March 1, 2013

Barbara Miller Carlson


---- — QUEENSBURY — Barbara Miller Carlson, 85, formerly of Queensbury, died Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. She was born in Freeport to Edgar Freeman Miller and Suzanne Gildea Miller.

Barb is survived by her daughter, Susan Carlson Heath of Plattsburgh; her sister, Susie Charnay of Palm Desert, Calif.; her nieces, Jeanette Charnay and Janice Charnay and their families of Palm Desert, Calif.; and many cousins, Marriott C. Johnson of Fredericksburg, Va., Jane J. Fear of Southampton, Nancy Hillengas and family of Albany, Jennifer Kampanaos and family of London, England, U.K., Rob Fear of Honolulu, Hawaii, and Alex Fear and Tom Fear and their families of New Rochelle. She is pre-deceased by her husband, Albert "Burnie" Burnett Carlson; and her parents.

Barb lived a very full and gratifying life. She loved to spend time in her garden and create handmade quilts. She also loved her dogs, especially her golden retrievers, Nugget, Sunny, Penny, et al. She was a member of the National Audubon Society as a bird watcher; and was a voracious reader, with at least three books going at one time in various rooms throughout the house.

Barb graduated from Freeport High School, at the age of sixteen, during World War II. Her parents thought it best for her to attend Linden Hall, a smaller girls school in Pennsylvania, because she was so young. Barb thought otherwise and while in Pennsylvania, she applied and was accepted at Syracuse University, where she studied biology.

Barb went to work in New York, where she modeled overcoats. She worked for several companies and ended up working for Systems Sales Company. In 1953, she transferred to Chicago, where she met Burnie, who worked for Montgomery Ward as a certified public accountant. After their marriage in 1954, they moved to Oakland, Calif. Barb loved setting up their new home and learning new flowers to plant in her garden in the Pacific Northwest. Later, Burnie took a job with Waldorf Paper in St. Paul, Minn., where they designed and built their own beautiful home. In 1962, they welcomed their daughter, Susan.

In the mid-1960s, Burnie moved his family back to the Chicago area, as he became a consultant based in the windy city. They bought a house on Miller Road in Lake Zurich, Ill., where Barb's creative abilities really shone, from "Nature Days" and swimming lessons with Susie and her gang of friends to quilting with Carol Porter and other "Neat Group" activities.

In 1976, Burnie sought a business opportunity at Saratoga Board Mills in Mechanicville. Barb set up home on Chestnut Ridge Road, or "The Ridge," as she called it. Barb gardened, held craft fairs, and hosted many "Skidmore sleepovers" for the then newly established Adirondack Balloon Festival. She established very dear friendships with Gail and Joel Solomon and their family, Rebecca, Nathan and Elizabeth; Catie and Steve Birdsall, Frannie Sherwood on Sanford Ridge, and Ellen Smith, among many others too many to list.

Barb loved to surround herself with family and friends of all ages. She was the go-to person for just about everything. She will be greatly missed. We love you Barb!

As per Barb's wishes, there will not be a formal funeral service. A memorial service at Sanford Ridge UMC will be announced later in the spring.