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Justyna Carlson. 78

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. —  Justyna Mary (Steuer) Carlson, 78, of North Adams died on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at her home. She was born in Adams, MA, at W.B. Plunkett Hospital on June 14, 1944, a daughter of the late Edward Gordon Steuer and Julia Agnes (Kruszyna) Steuer.

Justyna attended Drury High School and graduated with the class of 1962. She then attended Georgian Court College (now University) in Lakewood, New Jersey, and graduated with the class of 1966 with a BA in Spanish. She obtained her Master of Arts in teaching from the University of Massachusetts and received a second master’s degree in Spanish from Middlebury College.

Her first teaching position was at Immaculate Conception in San Antonio, Texas, as part of Catholic Lay Mission Corps working with missionaries teaching sixth-eighth grade Hispanic students.

After a year in Texas, Justyna taught Spanish at Frontier High School in South Deerfield, then was a recruiter for her college. She returned to the area as a language coordinator and department supervisor for Mount Anthony Junior and Senior High School. She was an adjunct Spanish Professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts from 1982 – 2005 and also taught at the former Southern Vermont College in Bennington, VT.

Justyna was a devoted communicant of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church as a Lector, Eucharistic Minister, and Adorer, and she was an organist of 65 years for St. Francis, St. Elizabeth and other local churches. She was also a member of Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Court Margaret #629 where she held several leadership positions. Justyna was a member and officer of the North Adams Historical Society, shared her love of North Adams with visitors to the Tourist Information Booth, and was a Docent at North Adams Museum of History and Science. She was a member and chairperson of the North Adams Historical Commission, an usher at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and an organizer of Drury Band and Chorus Alumni events.

Justyna took pride in serving her civic, faith, and academic communities, and was recognized for these achievements and commitments. She was a lifelong member of Kappa Gamma Pi, a National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society, serving as its National President from 1997-2001. In 2017, she received the Woman of Achievement Award from the Northern Berkshire Business and Professional Woman's Club and was honored along with her husband, Gene, as the 2019 Northern Berkshire Heroes by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition.

Justyna leaves her husband, Gene Stewart Carlson, whom she married on July 8, 1978; her daughter, Marissa Eilleen Carlson (Tara Johnson) of North Adams; a granddaughter, Ksena Justyna Johnson; and many beloved cousins and extended family.

FUNERAL NOTICE: A Liturgy of Christian Burial for Justyna Carlson will be celebrated on Friday, March 17, 2023, at 11:00 AM at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church. Burial will follow in Southview Cemetery. Calling hours will be Thursday from 3-7 PM at the Flynn & Dagnoli Funeral Home-WEST CHAPELS, 521 West Main St. North Adams, MA 01247. Memorial donations may be made to St. Elizabeth Church or the North Adams Historical Society in care of the funeral home. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit

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Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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The loss of a wonderful person is shown through the love and memories of those around you. Justyna was a wonderful person, dedicated family matriarch and an asset to Berkshire County (especially North Adams). Our community will forever be grateful for how wonderfully she served. May you continue to remember all that was a gift from her.
from: Becky Cohen on: 03-22-2023

Gene, Marissa, Tara and Ksena: I had known Cousin Justyna my entire life. She was always such an engaging influence on everyone she chose to associate with. She was never one to stand on the sidelines of life and watch- she was a doer that needed to be part of the positive outcome of each and every group that was lucky enough to have her. We will miss her gracious ways and her supportive smile. Thank you for everything *
from: Gary Alibozek on: 03-17-2023

Dear Marissa, Tara and Ksena, I am so very sorry to hear of your mother's passing. Though I didn't know her as well as others I knew she was a very special person who loved you all so very dearly. She left a big whole in our community.
from: Marcia J Merrigan Ray on: 03-17-2023

Dear Gene,Marissa, So sorry for your loss,What a wonderful person she,was,I knew her for many years.Went to Drury an year behind her,may she rest in Peace. Fondly, Kathleen Trottier Hull Class of 63
from: Kathleen trottier hullon: 03-16-2023

So sorry to hear of her passing. Knew her mostly from NA Historical Society, Moca, Steeple Cats, and local politics. It is a loss to me and the whole city. She was thoughtful and caring. She will be missed.
from: cheryl tarczynskion: 03-15-2023

Please accept my condolences. Justanya was a good neighbor and friend to my mother.
from: Samuel Gomezon: 03-15-2023

Marissa, your mother was a wonderful person. Very sorry for your loss.
from: Carissa (Howland) Toomeyon: 03-15-2023

