Daniel Carle

Obituary of Daniel Francis Carle

Thursday the 4th of April, 2024 brought to a close the life of a loving and beloved man as Daniel (Dan) Francis Carle of St. Cloud, Minnesota died peacefully, surrounded by his loving wife, Mary Kay, their children and family.

Born March 26, 1939 in Duluth, Minnesota to George and Frances (Galeski) Carle, Dan was the eldest of six. Throughout his childhood years at St. Clement’s and Cathedral High School, he was inspired by the Benedictines to attend St. John's University. From a young age he worked a wide range of jobs to assist in the well-being of his family, learning lessons of life along the way that would impact the family he was to raise in the decades to come. To the end, Dan never stopped being grateful for what the brothers, priests and professors of St. John's taught him about love and forgiveness.

As a student at St. John's Dan studied Social Psychology, and in the liberal arts tradition he also developed a lifelong love of classical music as well as the sciences along with, of course, Johnnie football. Joining the St. John's men's chorus began what became a passion for singing that lasted throughout his life as a member of barbershop quartets, director of choir groups and eventually as a tenor in the Minnesota Center Chorale where he sang for thirty years.

During his senior year at St. John's, Dan met his future wife, Mary Kay Ketter, a student at the College of St. Benedict. They were married December 29, 1962 in East Grand Forks, Minnesota and over the next five years, their three children, Stephen, Theresa and Julie were born. During this time, Dan pursued post-graduate studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, culminating in a Master's Degree in Social Work. Following counseling and therapeutic positions with the St. Cloud Reformatory and Catholic Charities, Dan established the first private practice in mental health services in St. Cloud in 1974, Family Counseling Associates.

As a marriage and family therapist, his gentle, modest and thoughtful manner, along with his philosophy of “giving is having,” provided pathways to strength-based relationships for families in the St. Cloud area and beyond. In 1982, Mary Kay joined the practice and they renamed it Family Counseling and Parenting Center. Dan continued a private practice in his home until recently.

Dan placed a high value on spending leisure time with his family. He and Mary Kay would pack up the kids and embark on many memorable ski trips in the winter and boating and camping excursions in the summer. As their children grew, the family ventured into the waters of the Great Lakes, eventually settling in the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, on their boat named "Infinity." Voyaging through the Trent-Severn Waterway in Canada was one of Dan and Mary Kay’s most enjoyable times together on the water. These experiences deeply enriched their relationships with family and friends.

Perhaps the proudest moments of Dan's life arrived in Grandfatherhood. He lovingly embraced eight grandchildren, appreciating their individual gifts and prioritized being present in their lives. He shared with them his passion for music and his fascination with science, greatly enjoying conversations about the furthest reaches of the cosmos or particle physics. Dan’s magnum opus was when he and Mary Kay brought all of their grandchildren on a two-week boating tour of the southern shore of Lake Superior in 2007. His love ripples out into the world through these beautiful children.

Dan is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Carolyn and his brother, Frank. He is survived by his sister Mary (Rasty), and brothers Peter and Michael, his wife, Mary Kay, of 62 years, his three children, Steve and Judy Carle (Edina, MN) Grace, Sara; Theresa (Carle) and Les Brunker (Teton Village, WY) Will, Ellen and Daniel; and Julie (Carle) and Ebrahim Salamzadeh (Minnetonka, MN) Neda, David and Thomas.

A Celebration of Life will occur on Saturday, June 8, 2024, from 2-4pm at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN in the Alumnae Lounge. Memorials may be sent to Mama Hellen’s School, a school in Abara, South Sudan where both Dan and Mary Kay dedicated many volunteer hours to promote education for children displaced by the tragedy of war or their GoFundMe page.  

A private burial will occur in East Grand Forks, MN at Nisbet Cemetery, located on what was once Mary Kay’s family farm.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Daniel
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society Of Minnesota | Minneapolis
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