Rose and Bob moved together to Prescott Valley, Arizona in the mid-1990s. They also toured the country in a Class C motorhome, driving or visiting many states in the West, South, and Midwest, to see family and country. In the end, they returned to Illinois to be closer to the family as Bob’s health deteriorated. He died in 2000.

In the aftermath of Bob’s death, Moby begins and completes a novel, *The Room* (under the pseudonym R. that goes back to her hometown, where she befriends a young newlywed. The house the couple lived in was the one the widow had visited as a child and she had always been fascinated with. Her magic and God’s guidance in the form of visions, discoveries, and seemingly coincidental encounters lead her and her young wife to discover the truth about the city’s early inhabitants.

Finally, it would be hard to imagine Mob without thinking of the many dogs in her life, most recently Chihuahua Tasha, who curled up on her lap watching TV or read, curled her lips and barked wildly at almost everyone else. Many other dogs preceded Tasha, but Patsy was one of the first to follow her everywhere, like Mary’s lamb. Patsy would follow her to school, wait for her outside to play at recess, and then accompany her on the ride home. Moby even wore a T-shirt talking to her about her enduring love for her canine companions with the message “Your dogs will meet you in heaven.”

Posted by Legacy Remembers on May 24, 2022.

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