I was so, so sorry to hear of Justyna’s passing, far too soon… We were colleagues at MCLA’s Spanish Department… She was simply a wonderful woman, a dear soul, filled with love and generosity for us all. She will be deeply missed.
from: Lois Cooperon: 03-14-2023

Dear Marissa, Reading your mother's obituary brought back many memories of her and of you. Though we had only those few months together in 2nd grade, yours is a face and a name I remember bc of how bright and thoughtful and kind you were. I also remember how very proud of you your mother was...and how she supported you in every endeavor. God bless you and your family as you begin life without her. Love, Mary Stred
from: Mary Stredon: 03-13-2023

Sending heartfelt prayers to your family as you and the community grieve the loss of amazing icon and historian in our city~May she now rest, knowing how much she was thought of and appreciated~
from: Cheryl Lefaveon: 03-13-2023

I am so sadden by the news of the passing of Justyna. I am so sorry for you Gene & Marissa. She was such an active member of our community and friend to many. She will be terribly missed. I am not in the area right now so I can't express my sympathy in person but know that I'm with your family in spirit. My prayers for her soul, May she be resting in peace without pain or regret. Amen
from: Geraldine Brassardon: 03-13-2023

Sending heartfelt condolences and my prayers to the entire family. She was a wonderful person. May she rest in peace.
from: Judy Lichton: 03-13-2023

Sending our heartfelt condolences, hugs and prayers to the Carlson family. Justyna was a wonderful neighbor and will be greatly missed. May she rest in peace.
from: Patrick & Heather Boulgeron: 03-12-2023 hard to believe. Gene and family my heart is with you at this difficult time. Phil and I got to meet you both when we came to the Eclipse Mill. Such a great couple and knowledgeable historians. She is a role model. So blessed to have known her. Xoxoxo
from: Gail Kolis Sellerson: 03-12-2023

Justyna and I weren't the closest of friends, but we knew each other as teenagers.
Through the years we would meet and we talked for a few minutes she was always friendly , a nice person. My deepest sympathy to her family. She will be missed by all who knew her.
from: Janet Lanoueon: 03-12-2023

Gene, Marissa and family. Please accept my deepest sympathy on the loss of your beloved Justyna. She has been in my every prayer since August and now resting in peace with God. She was one of the kindest, caring person I knew and I will miss her deeply. Her organ music brought so much joy to services and when singing, one prays twice. Thank you Justyna for just being you. Love and will always miss you.
from: Sandra Dudaon: 03-11-2023

Gene, so sorry for your loss. She will be missed by all that knew her.
from: GEORGE BETOURNEYon: 03-11-2023

I didn't know Justyna very well in high school. We "traveled" in different circles. After actually getting to know her years later at a high school reunion, I felt a kinship that has endured since. Leaving North Adams at 19 created a great void in both my understanding of town history and the culture where we were raised, I reached out to her. Her depth of knowledge and love for the place made our conversations seem like a story book experience. At our 50th (I think) reunion she provided to each of us a folder of her collections of newspaper clippings containing pieces written about us and our family that she had kept through the years. What a wonderful testimony of her love and devotion to those that had been part of her life. To say she will be missed seems so cliché. She was a wonderful historian and friend it is more like losing a member of my family. I pray those left behind are comforted with memories of a very special person.
from: Eddie Howlandon: 03-11-2023

I am heartbroken. Justyna was such a kind and beautiful woman. She and I worked at together at MCLA for many years. It was always a pleasure to run into her all over town. To say she was active would be an understatement!I will miss her dearly. My sincere condolences go out to her family and friends.
from: Carl Villanuevaon: 03-11-2023

Mrs. Carlson was my Spanish professor at SVC and it was literally the first time I absorbed a foreign language. Her teaching style was really wonderful and she had such a warm presence. Descansa en paz. Se te extrañará.
from: Don: 03-10-2023



from: LINDA BELLon: 03-10-2023

Wonderful person, always upbeat and smiling. Lovsd chatting with her. Rest in peace Justyna, you lived a great life.
from: Darlene Mancinion: 03-10-2023

I am sorry to hear of the passing of Mrs. Carlson. I met Miss Steuer, as she was our Spanish teacher at Mount Anthony, and to this day I can remember how to count to 10 with the little Spanish song she shared with our class. She commuted every day from North Adams and would always give a ride to the students who might have ‘missed’ their bus. What a wonderful person to all she was. My deepest condolences to her family, may she rest in peace.
from: Len Girouxon: 03-10-2023

We are very saddened by the passing of Justyna. There will never be another woman like her
Please rest in peace,my friend.
from: Cheryl and Fran Witherell on: 03-10-2023