Carol Lee Carrick had a framed picture of Jesus hanging on his closet door by the foot of his bed
at the Todd County Care Center, the place he called home for the last few years of his life. (He
was known as the best dressed man in the building.)
Recently he stated, “Jesus was sitting at the end of my bed the other night.” Did he mean the
frame had fallen? No. He meant the actual Jesus. When asked what Jesus said to him, Carol
replied, “Nothing. And I didn’t say anything to him!” (We interpreted this as Carol playing
possum as he was not ready to go quite yet.)
Carol loved life so much that he beat the odds time after time over the years. But after one stroke
too many, he surrendered and did go to walk with Jesus on Thursday, April 21, 2022, just three
months short of his 93rd birthday.
Born in Clarissa, Minnesota, on July 24, 1929, to Richard and Nelly Carrick, Carol was the
youngest of Eleven children. The story is that his mother was sure she’d have girl and had the name
decided, so he was named Carol Lee with no traditional male spelling. This did cause some
confusion over the years in waiting rooms as his name was called.
But Carol was an all-American male. He enjoyed baseball, playing when he was younger and
faithfully watching the Twins whether they disappointed or not. He served his country, spending
time in Korea during his years in the Army. He served his community as a volunteer firefighter.
He took pleasure in fishing, hunting, tinkering in his garage and occasionally working on an
invention such as the “Carrick toilet lift” for which he sought a patent.
His signature look was decidedly Western with pearl-snap button-down shirts, jeans, western
boots and even a cowboy hat if he was crying an auction. (But he did love his baseball hats.) He
was a voracious reader of anything and everything Western whether it was Louis l’Amour novels
or Western magazines describing the actual stories of Jesse James and the like. The TV channel
was usually tuned to Gunsmoke.
Carol was passionate about classic country music, favoring artists like Hank Williams Sr, George
Jones, Merle Haggard, Ernest Tubbs, Bill Monroe, Stonewall Jackson.
And he was musical himself. He was a good dancer. And he played guitar, banjo and harmonica
and sang. He often jammed with his stepdaughter Jul who harmonized and played piano while
his friend Cal Pooler played steel guitar… and little Laurie, his granddaughter, would dance.
But in the words of Hank Snow, “It's all over now so I'm moving on.”
He played poker and actually scored a royal flush once, lamenting that this rare hand happened
in his stepdaughter Chris’ kitchen with only quarters at stake.
Over his lifetime, he enjoyed a variety of careers. Long-haul trucker, gas station owner, school
bus driver (fondly remembered for giving full-size candy bars on Halloween), entrepreneur, real
estate agent, and auctioneer. His stepdaughters enjoyed clerking his auctions and could Colonel
Carol Carrick ever sing “The Auctioneer.“ Hey well all right sir.
Fast with a joke and slow to anger, he sometimes referred to his wife Shirley as “the fiery Finn“
and if she shook her fist at him he’d say “That’s like a pissant trying to stop a freight train.” He
himself was a “stubborn old Scot.” For example, after a stroke resulted in no more car keys, he
pulled a George Jones and took the lawnmower across Highway 71 to have a beer at the Clarissa
Even in his most golden years, Carol kept those who loved him and cared for him entertained
with his wit and humor. He was known for his colorful expressions like “Everything‘s lovely and
the goose hangs high.” Or, “Makes you feel good all over better than anything else.”
Carol will be truly missed by all who enjoyed his company and loved him including his devoted
wife of 45 years Shirley, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren galore, extended family,
favorite nephew Roger, pastor Kali, and the caring staff at TCCC.
In eternal life, he’ll be joining his ten siblings and all the other family that went before him
including departed wife Joyce, and his rowdy friends. Heaven is surely “better than a poke in the eye
with a sharp stick.”
As Carol would say, “Thanks for coming.”
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Carol Lee Carrick, please visit our floral store.