Funeral Arrangements Pending for Rollie Carlson

CHICAGO, IL (February 24, 2012) – Funeral services are pending for Rollie Carlson, former president of Covenant Ministries of Benevolence (CMB) of the Evangelical Covenant Church, who died this afternoon.

Carlson, 79, helped guide the Covenant on numerous projects that benefited the “least of these.” In 2008, Swedish Covenant Hospital presented him and his wife, Janis, with the Spirit of Compassion Award.

As head of CMB, Carlson created the Compassion, Mercy, and Justice Committee, which eventually became a department within the denomination. He also served at one time as president of the North Park University Alumni Association.

David Dwight, CMB president, said, “”We were so saddened to hear of the death of Rollie Carlson.  He was a true Board of Benevolence patriarch and leader.  For more than 50 years he had a significant impact on this part of Covenant ministry.”

Paul Peterson, former CMB president who immediately succeeded Carlson, said, “I think his greatest contribution was making it possible to pull all of the Covenant retirement communities under one organization.”

Peterson noted Carlson’s generosity and commitment to helping others. “He was always very helpful to people and supportive of different projects. He didn’t just ask people to give. He gave a lot himself.”

Covenant News Service will publish additional information as it becomes available.

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  1. Our hearts go out to Janis and the entire Carlson/Swanson family as they grieve the loss of their family patriarch. Those of us who were privileged to work closely with Rollie over the years have lost our mentor, role model, and in so many cases, our moral compass when contemplating tough decisions. In addition to his vision to start CMJ ministries within CMB, North Park has been the beneficiary of Rollie’s work to secure the original funding for the Axelson Center.
    For decades, many North Park students received career guidance from Rollie when they had no real direction. There is so much good about Rollie’s life that will remind us of how to be a servant leader for the Kingdom. While I have many fond memories, I will miss a true friend and 40 plus year mentor.
    Peace to his memory.

  2. Rollie, how do I remember you – let me count the ways – if I can!
    From our football days at North Park, to you and Gretchen spending a Sunday in Princeton visiting your ‘adopted’ son at the Covenant Children’s Home

    (compassion, mercy and justice, indeed), to your coming to Canada for my retirement – thats for starters. Janis and family, I pray that the hope of the gospel Rollie loved and lived, will sustain you in your loss.

  3. It seems we always knew Rollie, going back to the nurses dorm at SCH in the early fifties. Rollie was always a delight to be around. Even if years passed between seeing one another again, it was like time had not lapsed and we just picked up where we left off. He was always a good friend, a committed churchman, an active servant of the Lord he loved and served in so many public and private ways. We are poorer for his departure from us but heaven is richer. Our prayers are with Janis and all his family. Peace to his memory.

  4. I absolutely loved and respected this man and his family. He was a powerful role-model for me growing up in the church in Mt. Prospect, IL. He not only administrated the Covenant’s works of compassion, he lived a life of compassion. Peace to his memory. Thank you Rollie for a life well lived.

  5. Twenty years ago I meant Rollie while attending Libertyville Covenant Church as a seminary student. He and Janis both befriended me, my husband and our daughter, encouraging us in many ways. Hiis hospitality and genorosity was much appreciated by us. He was a great blessing to individuals as well as to the larger denomination.
    May Janis and the rest of the family be comforted and strengthened by the God of all comforts whom Rollie served so faithfully.

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