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Carol Joanne McCartan

“Because I could not stop for Death,

He kindly stopped for me;

The carriage held but just ourselves

And Immortality”

(Emily Dickinson)


I am Carol (Dexter) McCartan,

On August 13, 2023, I joined my husband, Don, in Heaven on his 91st birthday. Just one week ago, my family had a beautiful celebration for my 90th birthday.

I was born August 8, 1933, to James and Ruth Dexter on the family farm near Ware, IA in Pocahontas County.

At age 14, I “spied” my future husband at a hometown celebration in Laurens, IA. Grade school was spent at Ware, IA until the family moved to Havelock, IA in 1947. I graduated from Havelock High School in 1951.

While Don was serving our country, I attended a technical school in Omaha, NE. During this same period of time, I worked in both Omaha and in Fort Dodge, IA at several different employers.

When Don returned from the service, we were married in Pocahontas, IA on June 18, 1955. We moved to Fonda, IA in 1956 where Don was employed at his uncle’s service station. All our children were born and grew up in Fonda: Jean, Julie, Mary Jo, Janet, James, John, Joel, and Joan. With that many children around our home, it was always an “open house” for their friends. Laughter was a great part of this large Irish household and exercised a lot by all!

Don and I are very proud of our family and the successful lives they have accomplished as well as our grandchildren and great grandchildren. We were both very community minded and active in many local organizations. I was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and Catholic Daughters of America for over 60+ years.

Don and I enjoyed traveling. Many award trips were taken through Don’s employment accomplishments. My favorite trip was to Paris!! Several cruises were taken as well which I enjoyed immensely.

I lovingly leave eight children to mourn: Jean McCartan (Joe Pattee), Des Moines, IA, Julie (Norm) Wiemers, Ankeny, IA, Mary Jo (Keith) Sandy, Omaha, NE, Janet Cox, Newton, IA, Dr. James (Tina) McCartan, Pearland, TX, John (Cindy) McCartan, Urbandale, IA, Joel (LeAnn) McCartan, West Des Moines, IA, Joan (Alex) Langstraat, Ankeny, IA.

Also survived by 18 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Erin & Jeff Allen - children Leo & Pace, Des Moines, IA. Shane & Jenny McCurdy - children Cooper & Olivia, Denver, CO. Abbi & Chris Pickard - children Lucy, Ella & Poppy, Ankeny, IA. Martha Wiemers & Jeff Randall - daughter Sloane, Des Moines, IA. Mary Claire Wiemers, Ankeny, IA. Justin Sandy & fiancé Alanna, Phoenix, AZ. Meredith Sandy & fiancé Danny - children Remi & Rowan, Omaha, NE. Kayla Cox, Des Moines, IA. Mallory Cox & Regan Brock, Coralville, IA. Thomas Cox, Ames, IA. Daniel McCartan, Chattanooga, TN. Madalyn McCartan, Denver, CO. Alex & Christy Scott - children Charlie & Hailey, Prole, IA. Andrew McCartan, West Des Moines, IA. BreAnna McCartan & fiancé Cole Koerner, Ames, IA. McKenzie Langstraat, Des Moines, IA. Macie and Maggie Langstraat, Ankeny, IA.

Surviving family members include: Linda & Paul Abrahamson, Ruth & John Starks, Jean Dexter, Ann & Ken Sernett, Gene & Marilyn McCartan, Rita Nelson, Mary & Sam Virgillito, Tom & Sue McCartan, and Jim & Mary Ellen McCartan.

I was preceded in death by my parents, my loving husband, Donald J. McCartan (December 28, 2003), baby daughter, Debra (stillborn October 27, 1957), my brother James C. Dexter, my sister Mary Phillips, her husband Walt Phillips, and my sister-in-law Joan Wicker.

Funeral services to be held at Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Catholic Church, Ankeny, IA with Fr. Michael Amadeo officiating and Fr. Jason Lee assisting at the Mass of Christian Burial. Visitation starting at 1PM Thursday, August 17th, 2:45PM Rosary, and 3:30PM Funeral Mass. Desserts & coffee will immediately follow the Funeral Mass. A private family burial service will be held at a later date & time.


“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” (George Bernard Shaw)


Memorial contributions may be given to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Carol’s name.



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